Well, last weekend we had our annual Halloween Costume Party, and this year’s theme was Excess. As usual, we had some excellent partygoers with clever ideas, and, also as usual, I forgot my camera about five minutes into the party.

But here’s a smattering of the costumes: I was an NBA player with, naturally, an excess of tattoos. (Seriously, who decided the neck was in play? The neck should not be a canvas.) My husband was going to be Hugh Hefner but wound up being an odd pimp-with-eye-patch-sort-of-thing. He likes to add the eye patch to any costume. But, for my vote, he was disguised as Excess Chest Hair. He had a chest wig that was like wearing a squirrel.

Here we are:

At this stage, he’s given up on the eye patch.

We also had someone as the Birmingham Sewer & Water Works (sort of an inside local joke), a morbid INXS corpse, Rasputin, a monk (an excess of chastity), Frankenstorm (before the storm, so it wasn’t in bad taste), a handful of college football fanatics, and Christmas (the mother of all excess!) I’m missing about 20 other costumes. But here’s our friend Glenny as an excess of hats. 

The boy was a barbarian, complete with loin cloth and skull decorations. He seemed to get into trick or treating last night, though he has no idea what candy is. He likes picking up stuff and putting it in his pumpkin, though.

And, speaking of trick or treating, I have this question: Is it wrong to refuse to give kids candy if they don’t say either Trick or Treat or Happy Halloween or even a friendly hello? Also, can I take the candy back if they don’t say thank you?

I think that’s fair. I think there is a minimum amount of interaction required to get candy. I told one kid last night, “You can’t just hold you bag out without saying a word. I don’t put candy in bags when no one speaks to me.” (This was not a one-year-old for the record. This kid was about eight years past learning to talk.) And I said it in a joking manner.

I object to sullen trick or treaters. Next year I’m going to start throwing extra candy at the ones who say thank you or who actually engage in conversation. For instance, we had one boy who offered me all the candy in his bag in exchange for my viking helmet. I didn’t make the trade–what am I, stupid?–but I deeply appreciated the social skills.

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