Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween and Democracy

I start to feel giddy waves of patriotism as soon the Jack-O-Lantern candle is lit and I stand anxiously at the front door with an overflowing candy bowl waiting for trick-or-treaters.  Trick-or-treating is democracy in action. 

On Halloween children live out the American dream that you can become whatever you want (as long as you work hard and have the necessary resources).  On Halloween we open our doors to both strangers and kids we know, and we share what we have.

I hear complaints that teenagers (some without costumes! gasp) ought not to be trick-or-treating.  But they are welcome on my door stoop.  Teenagers with pillow cases full of candy are harm to no one.  I hear about parents who bring their children to church parties or malls rather than trick-or-treating in their own neighborhoods.  As long as parents allow their children to trick-or-treat, we will continue to find reasons to trust our neighbors.  And has anyone really ever found poison in their candy?

Last year an elderly Hmong woman (without a costume! gasp) trick-or-treated at my house.  She held open her bag and in a thick accent uttered those magic words, "Trick or treat."  I gave her extra candy.

Tonight, a pre-Halloween Happy Hour at Barrio with friends and my favorite trick-or-treater...

Ted...A.K.A. Indiana Jones

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