The Lifespan of a Fly

Remembering How it Used to Be

My pumpkins are better

The faces of ghouls, witches, princesses and dragons leer at you. They clutch their candy tight to their chest and with whooping laughs run ahead to the next house to marvel at the decorations and pumpkins. All around you the sidewalks surged with kids (and teenagers) out practicing the art of Halloween.

But then, that was when I was a kid and living in Ontario. We would turn out the lights after 200 kids had depleted our stash and yet still the knocks would come. One year, my father (who has a deep opera-like voice and is irreversibly tone-deaf) recorded his own spooky tape. It worked… Kids were too frightened to come up to our house. Those were some of my favorite memories. Nobody did anything half-assed. If you only had one lame pumpkin, the kids and neighbours mocked you. My street was like The Avenue of the Dead.

And then I moved to Edmonton, where I consider it an excellent accomplishment to get over 30 kids at my door. Maybe it has to do with the size of the city, or with maybe the Mall only a few blocks away, but nobody trick-or-treats anymore. It makes me sad.

Halloween is a uniquely North American holiday, only falling behind Christmas when it comes to sales. So why have we let it go? Are we that big of wimps that walking around on a not-so-cold autumn night makes us reconsider? I can remember my mother making our costumes a few sizes too big, just so they fit over our snow suits.

All I’m asking is that we bring the true Halloween back. The one where youthful shouts fill the streets and all of the neighbours participate (except for that one jerk whose house always gets egged… you deserve it jerk).

Recall if you will your own Halloween memories. Isn’t it sad that a lot of our own children wont have memories like we did? Instead, they’ll have a memory of fluorescent lights and food courts.



2 Comments so far
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Well I definitely was not like most kids. I hated Halloween, and refused to dress up, until the day before and then I’d beg my mom to come up with some kind of costume on short notice. I can’t count how many years I went as Grimm Reaper since we seems to have an abundance of black sheets.

But you’re right. Even in High River, which is only home to some 25-or-so-thousand people, we rarely got more than 10 kids. Now its all about the adults and their slutty costumes. Don’t get me wrong, I was planning to be one of those sluts, but it turns out a weekend home watching horrors with my hubby sounds like a far better plan!

Comment by J

Having children of my own, I look forward to going out and enjoying the night with them. Walking a few steps behind the youngest one, now six, and seeing the excitement in her face as she has to perform a trick or tell a joke. We walked through out small neighborhood this year with the dimly light streets without many kids to compete for the coveted candy. Once we turn the corner to the next neighborhood, the streets with the sidewalks and bright lights, it was a whole new world.

I believe we had less than 15 kids showing up to our neighborhood while the one next to us had hundreds. Is it that times are changing and the thrill of walking down darker streets lost or is the adults fears of the new predators teaching the younger ones to fear what was once fun for us.

Comment by tripthroughmymind

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