One

November 1, 2007 § 2 Comments

Rabbit, rabbit.

Another November, another NaBloPoMo off to a rousing start. Richard has described our Hallowe’en festivities in detail here. It was a good night, but I wasn’t feeling particularly festive, I’m afraid, for reasons we’ll no doubt discuss in the coming weeks.

After the last trick-or-treaters, we happened to catch a couple of minutes of a CNN report about people hanging bodies dangling from nooses as Hallowe’en decorations in the US. If you’re into the gorier, grosser, less-authentic side of the holiday, that’s your business, as long as you buy seven or eight bags of fun-size Snickers and don’t let your brother-in-law hide under the porch to grab the kids’ ankles on their way up the steps.

But if someone asks you to take the dangling effigies down because they’re offensive, you do it. You do not argue about how you don’t find them offensive (surprise, surprise, whitey), and it’s your yard/bar/whites-only tree, by God, and if some (black) folks find your decorations unpleasantly evocative of the very recent past, then they don’t have to look. You try to keep the peace and see it from someone else’s point of view, because by your own admission, they’re just decorations. To you, anyway.

This kind of myopia and inconsideration still leaves me breathless, but then, Hallowe’en isn’t a holiday for the Emily Post crowd. Anyone else keep a running tally of how many kids actually say “trick-or-treat”?

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§ 2 Responses to One

  • Anyone else keep a running tally of how many kids actually say “trick-or-treat”?

    Going door to door asking for candy wasn’t a custom in Germany until the American military families (who didn’t know better) started doing it. Now the Americans are gone from my community, yet the custom remains. So I stock up on candy at Halloween. But I don’t just greet the kids at the door; I wear a terrifying mask and scream hideously at them. Some of the poor little buggers have actually jumped into the bushes with fright. Fun.

    They don’t say “trick or treat” anymore, either. They just hold up their bags to be filled.

    I wasn’t feeling particularly festive, I’m afraid, for reasons we’ll no doubt discuss in the coming weeks.

    Uh oh.

  • kristina says:

    Sounds like an excellent time. I think they should earn the candy somehow— if they just saunter up and jiggle their bags in front of me, I’m not inspired to reward them. But if they stick to the script or they’re scared out of their wits by some cohort, it’s all worth it. I’m still trying to work myself up to asking for a trick.

    Have other customs carried over, too, Stephen? Do any kids, say, egg your house after you terrify them?

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