Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Nightmares

Daddy, my stomach hurts from all the candy. Bleeaaghhhhhhhh!!!!!





Last night, while walking my kids around trick-or-treating, I noticed a new degree of laziness. I suppose nothing should surprise anymore, yet it still does.

Parents driving their kids between houses.

For the record, we were in a decent, safe, low-crime, area. Front doors were roughly 50-100 feet from each other. The streets and sidewalks are in good condition and well-lighted, and the weather was nice.

Although most people and their kids were doing this the old-fashioned way, by walking, I saw several cases where a humungous SUV would pull up in front of a house and disgorge 5-7 kids. The kids would run up to the house, get candy, pile back into the family truckster, which would then drive 50 feet down to the next house and the process would repeat itself. While the kids were out, the parents would sit there revving the engine.

I saw several cars doing this, none of them with handicapped plates and way too many to be explained by a parent or child who was unable to walk. In addition to SUV's I also saw this being done with a few golf carts.

Let's look at this: Childhood obesity and diabetes are approaching insane levels. I have nothing against pigging out on candy here or there (especially on Halloween), but couldn't kids use the exercise of walking? Oh, and besides encouraging our kids to be couch potatoes, let's burn some gas, pollute the Autumn air, and contribute to global warming.

At one point An SUV went by, towing a flatbed trailer with a bunch of unfastened plastic yard chairs on it. Each with 2-3 small kids sitting on it. THAT looks safe! And these same people, when their kid ends up in ER with a serious head injury, will blame society for having Halloween in the first place. Dipshits.

But, since this is a humor blog, a horrifyingly humorous ending.

One cul-de-sac had a block party going on in a driveway. In front of it they'd set up a table with a bunch of bowls of candy, the combined neighborhood trick-or-treat buffet. As kids went up there a lady in a witch costume would tell them to take one thing from each bowl.

We'd brought Snowball along, so he was happily padding away next to me. When Mrs. Witch saw him, she began looking around the table, and said "How cute! I love dogs! Hang on, I have some treats for dogs."

Then she called her husband: "Dave, honey, have you seen the bag I had over here?"

Dave came over: "Um, you mean the little yellow bag?"

Mrs. Witch: "Yeah"

Dave: "I gave it to some kid who came by. Why?'

Mrs. Witch looked horrified, and slowly turned back to me "Uh, I guess we don't have any dog treats anymore, sorry."

So, if your kid found a bag of mini-Milk Bones in his candy sack, it was an accident. Mrs. Witch felt sorry.

48 comments:

Mr. Condescending said...

Hilarious!

I wonder if this is brand new, because I just noticed the same thing yesterday, only I saw a ton of mini vans. The plastic chairs on the trailer is ridiculous but I can't say it surprises me.

.

ChrisJ said...

We live in a nice safe neighborhood in small college town. During trick o treating two years ago, one parent went the extra step by driving their vehicle into each driveway before disgorging the kids. To make it even more special, he or she shined a spotlight on their kids for the entire trick-o-treating transaction.

I was so befuddled by this that it didn't dawn on me until later how dangerous it was. He or she (hard to tell when blinded by a spot light) was really whipping in & out of the driveways. My neighbor said the search light made him think he was in a "Cops" episode and starting singing the "what ya gonna do" song.

MJH, CPhT said...

That's actually pretty common here in NE Iowa as late-October weather tends to be a bit nippy, but I don't know if that would apply to your location, whatever that may be. Love the dog treat story. ;)

The Bus Driver said...

Theres alot of that happening down here where i live too.. I did see a few families doing the halloween the oldfashioned walking way lol. I got a new blog post up. I had a great email sent to me and just had to share it. check it out if you want.

TranscriptionistTia said...

LOL!!! Let's hope the dumb kid with the lax parents got it and that he ate half of the bag of bone shaped treats before his Mom noticed. It wouldn't be that big of a tip-off that they were bone shaped; it was Halloween, after all.

Dr. Grumpy, I think I took a handfull of Smarties last night instead of my seizure medication. Will that be a problem?

Anonymous said...

Here in Singapore, overweight & obese school children are "conscripted" into what used to be known as the TAF club aka Trim & Fit Club... Nowadays, there have a trendier name, something like Combat Club or whatever the school fancies...

Children in these clubs are required to participate in additional physical activities on top of their regular physical education classes. In addition, chubby kids in my twin boys' school are to pack healthy snacks from home. They eat with their form teachers and are barred from purchasing sugared drinks from the school canteen. Btw, no Coke is sold in the school, Coke zero is allowed though... :)

Sue

Vegan Epicurean said...

Loved the milk bone story! I can just imagine the face of the parent who checked the contents on that bag. Priceless. :)

Driving the kids house to house, unbelievable. Great example for the little ones. People can be scary even without a costume.

Michael said...

bag should have had a record in it also to here the parents' reaction when little johnny showed them. lol

Cori said...

I'm starting to wonder if you live in my neighborhood, Dr. Grumpy! So many SUVs dropping kids off, a golf cart or two. It's really pathetic.

Angelina said...

I was one of those parents, driving my little vampire (11 yrs) last night. Although it was two acres between houses, I still feel it was a lazy thing to do. My bad.

I would drop my vampire and husband off at the end of a long driveway the vampire would run up to the house and dad would wait. As this took a few minutes, I would wait in the car with it turned off. Then they would walk to the next five or six house as I drove behind them, lighting their path. Because the houses that did not participate turned off their lights and it was pretty dark between them. One of the adults at a house offered to give him a ride in his "personal taxi(ATV)" to the next house. He said, no thanks, mom and dad got that covered!

He had a very good time, and loved the reaction he got from his costume. Two of his friends he was going to go with came down with H1N1 flu and had to stay home. When we check his bag later that night, no dog treats!

Gert said...

My mom and dad had eight kids....we got dressed up for Halloween and off we went, the younger kids with the older kids....no parents. We went far and wide on foot using pillowcases as the only bag big enough to take in the haul....it was a workout keeping up with the big brothers!

We were allowed to eat Halloween candy morning, noon, and night until it was all gone; this generally took about a week. We got so sick of candy halfway through that we'd start throwing out the pieces we didn't like. We're all grown and have grown children now, and not one of us is fat.

We didn't even live in a very good neighborhood in those days.

How things have changed!

The Mother said...

Love the photo.

I'm shocked parents still take their kids trick or treating at all. First we have all the "dangers" so well publicized, and now we here that witches are praying over the Halloween candy to pull our kids to the dark side.

I'm really annoyed that the candy manufacturers didn't call me for that job.

S3XinthePantry said...

We passed a lot of cars that drove kids from one cul-de-sac to the next, most waited at the end of the street for the kids to complete the candy circuit. Unless they had little kids. No one was driving house to house, though.

But if they read your blog they'll probably do it next year!

Our kids watch William train for his marathons, swim with me, and join us as we walk our dog 3x a day (yes, 3xs! Doggies need exercise too!)

Doctor D said...

We took Little D to a high-volume trick or treat neighborhood. The funny thing was that the parents in the SUV honked at people in the street to get out of their way. Jerks!

I can just imagine them fuming in their cars, "WTF are these people doing in the street! How do they expect us to do our trick or treating when you can't drive down the street!?!"

Man, those kids are gonna be fat someday!

frostedlexicharm said...

We walked around our neighborhood last night, but most of our friends from church don't live within our "walking distance", so after we were done we drove to their houses to show off each others' kids' costumes, and then maybe do a few of the more decorated houses nearby. I think my kids went to less than 30 houses all together.

Ninjamedic said...

I said the same thing last night. If it's not freezing cold, blowing a gail, snowing or raining, then there's no reason for kids to get driven around to trick or treat.

Parents who drive their kids from house to house on residential streets make it dangerous for everyone else; there are lots and lots of excited kids running around who are less-than-attentive to traffic. It's not going to be long before someone's child gets hit.

Is it just me, or are kids getting ruder? I get fewer 'thank you!'s every year...

Kristin said...

Just happened upon your blog for the first time and really enjoyed it! It's certainly enlightening to read the doctor's point of view!

I also came across the photo of the "smashed pumpkins" on-line and have it on my facebook, it's hilarious.

I read this post to my husband and he said that last night he saw a mom and kids walking door to door in our neighborhood. The twist in the story is that the 400-lb. father trailed along behind in the car the whole time while the rest of the family walked. Nice.

If you're interested, I just started my own blog this week, I'd love to have you check it out-

http://excerpts-kristin.blogspot.com/

oddharmonic said...

I've seen the house-to-house driving for years in Colorado. In Texas, the neighborhood where my kiddo trick-or-treats is near a school, so a lot of folks park at the school and walk with the kids around the neighborhood. Driving short distances no longer surprises me since I walk two kids (mine and a friend's) a mile home every day and we see only a handful of kids walking in the direction we head on any given day.

If my kid had gotten a bag of dog treats, she would have been itching to go out in the morning and offer one to each of our neighbors' dogs.

oddharmonic said...

@Ninjamedic: kids are getting ruder. Compared to how my parents raised us, I think my nine-year-old is barely average for polite behavior, but compared to the behavior I've seen of kids in public, she's well above average.

I should note that I have a reputation at my local school as one of those PTA moms that reminds kids to use "please" and "thank you".

Maha said...

wow driving between houses in an SUV? That's beyond pathetic! From what I remember, most of the fun in trick or treating was walking around with my friends collecting candy and checking out everyone else' costumes.

And regarding manners - some punk ass mofo kid got pissed off at me for not giving him 4 chocolates!

Anonymous said...

at least the dog treats would have more nutritional value than the candy.

winrob said...

Love the post party vomiting pumpkin.

Miss Kismet said...

I though of you last night Grumpy...I gave parents who came to the door their choice of beverage and nearly all the dads chose diet Coke! I had some 12-packs of regular diet Coke leftover from before my diet Coke Plus days (won't drink anything else anymore), so I handed those out along with Sprite, Dr. Pepper, and (blech) Pepsi leftover from a party. I had jello shots for the neighbors, but that's a different kind of trick or treat ;)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Miss Kismet- WOW! I need to find out where you live and move there!

Anonymous said...

That's plain hilarious (the photo).

I don't have trick-or-treating age kids anymore, but the SUV story would raise my eyebrows a little in this neighborhood in a college town where local parents are getting together to make the sidewalks safer for kids to walk to school. My child as a youn'un would've taken the shortcut through the ravine and city park and stopped to investigate where raccoons hide out. The school would've notified us within an hour if he didn't show up, but then I'm sure I wouldn't want to wonder if he had discovered the secret entrance to the middle of the earth each morning. And, he would be the one to try the dog biscuits and come up with a recipe that was both edible and nutritious for humans and his dog. On the other hand, his dad used to drive him (and his older brother) to one of the newer 'nouveau riche' subdivisions with a empty plastic pumpkins and the folks there (all parents and ghosties walking, but rather safe and well-lit) met up with their friends and had a blast. (To be honest, I set some restrictions on how much could be 'kept' and the rest mysteriously disappeared.)

This year a popular kids' orthodontist in the area had kids bring in their loot, and exchange it weight for weight for something desirable (don't recall if it was for coupons, or money). The kids got a free toothbrush, and the candy was to be sent to the troops! Hmm, is there a good dental plan in the military?

Nae said...

Haha- My mom called me last night to tell me that while she was handing out candy, she was giving people with cute dogs treats for them. A little boy around 6 had a greyhound in a prison costume and my mom handed him some treats for the dog. My parents watched in horror as the kid popped the 'steak and liver' treats right in his mouth instead of the dog's.

I remember roughly ten years ago being appalled by parents driving kids. As a kid, I totally judged those other kids who drove instead of walked.

vicki said...

While I completely agree that -- under the vast majority of suburban circumstances -- the driving between houses thing is pathetic, I have to tell you it is NOT new. I lived in a lot of states growing up: New Jersey, Georgia, Florida and Texas, and I remember seeing this all through my childhood. I'm 41.

Amy said...

I didn't have any kids come to my door, but in my parent's neighborhood children are driven in and dropped off. The first batch was 25 kids and none of them live in the neighborhood. We ran out of candy in the middle of that group and closed down for the night. The kids weren't nice...before I finished opening the door, I could hear some of the bigger kids say gimme my candy, now! I wanted to put the bowl down right then and there.

vanity press said...

We live in five acres of woods. With coyotes. And no lights. We fed the kids who came to the coyotes. They said the kids were too full of sugar.

Georgie K. Buttons said...

We drove last night. Not from house to house, though. That's ridiculous. We have some neighborhoods scoped out, and they're a mile or so apart. We skip the stuff in the middle. Lol. Awesome story.

danielle said...

1. The cars/SUV's/etc are pretty common out here. But they are usually not neighborhood kids - they are from other neighborhoods, in fact, other towns.
2. Actually, the dog treats would be cool - no sugar for the kids and a treat for the dog who has suffered all night.
3. Altho my son had a friend who LOVED the jerky he found in our kitchen one time....we could not stop laughing as we tried to decide who was going tobreak it to him that he had just enjoyed doggy jerky!!!

Candice said...

So much for screening candy for razor blades these days. Now it's all about the milk bone...

amy said...

Back in my day, you went to as many houses as you had the stamina to visit. When we were little kids, we went to about 6, then we were tired and that was the end of trick or treating for the night. As young teens, we seemingly could go for miles. NO ONE drove anywhere.

I think the driving thing is a travesty; if the weather is bad then you bundle up or don't go out and eat your own candy; if the houses are far apart at least you are out on the sidewalk with other parents who are WALKING their kids.

Our biggest fears from halloween were two-fold--someone (and we imagined this person to be a cranky, older person) would spend hours carefully placing razor blades in the apples they handed out, so the rule was never to eat an unwrapped apple. Presumably razor studded apples wrapped in saran wrap were safe. Also, nefarious druggies might lace our candy with LSD, so if a candy bar was ripped a little and you ate it, you were chancing a dangerous drug trip and gateway into a life on the streets.

Of course, I know no one that experienced either event, but friends' older siblings assured us that it happened ALL THE TIME.

I'd much rather "worry" about these things as a parent rather than my kids getting mowed down by an over-anxious SUV on halloween eve.

webhill said...

everyone walks here, although when the drizzle changed to rain we did start seeing a few cars. Usually though the only time we get cars is when the kids are driven over from a less ToT-friendly neighborhood. Ours is crazy family friendly, so we get plenty of imports.

btw my kids' school is collecting extra candy this week, and sending it to Iraq, Afghanistan, and "a village in Nicaragua." OK, whatever, but I do wonder why, of all things, CANDY is the thing to send there.

Anonymous said...

I notice more and more people driving kids every year. I agree, it's pathetic. Although, I must admit when my daughter was small it was pouring one year, and I did drive, but the kids kind of got sick of it, and we went to the mall a few towns over instead. I would never drive just because it's cold though, that's why you have a costume that is loose enough to layer underneath! We too have a few golf carts that go around town too. They are snobby people generally anyway, so I ignore them and was very glad when they just drove on by my house even though my porch light was on. I guess my one lonely little house wasn't enough to bother with!

This was the first year since before my divorce in 1994 that I was home to pass out candy as my daughter informed me that she was too old to walk around with me and wanted to go with her friends. I too was shocked at the lack of "thank you" I heard. I didn't even hear the parents reminding them to say it!! Very rude in my opinion.

Fiz said...

Even in the UK it's grab and ignore. I don't do Halloween, as it's a pagan nod to Samhain and my last pastor was violently anti the idea and said it was the soft end of of black magic!

Anonymous said...

I live in a large townhouse condominium complex. The first Halloween I lived here, I decorated, turned on my outdoor light and dressed up in costume (I was a doctor... not too original, but it required no effort on my part). I purchased approximately double the adequate amount of candy for the neighborhood kids, most of whom I know.

Naive would-be good neighbor that I am, I was completely unprepared for the huge numbers of rude, pushy strangers' kids dropped off in our complex. I quickly had to ration candy handouts (though I threw a few extras in my neighbors' kids' sacks).

Now I make a point of being out on Halloween evening. Sorry, but the parents of the rude kids I'd never seen before (or since) ruined the trick-or-treat aspect of the holiday for me. Bah humbug.

The Good Cook said...

One of the reasons I love our neighborhood is we block the streets off with police wooden horses... no driving on trick or treat night. The streets are full of littles and NO cars... safe.

Matt M said...

This year I found individually wrapped prunes at the grocery store. I gave those to the trick-or-treaters that I felt did not measure up to the holiday, such as teenagers with an eyepatch and a grocery bag. The little kiddies got candy, as did the teenagers who dressed up. Some of those teenagers didn't dress in much, either!

Anonymous said...

I drove my little guys because it was raining pretty hard but otherwise would never do that. We were the only ones out at 8pm in the rain.

Anonymous said...

Where I grew up it was not at all unusual to drive around. Of course, it was a rural area, with a minimum of a quarter mile between houses. And in northern Canada, so not unusual for there to be snow on the ground at Halloween.

Sometimes we incorporated our horses into our costumes and rode from house to house (knights, cowpokes, Apaches, etc). That was always fun, as long as it wasn't snowing.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Taking a horse trick-or-treating.

Boy, that would take up a lot of space inside your front door for the candy and hay.

Anonymous said...

Matt M:

Thanks for the idea. Next year, I think I'm supporting the prune industry.

Dr. Grumpy:

No hay necessary. Most horses like candy.

student dr. blaze said...

Awesome picture. Too bad the pumpkin didn't puke on an SUV or two....

Knucklehead said...

Funny stuff! But trick or treating in cars? That's sacrilege.

Anonymous said...

I made my kids walk, but we did drive to a few diffrent neighborhoods, then we walked around a few blocks and drove to a diffrent sight.

But in the middle of my kids getting back into van to drive down the road a half a mile, my seven year old daughter slipped and banged her leg on the step for getting into the van. She kept complaining of pain and walked very slow the rest of the night, and when we got home she cried and hardly slept that night.

So the next morning after her still complaining and crying and barely able to move I made the choice to take her ot the ER.
They did x-rays, she has a small fracture below her knee and now is in crutches and have a referal for a ortho-surgeon for next week.

This wasnt a fun halloween for her....

Arps said...

Love the image!! The puking pumpkin-LMAO!!

as for driving around trick-or-treatin'..some people just don't have the time, do they? :p

Sarah said...

Most of the kids I saw Saturday night were on foot with their parents. I did spot one car toting some kids, though... which made no sense, since the houses on my street are separated by strips of land only 5-8 feet wide! I would think it would require MORE effort to go back to the car!

 
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