Thursday, 7 October 2010

Knock, knock

Right. I'm going to sound very boring, middle aged and middle class in this post. But I...just...can't...bear it any more.

Halloween is almost upon us. Once upon a time, this would have involved white sheets pinned over my hair, talcum powder on my face to give a ghostly pallor and an evening at the Brownies' fancy dress competition.

And maybe the odd Sainsbury's toffee apple, if Mum was looking the other way.

But now? Now we've adopted the traditions from the States and we've all gone Halloween crazy. Back in August, I saw the season's first orange plastic pumpkin shaped 'Trick Or Treat Collecting Bucket' for sale in the local petrol station. Not only was it £5, it was the size of a small orange.

Why the hell would I pay that for a scrap of plastic in which I could fit just a couple of fun sized Mars Bars and a mini packet of Sweethearts?

And I know I sound a kill joy, but I really don't agree with Trick or Treating here in Middle England. It doesn't have the fun, family atmosphere embraced by our friends over the Pond. Over here the evening takes on the cheap air of greed and E numbers, as kids far too old to take part in the whole thing slosh on a bit of fake blood and traipse from house to house, screeching and shouting all evening.

These days I have to start considering several issues, weeks before 31st October.

Qs 1. Do I let my son go trick or treating with his friends, without adults? Worryingly, this question first arose when he was eight. The answer has generally been no.

Qs 2. Do I buy in sweets for trick or treaters? If so, how many?

Qs 3. Do I answer the door and give the goodies to the little ones? I always feel like the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It feels odd as an adult, a stranger, giving sweets to pre-teens dressed as tarty witches and slasher film victims.

A few years ago, I visited a South African friend at Halloween. I thought he was a miserable old codger after I'd rung the doorbell and he leopard crawled across the hall floor, opened the door slowly and whispered 'Get in! Get in before They see you!' Obviously strangers knocking on the front door and being greeted with sweets and smile was not the accepted practice in Jo'burg.

So this year I think that I'll turn the TV up loud, won't answer the door and will eat all of the sweets myself. Husband will come home and find me with cotton wool stuffed in my ears and slumped on the sofa, surrounded by the empty wrappers of Refreshers and Chuppa Chuppa lollies. Perfect.


Nora said...

Luckily, Halloween hasn't caught on here yet and I don't have to hide from teenagers who come banging on my door looking for expensive candy. I hope it stays a foreign and alien custom always.

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Mmmmm chuppa chuppa....

Lady Perkleton said...

I like Hallowe'en - its a chance to scare the bejeebee's out of my nephew & neice without getting told off! Booked them onto a Ghost Train this year. My neice has already picked her outfit (slutty cat as she doesn't want to be a witch EVERY year - she's 4 FFS - don't know what my mother was thinking!!) and has already insisted I sit next to her. Ahhhh bless. They love being scared really!

Footballers Knees said...

Nora - yes, you're very lucky. Although maybe we just need to get with the times?

Trish - yes, I see you are a friend of the chuppa chuppa too?

Lady P - You're not safe to be with children. I will alert the social services.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

I agree - it's become too commercialised. We get a mix of kids knocking at my door and some have even said to me when I've offered them things ..I can't eat chococlate or I can't have nuts, or because of religious reasons I can't have jellies. I have to buy such a variation of things so the little devils don't reject what I hand out!

Dulwich Divorcee said...

I agree it all feels a bit alien - it was quite big in Belgium when we were there so the girls got really into it. There it's mostly beautifully decorated chocolate shops, though .... not plastic bats etc. I haven't let the girls go out trick or treating alone yet but I might have to this year ..... either that or disguise myself as a witch and stalk them ...