It is Halloween, and night is fast approaching. That means that little monsters, ghouls, and anything you can think of will soon be roaming the streets for scares and candy. Whether you are walking or driving, please do so safely.
Here’s something scary, according to some official organization that tracks such things, but whose name I cannot recall, children are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year. I heard it on NPR, so you know it’s true.
It makes sense. First of all, there are a lot more kids roaming the streets after dark on Halloween night, but it is also a popular evening for parties and treats of the adult beverage variety. The two do not go well together.
As it is, we are going to take our trick-or-treating to a local mall where merchants pass out candy and the kids can have fun in a safe, albeit less traditional environment. This follows our experience last year in which a very well-decorated neighborhood—a neighborhood so popular with trick-or-treating enthusiasts that there are police officers stationed on the corner and the houses are covered in interactive creepiness, found our boys in tears and me one second from sudden death or jail.
The night had quickly transitioned from fun for families to a world of teenage fantasy and hormone-induced abandonment, and we could not get to our car fast enough.
To be clear, I do not have issue with teens in general, nor do I believe that the majority of those on the street that night were looking for trouble, but there were enough rotten apples in the group that it ruined the bunch. When we found ourselves unable to drive down the street due to a mob mentality stemming from hundreds of 15-year-olds high on puberty, cheap booze, and sugar, we knew that the trouble had found us.
A small group of older kids started banging on our car windows demanding candy, then they shook our vehicle by climbing all over it. One boy pressed his face against the glass that separated him from my then 8-year-old son, and he used the language of stereotyped sailors to make threats of pending violence. My son was terrified. I was as mad as I have ever been, and I had every intention of jumping out of the car to address the situation. My wife, quick on her feet, or in this case, quick with her foot, pressed the gas pedal which locked my door and trapped me inside. She probably saved my life, or at least my record.
We drove away, two of us mad and shaking, two of us crying and swearing that they never wanted to trick-or-treat again.
That was a year ago, and the lure of candy has since changed their minds with respect to trick-or-treating, but the scar is still there. Hence, the mall.
I doubt what happened to us will happen to you. It probably wouldn’t even happen to us again should we return to that festive neighborhood, but the children have spoken and this is their night. I need a new pair of jeans anyway.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).
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