Halloween

Let’s not beat around the pumpkin patch, alright. Let’s get right down to the nitty gritty, and I’m not talking about the Philadelphia Flyers incredibly entertaining mascot. Yeah, I said it. Thumb war me.

Do not give out pencils on Halloween.

There, I said it. I didn’t even capitalize the word “not”. There was no need. People always do that, as if we don’t know which word they were inflecting.

Here’s why you shouldn’t hand out pencils on Halloween. Spoiler: It’s not because there isn’t chocolate inside of them.

A pencil is not one of the options when the pre-pubescent children at your door scream “Trick or Treat” at the top of their decibel range.

A pencil is not a trick, nor a treat. In fact, it is a disturbance! A disturbance to the bag, or basket, of candy in which the child is carrying. Trust me, I’m a former child.

We don’t need a stirring stick. That’s what the pencil becomes, by the way.

And I get it, you want to preach literacy via unsharpened writing utensil – a writing utensil that is probably black and orange, with pumpkins and ghosts and bears, oh my! skeletons on it because “oohhh spooky”.

Don’t do it.

Because even if the recipient sharpens the pencil and intends to use it at school until the winter break, they’ll be disappointed.

Why? Because the second they go and use the eraser on the end, they’ll realize how ineffective it is. General speaking, the eraser on those Halloween pencils are shiny, and therefore, do not do their job.

If an eraser doesn’t erase, what is it?

Do do doo do do doo do do, do do do do da, do do do do do doo do do do do do do doo, da da da da da…da…da…dum dum.

What is useless?

CORRECT.

Sorry, just played a round of Final Jeopardy by myself. Thanks for tuning in.

Those erasers also break off easily. So really, you’re not helping children succeed at mathematics, you’re leaving them in peril when their eraser falls off, rolls under Tommy’s desk, and gets kicked to the front of the class, nearly missing the teacher’s feet.

Don’t act like you’ve never seen an eraser roll across the classroom.

Help control the pencil population. Give out candy, instead.

And that was just my really long introduction into a post about Halloween.

I don’t really like Halloween. Sorry?

I never really got into the whole costume aspect of it. At age 4, I was an adorable little dinosaur known as Barney. It went downhill from there.

I always dreaded having to wear a costume to school because I didn’t care to dress up. For many years, I’d just wear a sports jersey and call myself a fan.

Nowadays, people have multiple Halloween costumes every year. One for every day leading up to Halloween and/or every party they attend. That must be exhausting.

By Grade 7 and 8, I was dressing up as the Scream (don’t even know if I’m saying it right), even though we weren’t allowed masks, and I didn’t full understand what the Scream was. But it was a simple costume – one I could take off after an hour.

We would always have a Halloween party at school and the teacher would ask everyone to bring in a treat.

My mom always made chocolate cupcakes with orange and black sprinkles and they were the best cupcakes ever. Shout-out Betty Crocker. But seriously, my mom’s frosting technique was top notch.

I now realize that those classroom parties were our first introduction to potlucks. See, they start off all fine and well. Just a big table of desserts and endless soft drinks.

Then you grow up and realize no one actually provides the meal component to a potluck and you’re left with three veggie trays, a bag of Nachos, a random pot of meatballs, a bunch of other side dishes, and three different cheese dips that are left untouched until someone proclaims, “I’m going in!”

Just had to get that in there.

In high school, the rule was we had to wear a costume, or wear our school uniform. There was no in between.

One year, I was a priest because I realized all I needed to do was where a cross and put a white piece of paper under my collar. Easy.

By Grade 12, I didn’t really care anymore. I went in my school uniform. Other people carried a piece of cardboard over their heard all day and called themselves Facebook.

Paul – 1
BookFace – 0

In university, a few of my friends tried to get me to go to the Halloween party at the on-campus bar. I declined and said I wanted to watch the hockey game. It was Saturday night. They told me the game would be on at the bar and I could watch it there.

Ha, what? Don’t you dare use my air tight alibi against me.

They didn’t understand. I had no desire to put myself in that setting. And I really wanted to watch the hockey game. Do you even know me?

But as a kid, trick or treating around the neighbourhood was fun, even though 70% of us wore a jacket over our costume because it was cold and sometimes raining.

That’s the part they leave out when they talk about children scavenging for candy. They don’t mention the wet grass, cold temperatures, and worried parents, who wait at the end of the driveway, watching to make sure the zipper on your coat doesn’t leave your chin.

All this being said, I’m not much of a candy person. Most of my candy would go to my sister or parents, and what they didn’t want, they’d give to the kids who came to our door.

My candy was re-gifted.

I only cared about a few items.

1. Chips
2. Aeros
3. Smarties (Way better than M&Ms, by the way)
4. Jersey Milk (It’s a Canadian thing)
5. I can’t really think of anything else

See, I told you I’m not a candy person. Someone once gave out a pack of microwave popcorn. God bless them.

I always hated the houses that gave liquorice. What do you want me to do with that? Strangle a scarecrow? Come on now.

Beyond the joys of collecting candy from strangers, I also enjoyed Halloween movies. Growing up, Halloweentown was one of my favourites. That was back when Family Channel had good movies.

A couple of years ago, I did a Viewing Notes post for one of the Halloweentown movies. You can read that here.

I also enjoy horror films and saw Halloween in theatres last weekend. More on that later.

So while I did enjoy some aspects of Halloween, somewhere along the way it lost its appeal to me.

I don’t know if it was the years when the side of our house got egged, but I assume that has something to do with it. That took a lot of joy out of it. You don’t forget the sound of eggs breaking on your windows.

Fast-forward to the present day. Halloween doesn’t really exist on my street anymore. No kids have come to our door asking for candy in about three years.

They aren’t around.

Halloween is just another day, which is fine with me.

As I alluded to earlier, I went to see Halloween last Sunday. By “last Sunday” I’m not talking about the Sunday we just experienced. The other Sunday. Comprender?

I’ve stated numerous times on this blog that I don’t go to the movies very often. But when I do, it’s normally for a horror film.

I went with my sister for the 12:15pm showing because 1) The theatre wouldn’t be packed and 2) I wanted to get home and watch football.

If you think I’m going to give a movie review, you’re mistaken. I’m just going to talk about my experience at the movie theatre and maybe one or two points of feedback on the movie.

So we go in and who’s hungry? Paul’s hungry. It’s lunch time.

Naturally, I stood in line waiting for pizza.

One pizza was brought out – cheese. Okay, fine. They just opened. I’m in a hurry. The movie starts soon. I’ll get a slice of cheese pizza.

“Hi, can I get a slice of pizza and a coke, please?”

“Cheese pizza?” 

NO, THE SYRUP PIZZA WITH. YES, THE CHEESE PIZZA.

I didn’t actually say that because I’m Canadian, but I thought it.

They had one pizza on display. It was cheese pizza. There was no other option! Of course I’m talking about the cheese pizza.

Now I’ll take you behind the scenes into my brain. I had made the conscious decision to ask for “pizza”, rather than “cheese pizza” just to see if the person serving me would needlessly ask for clarification.

This is my way of studying humanity.

I sat at a table and scarfed the pizza down so fast, before going to get popcorn.

It must be said, that asking me if I want butter on my popcorn is like asking me if I want oxygen to breathe. That being said, there was a tinge of regret when the person told me that a medium popcorn w/butter cost $9.00.

Don’t tell me I could’ve gotten a small, instead. That would’ve been gone before the end of the previews.

I don’t know what you look for in a bag of popcorn, but I look for longevity.

As for the movie, I enjoyed it.

One thing about sequels, though, is they spend the first twenty minutes trying to retell the story of the original, so new viewers aren’t completely confused.

What I liked about the first Halloween movie was how desolate the town felt. There was always an eerie feeling that the character on screen was all alone.

This movie had a few too many characters, though I’m not sure that’s worth putting under a “Con” category. It’s just an observation.

There was a little boy named Julian, who stole the movie, in my opinion. Child actors with comedic timing are dynamite.

As for the ending, it felt abrupt. Abrupt endings normally mean another movie is coming. I hope not. Not because I wouldn’t see it, but because I wish they would just leave classic movies alone.

*Insert rant about Space Jam 2 here*

Well, I think I’ve flushed out all my thoughts regarding Halloween. If I think of anything else, I’ll yell it into a pillow or something. This post is long enough.

Oh and don’t look now, but Christmas is two days away…

Thanks for reading.

Do you like Halloween? What was your favourite costume? What’s your favourite candy? What is Halloween like in your neighbourhood? Share some Halloween stories. 

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About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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23 Responses to Halloween

  1. As a child I LOVED Halloween! My first ever costume, I was a bag of garbage. Yups. Literally a bag of garbage. It worked because I wore my snowsuit and then the garbage bag was put over there and stuffed with newspaper and then garbage was glued on top. I was 2. My brother was the garbage man (he was 3) and he held my hand as I went out and everyone said how cute we were. I think my favourite costume was grade 2ish? I was Tinkerbell. My mom made me the costume (which is what a good 1950’s housewife would do and that’s how she was raised!) and she picked up this gold fabric and cut it all out and made wings for it too. It was awesome!!

    But around grade 8 I stopped loving it. I stopped putting effort in, and my costumes slipped down to the “wearing pjs and holding a stuffed animal” variety. Last year I went out because of the kidlets and I’ll be out tomorrow too. I was a hippo last year since they bought my costume for me. And I love that hippo onesie! But this year no costume. I had a few ideas but my mind has been totally occupied with other things so I dropped the ball on it. I’m not too upset haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      A bag of garbage and a garbage man! That’s adorable haha. Should’ve retrofitted one of those Fisher Price wagons and called it the garbage truck!

      Grade 8 seems to be that fringe age where you’re almost too old for trick or treating, but still considered a kid, yet losing interest in dressing up.

      Have fun tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha it was adorable! I wonder if I can get my parents to send me a copy of it before tomorrow!! My dad just decapitated my garden gnome, he totally owes me!

        And yes that does seem like the age. School still gets super exciting at Halloween but adults don’t like giving you candy cos “you’re too old”. I think if you put effort into a costume and are braving the cold (and sometimes rain or snow) then you should get candy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I agree. I think the last time I went trick or treating, it was with friends, and some people were saying we looked too old when really we were just tall. Also, because some of us her wearing jackets, one person said “I guess kids don’t even have to wear costumes to go trick or treating anymore.” Haha why do people say dumb things?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cos they turn into cranky pants adults! Lol I’m a cranky pants adult sometimes too. It’s hard not to be sometimes haha! But yeah I heard that line too which is why if I see a costume, even just a little bit of one, I don’t mind giving candy. I’m kind of hoping I don’t have to go this year. I’m exhausted from Halloween already and it’s not even here yet lol. But I did get those pictures from my dad so look out for them tomorrow haha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rea says:

    Halloween is AMAZING!!!! Who wouldn’t want an excuse to take candy from strangers?

    But seriously, there are so many reasons I still go trick-or-treating.
    1. Eating candy
    2. Hanging with friends
    3. Eating candy while hanging with friends.

    If you are gonna go trick-or-treating, you must go with more people than just your family. You have to have something to do while searching for another house to punch (b/c isn’t knocking on someone’s door just punching their house until they answer?)?
    Also, you feel less awkward dressed as a cactus when your friend next to you is dressed as Waldo.

    So yeah. Basically there are many reasons to love Halloween.

    M&Ms are better than Skittles

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bryan Fagan says:

    Halloween is all about fun. It is NOT about pencils. It is candy and friends and dressing up in cool costumes. It is a fun day full of fun stuff. Give out pencils on November 1st. We have nothing to do that day, we won’t complain.

    As always my good man, excellent post. Love it!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura says:

    I do not like Halloween. I think I liked it better as a kid — I’ve definitely always been a fan of the candy — but at the risk of being reported it kind of went downhill after I got older. When I was a teacher I spent all day with kids, I sure didn’t want to answer my door for 3 hours exclaiming “oh, how sweet, a princess! and what a scary pirate!!” UGH.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Oh wow, I don’t know how you put up with kids in their costumes all day. I found that the costumes were cool for about the first 2 hours of the school day, then they were just a nuisance. And by the end of the day it’s like “Get me out of this thing.” Glad I’m not the only one not fond of Halloween.

      Like

  5. Dutch Lion says:

    Hey buddy, how many posts do you publish per year? I’m just curious b/c I was looking at my stats. Thanks! Reid

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dutch Lion says:

    Hey Paulie, you mentioned that you wore your uniform to school in the 12th grade. Does that mean you went to a private school/religious school? Or is Canada different in regards to school dress code?

    PS Licorice sucks! Does anyone actually eat that plastic garbage? What does it do to one’s insides?

    Thank you, Reid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Yeah, I went to a Catholic school. All the Public school kids got to wear whatever they wanted.

      Licorice is terrible!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dutch Lion says:

        Here in the States it is pretty much the same. Many, but not all, private religious schools require a uniform. As for public schools funded by the US government, it’s a free for all. 99% have no school uniform rules. However, in some schools that might be in “gang” territory, they make the kids wear a uniform so that nobody can show “colors” and thus get into gang wars.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Wow, I don’t think we have to deal with those issues here. Only in high school I had to wear a uniform. In elementary school, I didn’t, even though it was a Catholic school.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Barb Knowles says:

    I agree with you about the pencils. And for my students who use those kind of pencils, and THEN try to use the erasers, the black smudge has a half-life of a kazillion years. This year we bought two huge bags stuffed with mini-candies so we could give each trick or treater a variety handful. Except we got ONE child come. ONLY ONE.

    My grandson, who was running all over his neighborhood on a warm night and a furry costume, started asking people for bottles of water. I thought that was awesome. From now on, I’m getting cases of the small water bottles. Or maybe I’ll only need one bottle.

    One year our next-door neighbor was a dental hygenist. She gave each kid a child’s toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste. I thought that was a great idea, but I don’t think her “customers” did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ugh the black smudge! Those pencils should be discontinued. Haha you got 1 more child than we did! Then again we turned our lights off. Still, barely saw anyone walking in the street in costume.

      What a smart kid! A small water bottle would be perfect.

      A toothbrush ahahaha! Come to think of it, I think I got a toothbrush once too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ely says:

    I’m a little late here. But it still counts. I’m a huge fan of Halloween. I go all out decorating my house outside AND inside. My theme inside changes to spell books, potion and poison bottles and skulls/ravens. But in a fancy way. I love all things “dark” despite how “perky” I tend to be. Growing up Halloween here was like in the movies. We would fill pillow cases up with candy and go home just to unload and do it again. My kids don’t believe me. Up until I had kids, I was big on dressing up I’m talking costume contest and epic costumes in the newspaper kind of epic. I can make miracles happen with liquid latex… but I haven’t done much in years. I’m getting older and weaker haha!!! This year, our neighbors had a Halloween BBQ block party and we all hung out and ate burgers outside and met new neighbors after a little trick or treating with the kids. It was such a nice time. I’m grateful for my neighborhood. It’s hard to find a “family”
    Out of neighbors these days! Also? I disappear all the candy. I can’t afford anymore cavities with these kids. Dentists are not cheap. When they ask I’m all
    Like, “you’re grandma ate it” and they feel sorry for her and won’t say anything to upset her LOL. I winnnn.

    Liked by 1 person

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