I remember the last time that Halloween counted as a 'holiday' for me. I was 10, I think. My mom made me a kick-ass E.T. costume. And I came back with what was at that point in my life, the best candy haul EVER. Forget the fact that, even at age ten, I was pretty tall and my legs were way too long to fit into squat little E.T.'s body shape. Hell, I was probably walking around the neighborhood looking like Pam Anderson must have looked when she got off that boat with Tommy Lee. Like I had the rickets.
But just looking down into that plastic jack-o'-lantern full of delicious, chocolate-covered madness gave me a boner before I knew what boners were meant for. Snicker's bars, Bit-O'-Honeys, and Butterfingers. Nerds, caramels, and Sweet Tarts. That unbelievably cool woman who had handed out Fun-Dip packets was a rockstar; the douchebag who handed out toothbrushes could kiss my pucker.
As always, my wonderfully responsible parents checked my candy out first. And my mommy found it - it was one of those peanut butter taffy's. You know, the no-brand-name ones that came in either black or orange, non-descript wax wrapping, twisted into little bows at both ends. Am I the only kid ever who fucking LOVED those candies?
Only this one had a large pin in it, whose pointy side was poking through the wrapper.
My mom loved me very much (still does, though I have given her so many reasons not to), but she was also a pediatric nurse who was no-nonsense when it came to her two children. The entire haul went into the trash. I remember her taking me, crying, to McD's for my favorite shaped and processed poultry parts - Chicken McNuggets - and buying me some small bags of candy on the way home.
But it just wasn't the same anymore. The innocence of Halloween for me had bled away, the result of some sick, demented psychopath who thought that the idea of a child putting a sewing pin through his upper lip qualified as good sport. Sure, I trick-or-treated again after that, but it was never the same. The idea that people like that existed out there, in our own neighborhood no less, made the idea of dressing up as my favorite superhero or Saturday morning cartoon character, knocking on stranger's doors and allowing them to give you things to put in your mouth seem dangerous and stupid.
No more kid's stuff. I mean, look at how I spend Halloween now: I throw a big party where the booze flows and the costumes show as much flesh as possible. I dress up in a costume that I hope will offend people in some small way. I blare loud music, stare at countless breasts sitting up perfectly like Ziggy and his twin brother peeking over a fence, and watch as all the women relax, allowed to look like total tramps one night out of the year and not be judged by the chunkier girls (the ones who dressed up in 'funny' costumes). And all the while, I calculate exactly how much whiskey I can consume to properly lower my inhibitions (and maybe my standards), but still allow my penis to work just enough should I be lucky enough to fulfill that fantasy of sneaking back to my room with some girl dressed as a naughty maid or a sexy cop, and allow her to put my Tootsie Pop wherever she feels appropriate.
Wait. Come to think of it, fuck innocence! I can buy Fun Dip at Seven Eleven!
Happy Halloween everybody.