Thursday, November 01, 2012

Wisconsin 101: This is how we trick or treat (we do it wrong)‏

I don't think we'll have trick or treaters tonight. (I am writing this on Halloween.) Why?

Because we got our trick or treaters on Saturday. From 6:30 to 8:30. And then on Sunday. From 1 to 4.

Who does this? Who schedules trick or treating on a day that's not Halloween?

Milwaukee does.

The city picks one time and the neighborhoods pick another and there is conflict and confusion, especially among those of us who do not have children and don't really care about trick or treating but know that someone will be knocking at our door, asking for candy (what an odd, odd tradition) and that we will be expected to give it.

Our neighborhood sets neighborhood trick or treating hours for people who are members of the neighborhood association. Even if you want just to give candy out, you have to join the association. True, they give you the candy, but it's a bit extortionate or whatever the proper word is.

And the whole thing about getting the candy: every family with children who want to T&T has to donate candy to the cause. Then those who give candy out are given candy.

Let's think about human behavior, shall we?

If your purchase is going to be thrown into a big pot and given out at random, in a way that you will never get credit for it, what reason do you have to buy the little Milky Ways?

None. Absolutely none. You might as well buy crummy candy because nobody is going to associate the candy with you and mutter about what a bunch of cheapskates you are.

Of course, the mutterers are beggars who should not be choosers, but still: reputations are built and destroyed in the candy.

So we joined the neighborhood association and got the candy. It was a mix of awful candy and not so bad. I made sure to hold back a few of the small Skittle bags.

Then we stayed home. 

And waited.

And got almost no trick or treaters because I don't know why. We had the cross of blood above our door indicating that we were safe. 

Which meant that on Sunday afternoon, when our town T&T started, we had a ton of leftover candy. We just did not have the will to open the door repeatedly. So we gave it all to our next-door neighbor so she could open her door repeatedly.

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