Halloween is for cowards, and here’s why.
If you like this holiday, you probably drink soy milk.
Let’s get one thing straight: Outside of boys with dyed hair, the popularity of Halloween in this country is the clearest indication we have that we’ve lost The American Way. Point blank, if you can’t knock on my door without getting all tarted up like John Depp (a man for whom my respect has diminished as I’ve learned that he resides in France), I reserve the right to ball up a fist and trick you a treat you won’t much enjoy. That goes for kids, too.
My mother (whose memory I cherish like a complete collection of polished state quarters) used to tell me to be myself, because “if I didn’t like me, then nobody would.” Wow. You just don’t hear that type of advice any more. And you don’t meet a lot of men as well-liked as me, by people of all faith traditions and walks of life. I can only attribute this to my charm, veiny forearms, and unflinching dedication to being me, Buck Crimshaw, at all times. So when you come over to be neighborly, you do so with your own Christ-given face on and two forms of government-issued identification in hand or you’re gonna be going as a ghost next year.
What’s the deal with this costume business, anyhow? Look, I’m all for fun. I’ve organized a lightly-attended (due to weather) charity chill cook-off at the club for the past several springs, and God damn if that’s not just a hoot. But I draw the line at using costuming as a means of deception and extortion. That ain’t the fun I grew up with. And if you ask me — which you should — it’s giving kids the wrong impression. Let me be frank. In this country, you can’t just be whatever you want to be. In fact, 95% of American boys grow up to embark on one of four careers: police officer, single dad, barber, or golf pro. If you let your kid throw on a Harry Potter scar and harass folks on their doorsteps, they’ll grow up to think that every person is born for magic, when we all know for damn certain that the only wizard in this country is Bobby Flay because that guy will cook up a salmon filet that is absolutely spellbinding, and that’s just true.
And another thing. When did we become a nation of beggars?
Back when I was boy, if I trotted up to Mr. Hanlon’s door and said I deserved candy, he would ask me how much honest labor I had performed to earn such a lavish reward. If my response was adequate and he found my work satisfactory, I would receive a jar of lard for my work and a blow to the chest for being bumptious. If, however, Mr. Hanlon found my work lacking or my tongue churlish, you can guarantee his dog Boss was coming off the leash and I was getting pulled aside by Sr. Perpetua on Monday asking if everything was okay at home. And, look, I’m better for it. You want to know the last time I accepted a reward I didn’t deserve? I honestly couldn’t even tell you because I was imbued at birth with an extraordinary work ethic and a savvy for business that will have you lookin’ sideways if you happen to glimpse my checking.
How about this? On October 31st, rather than letting your youngsters drag your backup pillowcases through the mud in a quest for juvenile diabetes, do the following:
Give them a good hard bath. Get their PJs on. Brush their fat mouths. Then, sit them down on the sofa and turn on Mel Gibson’s The Patriot because now is as good a time as any to let them know that freedom isn’t free and neither is candy. When it’s over, just let the DVD menu run for a little while and don’t let them go to sleep until they get what this place is all about.
Halloween is the front line of the war on work, and I’ll tell you what: I’m pretty spooked about it.