to all of you who took your kids out last night for halloween, i salute you. you’re my kind of americans.
for all the rest of you parents, who stayed home, cowering in your living rooms, teaching your kids how to be afraid, instead of showing them the resolve and courage that your parents should have taught you, rather than face the chilling spectre of your own well-lit neighborhood by twilight: you are all a bunch of pussies.
as for me, i stayed home to give out candy, since i have no kids. my neighborhood, though, is full of the little beggars, or it was last year. there were so many of them that i ran out of candy early and had to turn off the lights and hide from some of the later trick-or-treaters. not this year. this year, i had three.
exactly three. all of them under 6, and all accompanied by one adult. i have so much candy left over i don’t know what to do with it all. three. that’s two more than my nearest neighbor (the ones that i talk to and borrow powertools from) had. but they have kids of their own, so their candy won’t go to waste.
maybe i’ll pack up all my leftovers and send them in a nice care package to the FBI and CIA headquarters in DC. with a big note attached thanking them for issuing a warning to the public saying basically “something might or might not happen, and we don’t know when”, issuing a license to be paranoid, just days before halloween. perfect for that “return to normalcy” we’ve been working on. maybe i’ll tell them i’m a bioterrorist – i have the flu and i licked one of the Smarties. see if you can figure out which one.
sure, heighten security at airports, irradiate the mail, tap all the phones you want, but don’t fuck with halloween. the effect is as if they issued a warning of tainted turkeys the day before thanksgiving: nobody was out and about, not in my neighborhood anyway, and i’ll venture to say all over the country, last night. they were all too scared.
too scared to walk around their own neighborhoods, talking to and taking gifts and handouts from people they talk to and see every day – or should, if they live in a civilized society. to them, i want to say, these are your neighbors people, what are you afraid of? that somehow there’s anthrax in the snickers bars? smallpox in the bite-sized butterfingers? i’ve been liberally sampling my own candy purchases – you know, just to be on the safe side – and i think they’re all okay. hell, they were probably packaged some time last spring, for all i know.
or are you all afraid that some jihad-crazed madman is going to go driving down your street, every street in every suburb in america, raining bullets upon the unsuspecting pretend zombies and make-believe superheroes?
the only people i would be afraid of in my neighborhood are the jehova’s witnesses, whose church (or temple, or whatever) is just down the street. they’re out every so often, denouncing the public display of such blasphemous icons as jack-o-lanterns and all things halloween, as well as anything remotely pagan or commercial on christmas and easter as well. these are the religious zealouts i fear most.
i guess my question is this: how cowed have we become since September, to be afraid to go out of our own homes? sure we got kicked in the balls, and it hurt. a lot. but our pants were down around our ankles then. the planes are flying again, the World Series is sold out. we’re still americans, after all, and we still have Roosevelt’s Big Stick on our shoulder. though we’re getting a little slow on the uptake, we can still swing that bastard.
i hope that’s not too many mixed metaphors to get my point across. i’m done now. you can go back to pinning on your ribbons and waving your american flags now from the comfort of your personal fallout shelter. don’t forget to change the filters on your gas masks.