Halloween Must Be Saved!

That sounds like the name of an Ernest movie.

As you know, 2020 has been a nightmare. Starting in February, most major events were canceled, while those that were actually pulled off were done virtually–just not the same.

And now that we are heading into fall, the most sacred of nights for kids all year long–second only to Christmas Eve–Halloween is being threatened.

How ironic is it that those who downplay the seriousness of coronavirus and mock people who wear masks are determined to make Halloween happen, so their kids can go out in masks?

While my childhood Halloween memories are foggy, I do remember mom or dad escorting me around the neighborhood with my $2.99 costume with the hard plastic mask that made it so hard to breathe. But if struggling for air for an hour resulted in a bag of candy, so be it. Remember, this goes back to the days of pre-snack size bars, when if you got a candy bar, you got a real candy bar. Of course, there were those jerks who handed out raisins or apples out of concern for our health, but a couple of whack jobs sticking pins into those soon made them go away.

The tragedy of Halloween is realizing that you’re growing up. By the time your parents feel good enough about you going out by yourself, you only get a couple of years in before adults start giving you dirty looks, as if, “How dare you take candy meant for cute little kids!” Kids can be like cats or dogs. Cute as kittens and puppies, but once they grow up, some people are just done with them.

As to whether to allow kids to go out and solicit for candy on Halloween this year, I’m mixed. I believe they can be socially distant, just like some adults and come on, the whole thing happens outdoors!  Going door to door should be fine. But then, when they cluster on your porch, all excited and you have lean into that germ-riddled air to give them their rewards, that’s when it gets dicey.

I saw a brilliant idea this week on Facebook, the Candy Chute! (those from northern states prefer to call it the Candy Luge)  Either way, you get a long tube, suspend it so it can deliver your candy and then instruct each trick or treater as they approach to hold their bag at the end of that tube. Just drop in their candy and everybody wins!

Other considerations would be a Candy Cannon, leaving out a bowl of whatever you didn’t eat of that giant bag you buy, or in the more well-to-do neighborhoods, suggest that kids each “Trick or Drone.”

So, let’s put on the thinking caps and figure out something, anything, so that we can keep this annual fall tradition alive. Halloween must be saved!

Thousands of dentists across this great land are counting on it!

Tim Hunter (OK, “Haunter”)