Halloween Humbug

It’s Halloween tonight. (SIGH).

PumpkinSo here’s the thing. I’m wondering what the general consensus is vis a vis me hiding at the back of the house (with my earphones on), while the trick or treaters are doing the rounds?

To avoid them. Obviously.

The problem is, that we appear to have messed up geographically (big time) when we chose to live in the ‘trick or treating’ mecca of Sydney. Our street is so popular at Halloween that I reckon it’s programmed into every metropolitan GPS as a ‘popular destination’. And there is no doubt in my mind that the reason posses of kids travel from far and wide to beg at our doors, is because some weak-willed, desperate-to-please, do-gooder parents set a precedent a few years back, and were a little over-generous in the sugar department. Which means that we now have the whole of the Northern Beaches Thriller cast tramping through our street, trampling our garden-beds and whoring for sweets, every October.

So this year I’ve decided to make a stand. I refuse to be bullied in my own home.

We’ve had a family meeting to discuss our options; the most popular being to escape to the local Thai (where I imagine they don’t really celebrate Halloween). Until we remembered the dog. To be honest, we’re a little concerned for her sanity at the mercy of a marauding pack of sugar-high local delinquents. This is a ‘delicate’ dog, who has a mild thrombosis if someone so much as sighs audibly in HER street, let alone if masses of scary children suddenly descend on her territory ALL AT THE SAME TIME. She will without question bark herself hoarse, and it goes without saying that she will wee uncontrollably on the floor, (or my new sisal rug, which is her bathroom of choice in situations of anxiety).

The second option is to stay at home and hide ignore them.

By rights, I shouldn’t have to answer my door to strangers, of course. I mean, I don’t have to answer to canvassers or Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Estate Agents or even those annoying teenagers who try to sell me suspect household cleaning products that look dubiously like they’ve fallen off the back of a lorry. In theory, I should be able to either a) ignore the knocks without being guilted out or b) answer the door and explain succinctly why I am a humbug averse to the whole principle of Halloween, without the threat of being ‘tricked’.

But we all know that it wouldn’t be politically correct for me to do either of those things because CHILDREN are involved. And this generation has been wrapped in some serious cotton wool. They are from a world where they can’t be exposed to disappointment or real life scenarios, where they are encouraged (and supported even) when they are crap at something; they are from a crazy world where the ‘tight witch’ in the street, who refuses to supply them with more costly fillings, could be reported to social services for cruelty to children, if she doesn’t toe the line at Halloween.

So even though I harbour genuine disdain for this commercialized  pagan celebration foisted upon us by Americans, and although I am conscious of the fact that it represents just another lame excuse for those rather suspect people who enjoy fancy dress, to dress up in ridiculous clothes and stuff their faces with pumpkin, it means that I will, in effect, be a prisoner in my own home on Halloween night.

You see, ten years of enforced trick or treating have finally taken their toll on me and now that my own children have grown up and transferred their interests to drugs and alcohol, I could do with some respite. I’ve had ten years of spending a small fortune on lollies and plastering a fake grin on my face as obnoxious little kids shout ‘trick or treat’ through my letter box and prod their sticky mits into my bowl of sugar, leaving their wrappers on my lawn, (often without so much as a ‘thank you’). And ten years of worrying about THOSE teenagers, (the ones who always turn up just as you run out of sweets), who you know will end up venting their frustration in a mass mutilation of your prized Frangipani.

What I actually need is some Halloween therapy.

I’m still debating my tactic for tonight, but I think we’re going to move.

Pumpkin by Jibby! at www.flickr.com


17 thoughts on “Halloween Humbug

  1. LOVE the pic … and moving always feels like a good idea. Last year I wore a mask when I opened a door and made a three year old cry … this year no mask I felt so bad lats time I don’t want to do the same again


  2. Discovered you through Menopausal Mother… Glad I did. Last Halloween we left a bowl of candy on the front porch and had drinks at a neighbours house. I think this year I’m going to sit with my e-reader and a Rusty Nail and hope the wonder of the costumed toddler will make up for the greedy teenaged set. “What are dressed as?” “Ummmm….” “Not good enough. What trick are you going to do for me to get this chocolate bar?”


  3. We have our own way of handling this night. We sit on the porch with a giant bowl of candy and drink ourselves silly. After a few shots of tequila, I don’t care who is knocking at my door for candy. If the parents bring jello shots in a wagon, extra points for being considerate guests!


  4. The first year my partner joined my girls and I for Halloween he got all nostalgic by sharing with us, in Ireland they gave away oranges (go figure) instead of sweets. So, we went with his childhood memory and got two mesh bags full of oranges. He made all the kids show us a trick and in turn they recived an orange. Should have seen their faces upon receives this instead of a sweet. In rebelion the kids threw the whole oranges at each others’ heads.

    Suffice to say I was chopping the organes into wedges, to prevent an irate parent knocking on my door.


  5. Hello! This is David “Jibby” Leeth. I’m glad you like my pumpkin photo. I had no idea Halloween was “celebrated” all the way over in Australia. Sorry about that. I personally like the scary aspect of the holiday, but I’m hiding in the dark as I write this, but not because we get a lot of kids at the house. No, I just worked a 12 hour day, with 90 minutes of commuting on top of that, so those greedy brats can beg from somebody else.

    Ironically, Halloween is quickly losing its traditional popularity here in the Corporate States of America. The Christians have killed it, and now only a handful of kids comes to the door any longer. Now they go to church-organized parties, shopping malls and civic centers.

    Halloween here now seems to be more for adults. Men can dress like idiots and women can dress like, well, they hardly wear clothes at all actually. So in that respect, I really enjoy Halloween 😉 but I don’t involve myself other than creating creepy photographs on Flickr.

    Sorry about forcing Halloween on you. I assure you I had nothing to do with it, but my country does all kinds of things of which I don’t approve. I certainly don’t blame you for your attitude, nor your response to the holiday.



    1. Thanks for the photo – I’ve had quite a few comments about it. The post is very tongue in cheek – I don’t REALLY blame Americans for it but nice to see that someone else is ‘hiding’.


  6. I was wondering if you would upset ‘anyone’ with your post, clearly you haven’t, as you say tongue in cheek.
    I’m afraid I am of similar ilk I close our garage door so the cars are hidden and lock the front door…hiding like a small child myself…”Pluease don’t know on my door we don’t celebrate Halloween here” though I think the times are changing and within a few years we will be.

    We don’t have any Aussie holidays that take such a hold UNLESS you count AFL, Rugby, Melbourne Cup Day to name a few, there are devotees to those also but we don’t go round door to door in our footy gear or dress up like a horse and run the miracle mile up and down the streets. 🙂
    Last night no one knocked on our door..we did hear the kids from next door saying be careful because there is one guy throwing green dye on cars to celebrate….
    Maybe if they had knocked they would have come face to face with the wicked witch from the west….


  7. I’m on child 3 with this ludicrous ‘celebration’ so needless to say very little time or thought is devoted to any preparations. My indifference to it first reared its ugly head when my friend and I decided we could only manage the neighborhood slog with a milkshake-sized cup of wine. This year she bailed on me, so I’ve now been reduced to driving said third child and her little friend around neighborhood in pursuit of candy-rich streets; drop them at one end, drive to other end and wait for them while entertaining myself on my iphone. After 45 minutes I lose total interest and leave them to make their own way home. It’s wine-time. All’s well that ends well!


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