Saturday night is Halloween and I bought all the candy yesterday. Each year I go through a small debate with myself about whether I should get candy that we DON’T like in case we are stuck with it or candy that we LIKE in case we are stuck with it. (This year I opted for candy that we like, which is actually fairly safe because we don’t really care to eat much candy anyway.) We have hired Martha Stewart to decorate the outside of our house – NOT. Mrs. Working Stiff did arrange some spooky decorations though, just for fun!
If weather permits on Saturday I’ll go up to the top shelf in the garage and get down the several fog machines that I bought on sale a few years ago. We set them up to spread their spooky fog around the front of the house starting a little before trick or treat time. I also have a few motion-activated strobe lights complete with thunderstorm sound effects to add to the sinister atmosphere. I like to set up an iPod and speaker to play a long loop of the creepy piano theme from John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978).
We’ll also scatter a few severed body parts around the area (not real – just rubber). A few times over the years I’ve been concerned that we could actually scare the younger kids too much but they always amaze me with what they can just take in stride. I guess with what they see all the time on TV a few bloody body parts scattered around our front garden is nothing worth a second look!
When I was a kid growing up in suburban New Jersey, my brother and sister and I would get out into the neighborhood soliciting candy hand-outs as early as we could get it together and stay out for hours. If we found a house that gave out really good loot, such as a full-sized candy bar, we would routinely make some slight alteration to our costume and hit them again! Of course back in those days it was still normal for kids to go out for hours in the dark and the parents were probably just glad to have some peace and quiet. Now I note that even in our very safe neighborhood it is common for the parents to come with the kids on their candy-extortion journey. Oh well, it is a different world today, that is true.
A few Halloween fun facts – as of last October anyway:
- Americans will spend about $350 million dollars on Halloween costumes..… for their pets.
- Halloween candy sales have been about $2 billion for the past several years.
- We will spend about $2 billion on decorations. Hey! Keep your hands off my fog machines!
- And at least $2.5 billion on costumes (for people).
The Working Stiff