At some point Halloween went from real pumpkins, elegantly toilet-papered trees and hellishly funny Halloween films to plastic "fun-kins," polite, chaperoned gatherings and bad Tim Burton movie reruns on the tube. Although I can't identify exactly when the caramel apple fell off the stick, Halloween has become the soon-forgotten candy corn squat you take between Labor Day and Christmas.
Here are five reasons why Halloween sucks right now, no razor blades added.
5. Creative costumes turned into Whore-o-Ween.
No kids wear homemade Halloween costumes anymore, which pulls a huge chunk of enterprising spirit out of the holiday -- but even worse, the store-bought costume industry is turning tykes into Vegas strip-club performers. Now adults are following suit, using Halloween to bust out of boring attire one day each year (those fishnets aren't going to wear themselves). Showing off your jingle-doobers is perfectly fine if you are of legal age and you don't mix slutty and Disney-kid-stuff in any way. But can we all agree that so long as poor Olaf the talking snowman from Frozen is a sexy costume, then Halloween has taken a turn for the worse?
The blatantly over-sexualized children's costumes coupled with the child pedo (strike) themed adult costumes are rotten to the core.
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4. Halloween lost the tricky part. Relevant Halloween traditions went toilet-flushy-bye sometime after I reached the socially legal trick-or-treating age. It used to be fun as hell to turn your garage into a makeshift haunted house for the neighbor kids and send dad out in coveralls with a fake chainsaw to hide in the shrubs and scare the 'nads off all the shameless candy beggars. Today all the carousing has gone away for fear of litigation, loss of rental deposits and possibly just laziness. It's less effort to download Halloween apps on to the kiddies' iPhones than to teach them how to plant fake insects or bob for apples -- and this makes Halloween so boring it might as well be Tuesday night at Applebee's.
Still, it's possible to can commit a few pranks on Halloween night without serious injury or property damage. Do a polite ring-and-run, give out cans of potted meat instead of candy, maybe even toilet paper your own house and blame someone else for it.
3. Where have all the homemade treats gone? It's really too bad you aren't allowed to give out homemade treats on Halloween; every year, you have to wrestle with whether to save cash by giving out cheap candy or be the cool house with the fun-size Butterfingers. Fresh-baked cookies, rice Krispies treats and popcorn balls would be a welcome change and a genuine money-saver -- if you don't subscribe to the theory that fucknuckles out there are determined to bake razor blades into brownies.
Face facts, though: No Halloween pervert is going to attack kids' innocence these days, because public schools already killed it.
For more reasons why Halloween sucks, read on
2. Trick-or-treating isn't even fun anymore. People are so paranoid these days that old-fashioned, door-to-door trick-or-treating has been effectively replaced by zoo-boo, mall-walking and the bane of the Halloween holiday: trunk-or-treating. Instead of enjoyable neighborhood candy-soliciting, the kiddos can go to a parking lot to collect a few handfuls of raisin boxes, toothbrushes and gluten-free caramels from car trunks and then stick around for four more hours while trying to get their gossipy, pumpkin spice latte-fueled parents' attention. Staking out rich people's houses, predicting candy offerings by lawn-care techniques and practicing social skills by actually talking to people you don't already know are some of the things that made Halloween great.
Trunk-or-treat sounds more like a threat than a good time, and substituting this for the traditional dress-rehearsal-for-life, outside trick-or-treating sadly reinforces the community-killing theory that kids aren't safe leaving their porches.
1. Santa Claus killed the Great Pumpkin. The biggest reason why Halloween sucks now is because Christmas has become the only holiday that matters. Every year Christmas music, decorations and aggressive marketing campaigns come on earlier, and Halloween keeps getting pushed out to make room. Pretty soon stores will just start selling light-up Santa lawn figures holding pumpkins to save time, and poor Thanksgiving will officially be renamed "Black Friday Eve with Chance of Turkey Supper."
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Halloween traditions are fun, and it's sad that a night of costumes, bad Thriller dancing, free candy, watching The Nightmare Before Christmas and accidentally stepping on little plastic spider rings is being bled dry by Santa. Soon the scariest thing about Halloween will be the old-timey ghost stories of what it was like to celebrate it back in the day, when the Great Pumpkin landed on October 31.