Monday, November 02, 2015

Remind Me Of This On October 1st, 2016

The Halloween season has once again come and gone, although this time without me watching a metric ton of cheesy horror movies (my wife has suggested I watch them on November 8th, in honor of the astrological Samhain instead of the fixed calendar date). I did take my son trick-or-treating, though, because he's nine and I'm his dad. We had a fun time, but I did come away from it feeling like there's a fundamental lack of organization to the whole thing.

Because not everybody participates--which is fine. Nobody is morally obligated to give out candy to complete strangers on Halloween even if they are adorable and bedecked in hilariously cute costumes. (My child was a robot.) But it's very difficult sometimes to tell who's giving out candy and who is out at parties/working on Halloween (the poor bastards)/just misanthropic and hiding in the basement. Ideally, people who are handing out candy should have a porch light on, but lights burn out and some people have those automatic lights to discourage burglars and some parents want to start trick or treating before the sun has completely set because they have small children in black costumes and don't want to worry about cars and generally the whole system is a complete mess.

So here's my idea. Next year, we make up signs that you can print out and put on your doorstep, saying "Trick or Treaters Welcome!" or something more cutesy and Halloween-pun-themed. We print out a stack of them and hand them out around the neighborhood, saying, "Here! You can use this to help let people know when you're ready to hand out treats!" Then, on October 31st, we go to the houses that have the signs, and we skip the houses that don't. Am I crazy, or is this just the best idea ever?

I know. It's not an "either/or" situation. But still.

1 comment:

Eric TF Bat said...

Already solved this problem for you, and it works: Operation: Orange Balloons.

Ideas like leaving porch lights on, leaving front gates open, putting up signs to say "don't come here, we hate Halloween" and so on have flaws that OOB doesn't. False negatives (lights that blow out, gates that blow shut, houses that don't have lights or gates) and false positives (signs that fall over, lights and gates that are left on/open for other reasons) make those suggestions untenable. But when you have to put up something as distinctive as a bright orange balloon in order to indicate willingness to participate, that's pretty distinctive.

In Australia, we don't usually do Halloween, but for the last three years we've run the OOB in my home town with reasonable success.