So, a little Halloween digression.
I grew up with serious estate envy when this time of year rolled around. Living in the middle of nowhere doesn’t leave a whole hell of a lot of trick or treating options that don’t involve your parents having to drive you two miles up the road to the nearest “friendly” house so you can get a handful of “fun sized” Snickers bars. Kids that lived on estates made out like bloody bandits partly due to volume and partly due to fear. More houses, more candy, but more KIDS, the more likelihood of getting your house covered in eggs and toilet paper, so you’d better not be stingy or be ready to sit in the bushes all night with a garden house to deter potential vandals.
On my very last trick or treating ever, I got to finally experience the joy of Halloween on an estate. I went with some of my friends around a sprawling development in Frederick County and literally filled a whole pillowcase full of swag in between trying to scare the living hell out of each other. It was the haul of the century. Best. Halloween. Ever. (Incidentally, the Worst.Halloween.Ever was when I spent the evening in an All Saints Day service with my at-the-time Catholic boyfriend. Talk about leeching the fun out of a holiday.)
This year, I will not be dressing up, as pregnant French Maids are neither sexy nor clever. I am, however, going to play Bingo at one of England's huge professional Mecca Bingo establishments after some extreme coaxing by two other girls. (That, and Mr. DD is playing poker tonight, so it's either Bingo or siting at home on my ass by myself and watching a scary movie which will inevitably lead to many hours of sleeplessness, because I am a huge dork that takes the possibility of Freddy Kruger much more seriously than muggers and rapists.)
All fond memories of Devil's Night aside, what I would like to stress on this the spookiest of days is that those of you with pets to practice some restraint. When I was a kid, one of my favourite picture books was Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothing which illustrated the sheer stupidity of trying to dress our fellow living creatures. For some reason, Halloween brings out the sadist in many pet owners and they feel compelled to propagate horrors like this:
And this. (Can you just see the burning shame on the face of the dog on the far right? “Merciful God, what have I ever done to deserve this?” he seems to be saying. “Was it what happened with the carpet? Cause that was TOTALLY an accident.” But it's the one who seems to be saying, "Whee" I'm a banana!" that really makes the photo.)
I am loathe to admit that I actually find this practice humourous, but as you can see, there's very little funnier than four dogs dressed up as bananas. But for the love of all that is holy, let us try leave the earth’s creatures as nature intended, despite the inherant hilariousness in dressing them up. Let us respect their wild heritage and remember that they all descended from monsters that would as soon feast on your intestines as look at you. Very few would naturally be found in Frankenstein or hot dog costumes. Give them their dignity. (They found out recently that elephants demonstrate self-awareness. So you wouldn't put a silly hat on one of THEM would you?)
Let's leave the trick or treating to us bipeds. Happy Halloween.