one of the better perks of being a kid. I feel like we've mentioned
that before, but I just wanted to make sure. When you were a kid,
you loved to dress up in costumes, and nobody thought anything about
it, even if it wasn't Halloween at the time. One night a year,
people would actually reward your love of playing dress-up with
candy, one of the great joys of childhood. Sure, it was kind of like
a job, the way you had to go door-to-door collecting the stuff, but
it's never too early to start thinking about a career. No, nothing
really bad can be said about trick-or-treating (razorblade in the
apple = myth). The only real cloud in the sky when in comes to
trick-or-treating is the all too familiar sight of the house with
no lights on.
As you're making your
way down the block, filling one bag after another with sugary
treats, your chaperone for the night would stop you from running up
to a dark house and explain that those people weren't participating
in the trick-or-treat phenomenon. Inconceivable, you would remark to
yourself. An adult that wouldn't want to give you candy? How could
so lowly a creature even exist in this blissful life of yours, where
your candy desires are met by an endless array of strangers so long
as you had the stones to threaten them for it. The idea of someone
not wanting to fork over the goods is so galling that you might lose
your appetite for candy just thinking about it, so you move on to
the next house without giving it another thought. Well nostalgia's a
funny thing, and now, I find myself wondering why it was that those
people wouldn't cave into peer pressure. Off on vacation, perhaps?
Bah, who takes a vacation at the end of October? Were they already
asleep? Bah, I saw their lights on that very hour the day before.
I've got a few ideas as to what might be the cause of their
When I was young enough to really enjoy trick-or-treating, I never
thought much about what could be going on in a house on Halloween,
but as an adult, the answer is all too clear: sex. Obviously,
you can have sex anytime you want, day or night, and you don't even
have to have a partner, so what's so special about Halloween night
that fires up the people in your neighborhood? You need look no
farther than your look Halloween costume emporium. Therein, consider
the costume choices for women: nurse, witch, devil, waitress at the
Playboy mansion, and so on. All of them designed to help put a
little more jack in your lantern. Even that Edith Bunker costume
looks pretty darn hot, so who can blame couples who want to couple
when the chance to dress up arises? I can. Quit pawing each other
and hand over the goods. On second thought, just leave a bowlful
with a "please take one" sign. Kids are known for their discipline.
Of course, it's not hard to imagine who don't have the sheer
strength of will held by your average young'un. When one prepares to
receive an army of trick-or-treaters, you'll typically want to place
your candy offerings in sort of container so that you can quickly
dole out an equal amount of candy for each trick-or-treater in each
group and shoo them away (or you could just buy a mixed bag of
candy, cut out the middle man). It's tempting, though, that bowl of
candy. When you were a kid, you'd see that bowl and know that you'd
only be getting one, maybe two, pieces of candy from that whole
bowl. Now that you're older, though, you have money, and you can buy
candy whenever you want. Kids these days are spoiled, anyway. They
won't starve if you just keep this one bowl of candy for yourself.
But what will you do if they come to your door expecting the candy
that you've now decided to hold onto for yourself? That, my friends,
is the origin of the second group of darkened houses.
As a kid, it makes sense that someone with a lot of candy wouldn't
naturally be inclined to share it. It certainly makes more sense
than the idea of two people getting it on. Guys kissing girls (and
in some cases, other guys)? Gross! It's not all fun and games,
though. Granted, having your lights out is a good way to hide your
lascivious and gluttonous behaviors, but sometimes, it needs to be
dark for when you need to do a little wetwork. You know all those
horror movies about people getting killed on Halloween? Those movies
didn't form in a vacuum, people. Statistically, 1 out of every 3
people in America is killed every fifteen minutes (luckily, those
figures are offset by our enormous birthrate), and on Halloween,
those figures triple. Keep that in mind the next time you see a
house with no lights on. You might see a couple people getting
murdered as you're walking down the street, but at least those
murders have the common decency to do their work in public, and not
hidden away in some basement/abattoir.
With that thought in your head, you're bound to be a little scared
as you make the rounds on Halloween. That's good, believe it or not.
Halloween is all about scaring and being scared. And hey, you know
what else is scary: Haunted houses. Maybe those people in the
dark houses aren't hoarding, or hanging, or humping. Maybe they're
just making a little diabetic-friendly Halloween fun by setting up a
haunted house inside their home. For a good haunted house, you need
to have things dark. A bright haunted house might be unique, but it
just doesn't compare to a dark one. All you'd really be able to do
in that scenario is excuse yourself to your friends by explaining
that you saw it in some Japanese horror movie. Something with some
creepy disheveled kid, and a lot of groaning in the background.
That's scary, right? I should point out, however, that when a house
is all dark on Halloween, it could be that the house actually is
haunted. It's kind of a bummer, really: You go to church your whole
life, hearing about how good people go to heaven and bad people go
to hell, and then you die and wind up spending the rest of eternity
wearing period clothing and making the floorboards creak. Fuckin'
To my younger readers, you must be wondering how I came up with
these explanations of what goes on in those dark houses on
Halloween. I can assure you that it wasn't through any vast amount
of research. When your parents told you, "you'll understand when
you're older," this is really what they meant. Answers to
questions you may have had as a kid will reveal themselves to you
with age, especially answers that involve the mating dance. That,
however, is another rant entirely. For now, remember what you've
read here on Halloween, while the rest of the kids out there are
casually dismissing unlit houses as being just houses that won't
give them candy. And don't be afraid to tell other trick-or-treaters
what could be going on behind the scenes. Their parents may object,
but better their kids find out from you than run the risk of
encountering a fat, horny, blood-thirsty ghost.
If you enjoyed this
piece, be sure to check out:
Easter Candy vs. Halloween Candy!
Vampires, Vampires, Vampires!
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