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Trick or Treat

by Stephen Lautens


October 27, 2000

I've made a strict rule for this Halloween.

At my house no one gets any candy if they're not as dressed up as I am. And coming to the door dressed as a sullen teenager doesn't count.

Come on people. Halloween isn't that difficult a concept. You dress up and get candy. If you're not dressing up but still going door to door demanding loot, that's what we call robbery.

As kids we agonized for weeks over what costume we would be wearing. The best ones were made out of huge cardboard boxes that made it impossible to walk, hold a bag or dodge oncoming cars. Others required you to shred your father's best suit and pour fake blood on one of his shirts.

Now it's apparently too much effort to spray paint your entire body silver and shave your head for Halloween. I'm not saying people don't do it - it's just that they don't seem to be doing it for Halloween.

Of course as a kid you had to be on the lookout for the big tough kids roaming the neighbourhood, looking to steal your hard earned candy. It was always difficult to tell the harmless trick or treaters from those up to no good. This year the kids are guaranteed to be out on Halloween night with the wrong element - political candidates.

I don't recall the last time an election and Halloween overlapped. Having mindless zombies going door to door is sure to interfere with the kids trick or treating.

There are, however, simple ways to tell if you have a kid or political candidate at the door.

On Halloween, a New Democrat candidate will tell you that you should be ashamed, since some of their best friends are Wiccan. Plus everyone they know wears black. Then they'll stand at the door redistributing the candy of everyone who shows up so each kid ends up with the same amount, regardless of how many hours they've been out or how much effort they put into their costume. And when they go home with a measly nine pieces of toffee after a month of going door to door, they'll claim it to be a moral victory.

If someone from the Bloq Quebecois shows up at your door on Halloween, they'll take all your candy, declare it to be an insult, claim you gave more to all the other kids, and threaten to move out of the neighbourhood if you're not prepared to give them more when they come back next week. Then you'll get a summons to show up in Quebec language court because the children didn't yell "Trick or Treat" equally as loud in French as they did in English.

You'll think the pimply kid in the pizza delivery outfit is one of the best costumes you've seen on Halloween, until you learn it actually is the Conservative candidate and he just hasn't finished his shift at his day job.

Alliance candidates promise that if they push you down they'll only take a flat17% of your candy, even though they really like sweets. After all, they're the ones who believe life begins at confection.

And it's easy to tell if you have a Liberal trick or treater - they're the ones who show up at your door six months early.

© Stephen Lautens 2000

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