In just a few more nights the bowels of Hell will open upon an unsuspecting world. The balance between good and evil will shift towards the darker side of the scale. Demonic forces will be unleashed. The dead will be given license to wander among the living. Restless spirits will rise and roam the dark highways and hillsides. Little children will dress in festive “scary” costumes and collect candies from smiling adults. All Hallows Eve will be upon us!

Summoning spirts of the dead via Ouija, communing with demons and ghouls, and “adult” Halloween aside, this holiday has one core method of celebration: Trick-or-Treating. Viewing it through the eyes of children, the concept is very simple. It’s the one night of the year you get to dress up and be whoever or whatever you want to be. Then you trudge door to door (or trunk to trunk) receiving gratuitous amounts of sweets for your efforts and have fun doing it.

However, to some (mostly in the overly cautious Christian community), tricks and treats are the worst part of Halloween. They view it as a dark, forbidden and ancient ritual. For them “candy gathering” represents the devil’s minions, collecting souls or sacrifices to the lord of the flies himself. Umm yeah, you can be certain after a child has been treated, they’re thinking to themselves “Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha! Score another Snicker’s bar for Satan! Surely this chocolate covered, caramel and nut filled treat will appease my dark lord! Quick, let us make haste to offer this sweet nougat-y sacrifice at my Little Tikes altar of Ba’al!”

Which makes one wonder. Does Satan prefer dark chocolate? And how good of a person can someone really be if they seek out something evil and foreboding about everything; birds of a feather? The point is, it’s not what kind of symbolism can be put on trick-or-treating or how it’s defined by some adults, but rather the kid’s perception of it. After all, they’re the ones who participate, enjoy and benefit from it. And if in a million to one chance some child does view and fear (or celebrate) this harmless tradition as a rite of evil; I’m actually more concerned about their home and the parents therein.

All that said and done, as we close the doors on Hell-o-ween for this year, we’ll pay homage to the true patriarchs of Halloween, by honoring and acknowledging the Trick-or-Treaters. Thus I have sought the aid of John Q. (my stuffed, yellow bear side-kick). I asked that he compile a list of ideas for fun, productive, non-satanic, safe Halloweening. His response was 17 pages in descriptive crayon with pictures (which have been roughly translated below, because spellcheck can’t handle his toddler based writing style). chainsaw

John Q’s TRICK or TREAT TRICKS to get more TREATS:

1. Run! Run as fast as you can go everywhere and squeal as loudly as possible! The faster you go the more treats you can trick and do more candy that way. If you squeal loud enough people will think you are a small fire truck and get out of the way!

2. Each people in your trick treat party should have a flashlight or glowing stick. This will help with the fire truck trick if you wave it over your head. It is also helpful in blinding people so you can beat them to the best candy places. Oh and it’ll help car driver people to see you too I suppose.

3. Make sure you have comfortable shoes. With comforts you can go better and the more candy you can do. Also the costume shoes are more for cute looking than safety, they do not do the comfortable very well thank you!

4. No masks-specially ones that cover your whole head. They make your head sweaty and gross. You can’t see any nothing, you can’t breathe and you can’t eat candy if you can’t get it in your mouth!

5. Make sure you get the right sized costume. Trick treat is only a one night time thing and you don’t need something you can “grow into.” Or if your outfit’s too small they might think you are a “naughty” something, like adult people do.

6. Do not poop your suit! Be sure your costume is potty accessible. If you do a poop it will end the treats immediately.

7. About the running in No 1 sigh…Mr. Chainsaw man says you shouldn’t oughta do running cuz you might run in front of something big like a car and get died. Sigh…no squealing either …it disruptives others fun times.

8. Sigh…you should walk when you do trick treats, cuz adults are slow and get tired easilier than we do.

9. Stay hydro-ed! Trick treating is hard work so have something to drink. This only applies to kids…no adult beverages.

10. Don’t do too much hydros. You will have to do a number one and… see number 6.

11. Do not trick treat strangers. They’ll have the best candy and may offer you a ride but don’t do it!

12. If you are being a ninja use a pretend sword that’s soft. Not only could you fall on it and get injuries but also too people might think you are a real ninja and lock the door. If your sword were real you could chop up their door and take the candy but that’s not a very nice thing to do.

13. Trick treat ends at 9 p.m. That is when big people Halloween begins and everything is dangerous because big people aren’t responsible quite a lot.

14. Let an adult person check your candy before you eat it. Some big people are meanies and make bad candy that will hurt you.

15. Be safe! Have the most fun! Eat lots of candy!

Thanks John, for that helpful insight into Halloween safety. In all seriousness folks, please remember this holiday above all others puts people of all ages out on the roads at night. Drink responsibly, drive even more responsibly and be alert for little ghosts, ghouls and goblins. No point in ending a happy child’s life and ruining your own.

Have a safe and happy Hell-o-ween!.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at [email protected] or you can FRIEND me on Facebook under Saw’s Brood!

Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!