7 Reasons That Staying in for Halloween was Disappointing
We never stay in on Halloween and this year we were due to go out for a meal and to see a film. But my wife decided at the last-minute that she didn’t want to go out; she wanted to stay in and watch Downton Abbey. So, we braced ourselves for the inevitable throng of trick-or-treaters and settled in for the night. But none came. And, though by any normal measure, I should be pleased about that. It was disappointing. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Ouch. Evening came and it became dark. We had decided on the timeless strategy of pretending-to-be-out, so we didn’t put the lights on. And, after several minutes of darkness, I fell over the cat in the hallway. This clearly wasn’t going to work, so we had to limp to the shops.
2. Money. In order to stay in – in our own home – we spent £4 on sweets. To give to the children that would surely be round coming round in droves demanding them. Because trick-or-treating isn’t nice. It’s an old-fashioned mafia style shakedown. But unlike the mafia, they often come round with their parents, so you can’t tell them to sod off. Because that would make them cry (the children that is, the parents probably have their own reasons for crying). So we spent money on sweets for them so that we didn’t have to sit in the dark and pretend to be out. But they didn’t come. And that’s £4 wasted. We could have bought over twenty-four litres of sparkling mineral water for that. Or two-thirds of a sandwich at a petrol station.
3. Money. But then I realised that it isn’t just £4 that we’ve wasted. Because we go out every year to avoid the inevitable plague of trick-or-treaters. But this is expensive and, over the years, we must have spent many hundreds of pounds avoiding trick-or-treaters. Obviously we’ve had lots of fun, consumed many nice meals and enjoyable beers, and seen many good films; but that isn’t the point. We were there for Halloween avoidance. What if the children haven’t come every year? We’ve spent all that money needlessly, and had all that pointless fun. For nothing.
4. Argument. We’ve never argued on Halloween before, but this time we did. We argued about who would go out and give sweets to the trick-or-treaters when they came to the door. “It’s Halloween”, my wife said, “you could go out there and scare the children with your mask”.
“Yes, but you could go out there and scare them with your dressing gown”, I replied. And I seem to have won the argument, because she didn’t argue with me further or, in fact, say anything much at all after that. But the argument was moot, because of the absence of trick-or-treaters.
5. Sweets. Because no children came to our house, we now have a huge bowl of sweets and no children to give it to. This means that we’ll have to eat them. But we’re grown-ups, and when grown-ups eat sweets they don’t run around in a sugar-frenzy, they sit still. And get fat. And we don’t want to become hideously fat. We want the neighbour’s children to become hideously fat. And then they won’t run around playing football in the alley behind our house. Our plan’s in tatters.
6. Rejection. As we’re usually out for Halloween, we have no idea of how it works. We sat waiting for trick-or-treaters until gone midnight. But surely they’ll come, we thought. Where are they? We felt unloved and rejected. We checked our armpits and speculated on why no children had come. And then, the only possible explanation occurred to us.
7. Spooky. I don’t believe in the supernatural or the sort of strange phenomena that is celebrated on Halloween because frankly, it’s a big load of guff. But I’m quite happy being a sneering sceptic; in fact, I’m quite well suited to it. But the non-arrival of the children was a genuinely spooky event. Because the last time we’d been in on Halloween – six years ago – we’d forgotten about it, didn’t have any sweets in the house, and had resorted to giving the children fruit and telling them that it was much better for them. And somehow, despite six years having elapsed and despite many children having come and gone from our street, the children somehow knew that we were the house of the fruit and they avoided us. The children knew. Creepy.