Dorothy Harris

Is Halloween over yet?

I should say Happy Halloween, but I'm not really into filling my yard with plasticized decaying zombies or otherwise celebrating this holiday, which has morphed into a several week long opportunity to collect free sweets. Trying to figure out what night I'm supposed to hand out candy is tough due to our disinterest in the whole thing. As trailers, trucks and caravans of begging children paraded down my street in New York City gridlock fashion, I found myself once again praying tipsy parents would keep their itty bitty youngsters out of the darkened roadway. For reasons I have yet to understand, year after year we are greeted by koozie-carrying parents who loll on by as their kiddies run up and grab as much candy as their greedy hands can carry. I simply adored the little boy last year who sassed me about only giving him two mini candy bars. He was a real cutie in his demon costume with a mouth like a sailor already at such a young age. His parents were proud, I'll give them that. It astounds me how people load up trailers, golf carts and ATVs to go beg for candy. Don't get me wrong, I adore sugar. I rarely will turn down a sweet and if I do, it's because I've got plans for something even better later on. Candy and I have a love affair decades long. My sister and I used to have dessert after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know this should be embarrassing to admit, but there it is. Candy is super, but is it worth all this?
People come for hours, in a never-ending stream, disembarking 15 or 20 kids at a time, completely eclipsing diehards who walk the neighborhood, begging the old fashioned, and in my opinion, honorable way. If you're going to bring a posse of people into someone else's neighborhood to get a few bucks worth of candy, please start at the other end because I can't budget that much free fructose. I complain about this each year, but after visiting a friend who lives in Golf Hammock, I realized it was way worse over there. When we spent Halloween with them, we were astounded to see trucks with trailers parking along Hammock Road, off-loading various vehicles. Apparently we take costumed candy begging very seriously in these parts. Throughout the evening an endless stream of angels, goblins and ghoulish zombies made their way across the perfectly manicured lawns. As was the case in our neighborhood, most of these kids didn't live there, but had been transported into the community to take advantage of safer conditions. This scares me way more than any fake blood, rubber masked, eyeball protruding parent chaperone. There are so many children running around in the dark while vehicles continue up and down the streets. Over the years, we have witnessed kids falling out of trailers, tripping over costumes and hanging by their capes, gowns or other apparel off the back of a golf cart while the parent or teen supervising remains completely oblivious. My personal favorite was the trailer that drove by at a good clip with a complete load of kids and burning tiki torches. As the flags and banners decorating the trailer whipped in the wind, the torches began singeing them. I may be a fuddy duddy, but this seemed unsafe. With so many ongoing events throughout the month, I can't help but wonder if it's time to end door-to-door begging and just enjoy the abundant organized festivities?