Courier-Post, Cherry Hill, N.J.
Halloween isn't what it used to be – ironically because people are too scared. It used to be that, when you knocked on a door and yelled trick or treat, your parents told you to watch for goblins and witches, that kind of junk. Now kids are have to wonder whether the guy who answers the door has an anthrax lab and a collection of child pornography of such mammoth proportions that it's the subject of a bidding war between the Library of Congress and Calvin Klein's ad agency.
Still, you can find lots of ways to have fun at Halloween. Visit friends. Create a spooky tableau on your front yard. Take grandpa to the rich neighborhoods and help him trick-or-treat for overpriced prescription pills. Or try any of these wacky activities:
Here are some great ways to dress up for Halloween.
Put on a wig, too much lipstick and a sign that says, “I'm your ex-wife.” Go to apartment complexes with a large number of single-occupancy flats. Knock on doors and collect child-support.
Dress up as a video game character. Wear extremely colorful clothing. Move very quickly. Turn your head with sudden jerks. Drive a pick-up truck over people's lawns.
Show up at a stranger's house with a photograph of yourself in which you look just a shade better than you do in person. Display intimate knowledge of whoever answers the door, even though you have never met them. Introduce yourself as their Internet date.
Dress as the cable station TNT. No matter what house you visit at any point in the evening, have an episode playing of Law and Order. When a resident opens the door, instead of saying “Trick or treat,” say, “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate but equally important groups – the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.” Have one of your little friends make that gavel sound.
With the election season upon us, why not dress as a politician? Just wear a suit and tie and follow behind the other children. Whenever someone gives them candy, take credit for it. How adorable you'll be!
Didn't get candy at one of those houses? You can't let that pass. Otherwise, people at other houses will think you're weak. They'll stop giving candy. Then they'll say, “You know what? You have no hold over me anymore,” and they'll up and move away.
So you must retaliate using one of these proven methods that will frighten any homeowner:
Break into your school late at night and surreptitiously hire a social studies teacher and an assistant superintendent. The people who wouldn't give you candy will have their property taxes go up 6 points.
Stand in front of the house all night yelling, “Where's my candy bar, you moron?!”
Wait until you're 18. Vote for Ralph Nader.
A scary story to tell:
Three little boys decided to spend the night in the ooooold haunted mansion – Tommy, Johnny and Davy. Outside, dogs howled and fog shrouded the moon. Inside, the boys jumped at every shadow. “Some fun, heh guys?” Johnny laughed nervously, trying to seem brave. “It's not like anything really bad will happen to us.”
But how wrong he was. For, you see, 30 years later, Johnny found himself in a career he didn't especially like and his company's health plan had dropped its dental coverage.
At just that moment, Tommy was having his 40th birthday and his wife was annoyed that he couldn't be less of a baby about it. Meanwhile, Davy had a new job in Chicago. The job was OK. He just didn't know many people in town yet.
And that was the curse of the ooooold haunted mansion.