Finally, it’s the time of year when we can be gross and pass it off as holiday spirit. We can eat hot dogs that look like severed fingers – or toes, with nail polish – or dips that are supposed to be innards. There are Jell-Os out there that resemble brains. There’s even a Pinterest craft out there that makes guacamole look like a pumpkin throwing up.
(That one should be a year-round staple, actually, just change whatever is vomiting. It could be a lamb at Easter, or the Statue of Liberty during the Fourth of July. The possibilities are endless.)
But with Halloween, there’s not much adults can do other than be immature and gross. We can’t dress up and go door-to-door for free candy. Once you’re out of school, dressing up like a sexy witch/doctor/police officer/reporter is just kind of odd.
It’s a shame, really. All of the things associated with Halloween when you are young are great, but as an adult, they could be magnificent.
For example, what reasons does a teenager have to toilet paper someone’s home? Maybe their friend lives there, or a classmate they have a crush on.
As an adult, there are endless reasons to TP a home. They got that promotion you wanted, or cut you off in traffic or painted their home an obnoxious color.
Those are legitimate reasons for some light vandalism. And adult grievances for egging someone’s house are even more numerous. Anyone who has had to deal with a homeowner’s association board can list at least three people who should wake up to breakfast cracked on their roof.
It should be perfectly acceptable to go through your workplace and demand a trick or a treat. As I was taught, it’s a choice and so most people just cave and give out candy. As adults, we should be able to walk up to any cubicle or office and ask for a treat and, if they refuse, we’re allowed to pull pranks.
The aforementioned egging might not be the best in a shared, indoor space. But TPing – that has potential in a work environment.
As do fog machines. Sure, OSHA might have a thing or two to say about running a fog machine in an office or a job site, but if Illinois lowers its worker’s compensation premiums, it might be something we can swing. After all, who doesn’t like filling out spreadsheets with an ominous mist rolling through the hallways? Bonus points if you work for one of those corporations that are always being flagged by the EPA.
Adult Halloween could always fit in room for ghost stories, too. If you think it’s fun to see kids react to a scary story around a campfire, imagine an adult’s reaction. And, as adults telling the story, we have resources kids don’t have. Telling the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman? Few kids are going to have access to a horse, a no parent is going to OK them riding around with a pumpkin on their head for a prank.
Adults, however? Well, we don’t need to ask permission for something like that if it’s our horse and pumpkin. We’d only need to ask forgiveness from our insurance company if things go awry.
This works just as well with any number of classic horror stories. Just knowing who to ask or with a little bit of cash, buckets of blood for the climactic scene of “Carrie” or the necessary parts to make your own Frankenstein’s monster are within easy reach for adults. The only limits are your imagination and personal sense of decency.
Halloween is truly wasted on the young. But maybe it’s best adults keep themselves from there. After all, the kids have boundaries. The idea of adults being able to flip the natural order of things – to take imagined ideas and turn them into reality - can go too far without a check on it. After all, that’s what Frankenstein was about.
It doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun. Isn’t that why parents always check the candy of theirs kids when they come home? To make sure it isn’t poisoned, but also to claim the good stuff?
Sometimes, you have to do a little trick to get a treat.