Having drawn the short straw for what must be the nineteenth successive year, I was out on the streets last evening with other similarly unfortunate parents supervising the guising (this being the Scottish version of ‘trick or treat’).
I feel like I’ve complained enough about the ruthless commercialism that has destroyed the magic of our traditional events, but yesterday I observed yet another worrying angle.
Back in the ‘olden days’, as my kids call it, Halloween was a time for spook knocking. You crept about in the dark, hammered on likely looking front doors, and ran like hell. The ideal outcome was that you were chased and yelled at, but safely evaded the size-twelves of the irate householder.
Such high jinks used up considerable energy, and depleted one’s stores of adrenalin to the point of exhaustion. There was always a good night’s sleep on Halloween.
Contrast this to 2013, when some families cruise the neighbourhood in their 4X4s, in search of illuminated pumpkins. The said plastic veg identified, diminutive witches and warlocks disembark, waddle munching to doorways, and demand their plastic buckets are replenished with chocolates.
The calorific profit and loss account bears little comparison. Nowadays the kids come home from Halloween and bounce off the walls for another couple of hours. The only upside is that I have eaten three small Cadbury’s Fudge bars and a Freddo while I’ve been writing this post.