Friday, 23 October 2015
Trick or Treat
When I was 8 or 9, I remember feeling really ripped off that I was born in Australia, where if you went around asking people for food, it was called 'begging'. I was as mad as .... well .... Halloween, and I simply wasn't going to take it any more.
I watched American television. I wanted to dress up as a vampire, I wanted to bob for apples, or give apples to Bob, or whatever you're supposed to do with apples. I wanted to eat chocolate until I perspired nougat, and carve faces into pumpkins and light candles inside them.
Yes, all of that!!!!
I guess in these days of childhood obesity, the last thing we need is to encourage kids to go door knocking for lollies. On the up side, the walk will probably do them good.
Anyhooo where am I? Oh yeah, Halloween.
Now don't get me wrong, as an Australian adult, any area in which we don't slavishly copy the Americans is a ray of sunshine. Yo, you know what I'm saying, dude. Holla if you hear me bro.
And even though it's getting harder to tell them apart, I'm now so glad that Aussie kids are so different from the Yanks. Let's face it, these days in the States, the main reason they give treats to kids standing at their door, is not because it's Halloween, it's because they're holding Uzis.
Last year - 31st October - I had just driven home from the airport, just walked into the house and was looking in the fridge, hoping there was something to eat, when a knock on the front door came as a complete shock.
It was after 9.00 o'clock. Who the hell is visiting at this time of night? Hope they bought food.
It was even more of a 'shock' when I opened the door and was greeted by a witch and a vampire. Now, either the Mormons were having a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" theme night, or I was being trick or treated.
Turns out, it was a couple of kids aged 5 and 6 who had just moved to Australia from the USA, and didn't want to miss Halloween. (I should point out that this information was conveyed by their dad who was standing behind them. They hadn't just flown into Australia by themselves on some elaborate chocolate scam).
Anyway, they were holding out the pillowcases they were using as lolly bags - and yes, I did just chuckle when I typed 'lolly bag' - and proclaimed 'Trick or treat'.
I started to panic. You see, I knew for certain that there was no chocolate in the house. I knew this because I had eaten it all 15 minutes earlier. Indeed in the past 5 minutes I'd resorted to eating Milo out of a can, with a spoon to get more of a chocolate fix.
OK Katelyn, use your head.
I knew there were some dried fruit and nuts in the cupboard, but the kid inside me knew what a crap treat that would be. It's trick or treat, not trick or healthy snack. I rushed to the fridge, but since I hadn't been food shopping for the week, this was no help at all. All that was there was a 6 pack of beer belonging to my next door neighbour, who had run out of space in his fridge, a couple of bottles of wine, various cheeses and cold meats and vegies.
I briefly considered giving them the booze. but dad would have benefited. And the unopened jar of marinated garlic, seemed equally inappropriate given that one of the kids was supposed to be a vampire.
I looked at their hopeful faces and my heart broke. So, I ransacked the house and grabbed whatever I could find.
The witch and the vampire ended up leaving with their pillowcases stuffed with 6 CDs, a digital alarm clock and a $50 JB HiFi voucher I had received for my birthday. Oh, and some gold coins.
Riiiiiiiiiiight, are you all still wondering why I felt ripped off as an Aussie kid? Really looking forward to this year. Note to self ---- BUY CHOCOLATES!!!