The Doctor Will See You Now:The Not-So-Unspoken Rules for Trick-or-Treating

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Last week was Halloween. The origin of Halloween is a matter of debate among scholars.

Some scholars believe that the holiday can be traced back to pagan religions over 2,000 years ago.  Others believe that Halloween has a more recent origin, and is a Christian holiday that arose in medieval times. For the purpose of this article, the origin is quite unimportant. What is important is that Halloween has evolved to the point that we now associate Halloween with costume parties, juvenile pranks, and children dressing up in costumes and going door to door for candy.

Notice I said CHILDREN going door to door for candy. As time has passed, it has become more and more commonplace to see infants, teenagers, and, sadly, adults dressing up to participate in trick or treat activities.  While I’ll admit that teenagers and infants constitute a gray area, and their participation in the festivities are somewhat understandable, I find the inclusion of adults to be quite distasteful. This year was the worst yet for adult offenders.
Trick or treating is supposed to be a time for children to dress up as their favorite make believe and fictional characters, and go door to door to receive a handful of goodies from their neighbors. It isn’t supposed to be the equivalent of the cheese lines of old. It isn’t a welfare program providing food for the needy. The problem has become such an issue in Dixie ( where I live ) that many homeowners have elected to stop providing goodies to would-be trick or treaters. Candy isn’t free, and folks just can’t afford to provide candy to adults who should have the means to buy it for themselves. 

There used to be an unspoken rule that anyone over 12 was prohibited from dressing up and participating in the festivities on Halloween. I think it’s high time we start enforcing that rule. Otherwise, more and more homeowners are going to elect to stop giving treats to the kids, and that’s a crying shame. I’d hate to see Halloween spoiled for the kids by a bunch of vagrant adults that should be handing out candy instead of trying to get a hand out. 
Furthermore, it’s time to ban infants as well. If they can’t walk on their own, they aren’t old enough to be eating candy anyway. I’m supposed to believe that the 3 month old in the skunk suit is eating their Snickers bar? Or, that they have a hankering for a Pixie stick? Do people pour the pixie dust in the infant’s bottle? Of course they aren’t eating the candy. It’s just another way for their parents to stock up. Dressing your infant up so they can trick or treat at homes of family members is one thing; taking them around the community to get free candy off kindhearted neighbors trying to do the right thing is something else entirely. It’s just another scam, plain and simple.
In summary, if this article offends you, that’s good. I get offended watching you take advantage of the generosity of your neighbors. If you want candy and you’re over 12, or you’re smoking while wearing your costume, or you have more hair on you rear than on your head, go buy your own candy. Furthermore, if your child isn’t able to walk, doesn’t have teeth, and can’t yet speak, nobody believes that the candy is for them. Everyone knows that you’re just attempting to get a handout under false pretence. That’s no different than stealing in my book.