It's Halloween today, and...
... bah! Humbug! I hate Trick or Treat with a fiery passion.
The mass Trick or Treat is a reasonably new thing in the UK(*) - the influence of US Halloween celebrations.
*I am fully aware that it might be an age old custom that has roots in the fifth century, it's something that when I grew up I only ever saw in American imports - it was foreign. Trick or Treat simply did not happen, we did not know what it was. It may have gone out of fashion when I was a kid, but that doesn't change the fact that it did not happen and then seemed to appear from nowhere.
What is Trick or Treat exactly? Well, it is a custom whereby small children accost strangers and ask them for their property. If such goods are not provided then a 'trick' is played. Fortunately this part of the ceremony hasn't (yet) been imported in any major way, quite often they will simply shuffle off looking resentful that the accostee hasn't added to their obesity problems in later life. There have been cases, however, where windows are broken or damage is done.
Essentially the custom amounts to extortion - at any other time of year it is criminal activity, yet on this one day parents send out their children to knock on the doors of their neighbours and hassle them.
Speaking of Humbug, next week we'll have 'Penny for the Guy' and the week after the Christmas Carols will start (they're already decking out the shops). Christmas Carollers are also the work of the devil, at least the usual ones are - a rushed out of tune 'We wish you a merry Christmas' and a hand thrust out for payment. I will have to put up a little sign which says words to the effect:
'Dear Carol Singers, If you're going to sing a Carol then it needs to be:
- In tune
- Not 'We wish you a merry christmas'
- Not Jingle Bells either... and..
- at least two verses and a chorus.
Oh, and don't bother knocking on a tuesday, that's Stargate night.
Humbug! I say to ye! Humbug!
(Edit: Jim Carson has posted about his Trick or Treat experience in the US)