Friday, October 06, 2006


There don't seem to be as many around anymore. I would have thought that they were all but gone, but I'm told that is just the way it seems to me because of where I live. I don't think that any children live on my block any more. There aren't that many children where I live, and I think that their parents just find something else for them to do. I don't remember any trick-or-treater's here last year or the year before, and I think at my last apartment I had maybe four of them one year. The house before that I never saw any, just because of where the house was, with a convenience store to one side, a vacant lot behind us, a house where an old couple lived on the other side, and another store across the street. If there were any trick-or-treaters in my area, it just wasn't worth the trouble to walk all the way down the street.

I had just thought that everyone had stopped the neighborhood trick-or-treating practice and were all doing that sort of thing at the mall instead.

I'm not sure why it is supposed to be safer at the mall. If you have really small children, then the mall is warmer and better lit, and you don't have to worry about being hit by cars except when walking to and from the parking lot. I see how that part might be safer, but I question the other part. All these people taking their kids away from trick-or-treating in their own neighborhood with people they probably know, and are instead taking their kids to get candy from strangers in a mall.

What is so safe about that?

About twenty years ago, I was one of those strangers in the mall. And what did I have to do to get this position of trust? Nothing but get a job at an arcade a couple of months before. No one checked to see if I had a criminal record, no one checked to see if I had mental problems, and no one checked the candy I was handing out. For all anyone knew I could have put rat poison, LSD, or e. coli into the whole lot of it.

And if the kids had turned up sick, all the parents would have been able to tell the police was that they got it from someone at the mall.

For all I know, someone who doesn't even work there can just show up at the mall and start handing out candy in the hallway.

Not that I think anyone does that. From what I've been able to tell, the whole poisoned candy thing was greatly exaggerated, and no one has really been poisoned that way from a stranger. But if the point of all this is to be safe, is going to the mall the best way to do it?

When I was a kid, back in the dark ages, we went trick-or-treating the old fashioned way, in our own neighborhood, with our parents right behind us. A group of us went together, and our moms told us which houses we were allowed to go to. My mom would say she didn't know the person at such and such house, but my friend's mom would say it was okay because the lady who lived there went to her church, and stuff like that. So we weren't allowed to go to every house, but with the group going like that we did go to quite a few.

No comments: