Let’s Put the “Hal” Back In Halloween

According to the United Nations,  the world’s population hit 7 billion people this week.  When you look further into the details of that statistic, you’ll see that of the 7 billion, about 1.6 billion are children under the age of ten. Of those, about 28 million are in the U.S., most of them living in Park Slope.  Or so it would seem, if you had been in my office on  Halloween.  Sometime in the last ten years or so, “trick or treating” has changed from a cute, Norman Rockwell-like enterprise where children would ring  bells of the local brownstones to a mass invasion of the businesses on the main drag of the neighborhood.  Halloween has now become Big Business.  

Of course, once the deluge began, I left the office to go hide under my bed for a few hours until the storm passed.  Zil, De and Luap took shifts manning the office.   A few weeks back we had bought a bunch of large bags of candy at Costco.  The timing on this was a huge mistake; in the weeks leading up to the holiday, Zil, Giarc and I went through most of it.  I kept replacing the candy with other bags from Key Food but it proved nearly impossible to maintain our inventory.  It was like trying to fill a sieve.   Amazingly, although it was we three who ate all that junk, it was De who put on weight.  It’s surprising how that can happen. 

Our ad hoc committee at Garfield Realty was no match for the hordes of  “trick or treaters” who showed up and we were out of  candy within an hour or so.  Despite their best efforts, none had the guts, determination and high standards that had been the hallmark of our iconic Halloween gatekeeper, Christine.  Christine was our Candy Nazi; treats were dispensed only if the recipients of her bounty were in costume, well-behaved and polite.  And that was just for starters.  Sadly, Christine is no longer at Garfield Realty.  She’s moved on to greener pastures–literally.  She now works as a dairy maid somewhere in New Jersey.

I think that next year I’m going to try to figure out a way to not be such a Grinch and embrace this new world order.   Somehow turn the holiday into one I look forward to.  Maybe stick around the office and enjoy the revelry, crowds and chaos.  Get a mask or a costume or something.  I’ll let you know how the lobotomy works out.      

A Free Plug


Commercialization of a holiday.....or ART?


One Response to “Let’s Put the “Hal” Back In Halloween”

  1. Mike McPartland Says:

    I’m reading this blog late (1/1/12), but it reminds me of my thoughts this past Halloween. One of them was that we poor kids from Sunset Park used to go trick&treating in the buildings of the better-off people on Shore Road in Bay Ridge. And we used to do the same kind of thing on Thanksgiving, ringing bells and asking “Anything for Thanksgiving?” Today, I own an apartment in one of those buildings!

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