A Letter to the Residents about Trick-or-Treating
To: South Salem
From: Andi French
As I am also a Salem resident, I sometimes feel like 'we didn't land on Halloween, Halloween landed on us', but nevertheless, it is what it is. We live in Halloween's Grand Central, you had to know that when you took up residence here. So just because you have a bug up your ass about 70,000 people showing up in our downtown area, doesn't mean you should cheat your neighborhood kids out of the piles of candy they so need and deserve. Yes, Halloween has become a day for drunken "Gangsta's" and slutty "Nurses", but that's all downtown, here on the Swampscott line it should be business as usual.
1. When people ring your doorbell on October 31st, please don't act surprised. Who do you think it is? The Avon Lady? A Jehovah's Witness? Land Shark? It's kids! Kids who spent a ton of time sitting in a chair getting make up put on them, shoved into uncomfortable costumes that don't fit and smell funny, and are walking around in the cold. It's not like they're beggars in the street, they got dressed up for you. If your light is on, you should have candy ready. Don't give me, "No one ever trick-or-treats here." That's a lie, we do. We cover everywhere, Santa Claus could learn a thing or two from us about visiting as many houses as possible wicked fast. But that's beside the point. Even if I lived in Siberia and haven't seen another living soul in 20 years, I'd have a bowl of Mishka Kosolapyi waiting by the door just in case I got a trick-or-treater. And in the event you don't have candy, get creative. You can't have nothing. It's not like we don't know the rules, you only go to the houses with porch lights on. Well, it's not our fault your porch light is on an automatic timer, or you've got a motion detector light that's always going off. If you want to be a grumpy gus who doesn't want participate on Halloween, disable your shit. The kids get so bummed out when they ring a bell and no one answers... or worse, you do answer the door and say you don't have anything to give them. What? You don't have any cans of soup, stacks of post-it-notes, or unused pencils?
2. While we are on the subject of answering the door, I need to ask this question: What the hell are you doing in there? Are you whipping up a soufflé? What's taking you so long? We got places to be. I don't know how normal people view trick-or-treating, but to me, it's a competitive sport, I carbo-load for this day. But we're standing on your staircase for days. I know Salem is really ambiguous about trick-or-treating hours; I've called City Hall every year to ask them and not one person in the entire building can tell me for sure. But, it's safe to say that on the 31st, just hang out by your door all night. Don't be off doing god knows what. Get up off your ass and answer your door with a little efficiency. You should do what my mom and her neighbors do, they decorate the whole street, everyone is just outside waiting and greeting, and they hand out cocktails and grilled shrimp to the parents walking with the kids. And when the neighbors ran out of candy because so many kids showed up, they handed out quarters. Damn... I should just go down there for Halloween. Mom lives on the Cape.
3. And if you are out and driving too fast on Halloween night, beware, I will pelt your car with the boxes of raisins that no one eats. Slow the hell down!
4. Thank you to the few of you who spared us from climbing your concrete staircases by meeting us at the bottom. That is a nice thing to do considering most people have staircases you need to pack an extra pair of socks to climb. It's either nice, or smart, considering how expensive lawsuits are.
5. But for those of you who don't meet us outside, how about calming down a little about the kids backing away from your door. They are excited, they want your candy, they don't know they are blocking you in. Just relax, There is no need to bark at them. Ditto on the yelling about them ringing your bell more than once. They're excited kids and they want to make sure you know they're out there. Lord knows they just came from a house who's door never opened.
6. If you want to give out handfuls of candy that's great, but indicating the kids should go a head and grab isn't the best idea, because at the next house, the kids are going to reach in and grab when they might not be welcomed to. Plus, we parents get embarrassed that our kids are cleaning you out. We want them to, no doubt, but we want them to be gracious little angels.
7. Did everyone go candy shopping at the same store? I could build The Great Wall of China with all of the snack sized Butterfingers we got.
8. Because I'm not home, I leave out a bowl of candy, or I leave candy with a neighbor. I know people who are hesitant to leave out candy for fear that one kid will come by and take the whole thing. It's not a big deal, and that usually doesn't happen. It's better to leave something out as opposed to nothing ESPECIALLY if you're out trick-or-treating yourself. Give back, people.
9. Kids accompanied by costumed parents should get extra candy.
10. There is a place in heaven for people who give out full sized candy bars.