By Tom Iacuzio
As one of the elder statesmen on this campus, I remember back a bit farther than many of you who will read this. I remember the days when you looked forward to Halloween. It was that one day where you could be anything you wanted and for one day get free candy from all of your neighbors. It was simple then, but all that has changed.
Nothing truly remains from the good old days of Halloween. Some of the basic principles are the same: costume, bag, doorbell and candy. But even those have changed in part.
A few years ago, I was sitting in my living room watching television in the early evening when my doorbell rang. I answered the door and, to my surprise, there stood in front of me a three-foot-tall blue Power Ranger.
I’m not sure who was more surprised. Was it the mother who accompanied this small superhero who couldn’t understand why I had no candy for her son? Or was it me, who couldn’t fathom why this child was at my door three days before Halloween?
It wasn’t until the next day when I explained my dilemma to a friend that I was informed about this Saturday rule. Apparently, parents are taking their children during daylight hours on the weekend before Halloween instead of having their children out in the dark on a school night.
Children, if you read this, revolt. This is not the natural order of things.
Halloween on a school night is what being a child is all about. I remember being young and going house to house with my friends for six or seven hours. When we got older, we even perfected the art of costume switching. At trick-or-treat halftime, we would go back to one of our houses and put on entirely new costumes only to go right back out and start again. Hopefully that tradition lives on somewhere.
Even in a Catholic school, we wore our costumes all day long. Today, that has also gone the way of the dodo. Many schools no longer allow this show of holiday spirit for fear that a costume may offend. Are you kidding me? Who would be offended by E.T. or Darth Vader (which I went as from the ages of 9 to 11)?
But then it hit me. I saw the problem. Costumes of yesteryear are not the costumes of today. When I was young, costumes were sold in little square cardboard boxes. Inside were a plastic bag, designed to look like the outfit of your favorite superhero or princess, and a mask. But wait, this was no ordinary mask.
This was a piece of plastic that smelled of cheap paint. It was held onto your face by a rubber band that continually broke, snapping welts onto your ears. As you constantly adjusted the rubber band, the mask would grow tighter and tighter until it was literally suctioned to your face and the only thing saving your life were the two pinholes cut into the mask allowing you to breathe.
Costumes are no longer like that. Boys’ costumes haven’t drifted too far. Most boys still want to be superheroes (or villains like Darth Vader) and cowboys. But girls, I’m not sure what to say. It would appear to me that the top five costume choices for the average girl are: slutty nurse, slutty schoolgirl, slutty policewoman, slutty cowgirl and Paris Hilton.
Another huge difference in costumes is price. The aforementioned Darth Vader costume cost a whopping $5.99. Today’s costume market has risen tremendously. My fiancÃ©e and I are planning on attending a Halloween party. Wanting a nice costume, she went online and purchased one. The bill I received totaled up, with shipping, to $82.99. I could start an army of little Darths for $82.99.
But there is an even bigger problem. Lately, I have seen a growing trend in children who come to homes wearing no costume at all. This is not acceptable. Simply holding a pillowcase is not grounds for free candy. There must be some effort.
Speaking of candy, when did Halloween candy shrink? When did this movement from actual candy bars to these mini sampler bars begin? Whoever is behind this must be dealt with. People write your congressman. Whatever you need to do. It must not be allowed to continue. In the future, children will be delighted to be given a single Reese’s Piece. That will be a sad day.
Strangely enough, one Halloween tradition has continued on strong throughout the years. That is the universal act of parents playing the role of homeland security when the children call it a night. As a child, you would sit and wait in the other room watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” while your mom and dad scoured the booty you had pilfered looking for that mythical “razorblade in the apple.”
Let me take this time to set the record straight. There is no razorblade. In the past 50 years there have been only two cases of any kind of damage caused by Halloween candy.
Both of those cases involved poison and both were perpetrated by crazy family members of the children in question.
So I ask you this: Why are we wasting our time worrying about the safety of our children on Halloween when the real problem is the danger that political correctness is having on our holidays?