Over Easy: Halloween, it’s a treat

For the Valley News
Published: 10/29/2022 12:02:03 AM
Modified: 10/29/2022 12:01:48 AM

Halloween is right around the corner, a dark corner. A treacherously dark corner. There is someone or something at the dark corner ready to jump out at you. Did I mention it was dark?

It might be a creepy clown or a political activist who wants your phone number to send you 9,000 texts about voting before Nov. 8, even if you explain you’re just 8 years old. These texts will go on for another 70 years. Maybe longer.

So be careful out there! I’m staying home and passing out sugar-free, gluten-free, fairly traded, environmentally sensitive, made-in the USA, healthy, mostly flavorless alternative snacks made of ingredients we have plenty of — like seaweed. Or, if that gets too complicated, Snickers.

I’ll be dressing up once again as Valley News columnist Dan Mackie, which is kind of subtle, but appropriate, since that’s pretty much who I am. Kids love newspapers and wish their parents would stop foisting phones, computers and tablets on them. You can’t even imagine how many are letting their video game consoles get dusty as they read my column and other things in the paper aloud to each other. Kids nowadays!

Other than my costume, I’ve never been a big Halloween guy as an adult. I gave up trick or treating several years after homeowners started saying, “Aren’t you getting a little old for this?” As if you’re ever too old for free candy. I guess since I was driving my own car from house to house they had a point.

Anyway, trick or treat seems like a shady proposition. If we refuse treats, packs of children will play tricks on us and our property. For all I know, a little kid dressed as Elsa from Frozen could cut my catalytic converter. How is this not a protection racket?

But it’s all in good fun, allegedly. In the spirit of Halloween, here are some costume ideas for kids that will really rattle adults, the people with the goods:

■Oil delivery person. Borrow some sort of tanker truck, paint Jimmy’s Oil Co. on it and drag a long heavy hose to each house when you trick or treat. After you get your candy, present them a “trick” bill of $1,000 for 200 gallons of heating oil.

■Adapt a cubicle into a costume and be your own mobile call center. You can offer extended car warranties for a double helping of Kit-Kat bars.

■Dress up like a grownup and present yourself as a consultant working for the town assessor’s office. Just say, “Trick or treat ... or I’m going to have to take a look at that deck out back that I’m not sure you ever got a building permit for.”

■Lots of kids could dress as President Joe Biden in aviator glasses. Choose which homes to visit wisely.

■It’s always popular among history students to dress up as your favorite vice president. I suggested this some time ago, and we got hit with swarms of little vice presidents, which shows the power of the press. Where did they get all those Dick Cheney costumes?

■Be a Kid Medicare Adviser. You’ll get extra treats if you carry a Medicare booklet and laptop that you’ll use to help seniors choose the right Medicare plan for them. This is about as hard as Organic Chemistry, so hit the books before Halloween.

■Someone should dress up as the political operative who writes scary copy for the anti-Democrat ads on TV and online. They are from the Anonymous Dark Money Billionaires and People from Other States Who According to the Supreme Court Deserve to Have a Say in New Hampshire Politics. I may have that PAC name a little bit wrong, but the small print flies right by in the ads. Anyway, they’ve been hammering away at the idea that Sen. Maggie Hassan is personally responsible for inflation and illegal immigration. Well, everybody knows that, but it’s not like she’s a Yankees fan. (Just kidding. Kind of. Hint: Don’t wear a Yankees uniform to my door, kids.)

■My last idea may be the hardest to pull off. Gather 400 of your little friends and go out as the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Yes, it takes that many adults to produce the quality of legislation that, um, we all have come to know and love. Now the hard part — find a gavel; you’ll be surprised how many households don’t have one. Someone can use it to knock on doors. And don’t believe the adults who claim they’ve run out of candy.

Remember, kids, you should be getting around 10% more for your efforts this year. Otherwise, it’s time to open your bag of tricks.

Dan Mackie lives in West Lebanon. He can be reached at dan.mackie@yahoo.com.

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