Kids better off when they don’t trick-or-treat

Dave Wiemer Column

Booo! Aaaah! Rowwsieeee!

Scared? I know I am. Ever since yesterday I’ve been more scared than a contestant on The Bachelor who thinks she may not get a rose. All those scary costumes I saw on Halloween have got my blood a boilin’ and my feet a tappin’.

Oh, wait. I didn’t see any costumes Thursday since Evanston doesn’t allow kids to trick-or-treat (except for a few hours in late afternoon).

So here’s the part of my column where I rant on and on about how great trick-or-treating is so great and it’s ridiculous that Evanston doesn’t allow it, right?

Negative! I grew up in this area and I have to say Halloween in the Chicago area is not all that great. If I had to rate it on a five-point scale of awesomeness, it would only get two golden monkey paws. To give you an idea of the scale, Christmas earns four calling birds.

One Halloween was particularly awful. That year, I decided to go as a priest. I seriously have no idea why. It’s such a stupid costume. Seriously, who the hell goes as a priest? And what if a priest saw me? Wouldn’t he be offended?

At least if you go as Frankenstein you can rest assured that any Frankenstein-like men who see you dressed like that will be flattered.

But years of Sunday school finally had got to me. I was 11.

So was the temperature. See that’s the thing about the end of October in Chicago, it’s really, really cold out. It’s so cold you can see your breath even in the dark.

So there I was, dressed as a priest, wearing a coat. It couldn’t get more humiliating — that is, until my Mom gave me the bag with which I was supposed to collect candy. Some people had special Halloween bags, some had plastic buckets that looked like jack-o’-lanterns, some had pillowcases.

I had a jewel bag.

That’s right, I got to go collect candy in a plastic jewel bag. Halfway through the night I reached in to get a piece of candy and realized my mom had left the receipt from shopping in there. She bought gushers? Where the heck was she hiding them?

Once we finally set out to go, I slowly began to realize that my block was one of the worst for getting candy. First of all, a bunch of our neighbors are Jehovah’s Witnesses who don’t believe in holidays. That got rid of literally five houses. And the candy wasn’t always the greatest. One lady gave us nickels every year. What the hell kind of gift is that? Can you eat a nickel? Is it made of chocolate? No. The only excitement we got was in comparing the mint dates.

A good 15 minutes into the trick-or-treating, it got dark. This was every year. So not only was I stumbling around in my jacket with my jewel bag, but I also kept tripping over things I couldn’t see or stepping on my priest robe and falling down.

With memories such as these, I think Evanston kids are better off not being able to trick-or-treat. But if some do show up at my door, I have the perfect treat for them: a whole bowl full of Gushers. Some of us don’t horde them, mother!

Dave Wiemer is a Weinberg senior. He can be reached at [email protected]