I hate Halloween. Like most adults, I hate what the holiday has become, but I also hate what it's always been. I know it is terribly unpatriotic to confess that much. I'll celebrate Veteran's day twice to redeem myself. But Halloween is so terribly objectionable that one has to conclude the devil really exists.
So take a bunch of people, a whole country actually. Old and young, poor and rich, of any race creed and religion. The good and the bad. The smart and the stupid. And for the occasion, make them all stupid!
They all come together once every year to put on foolishly inappropriate costumes and gorge on candies. I know, we all indulge in stupid behavior at one time or another. See, in France, we do many very stupid things. For example, we cheek-kiss to greet people, even at work, and every day. But we do it in private. Because what's even more mind boggling about Halloween is that there's a true pride in harboring such vapid wardrobe. Everybody takes to the streets, in parades, just to make sure everyone can see for themselves the display of inanity. In case you find me a tad harsh, please refer to the photo of the tampon man here, or the other tampon man there!
I was once told that Halloween is an opportunity to act out our fantasies. The tamponing is rather widespread, it seems. Equally desirable on the other side of the pond, where Prince Charles told his then lover Camilla Parker Bowles that he too wanted to be a Tampax, her Tampax that is. For the tampon averse person, you will find a plethora of allegedly sexy outfits, as Halloween seems to be the opportunity for women age 30 and over to dress up half-naked. This year will be no exception.
If you want to be topical, you can pick the Sexy Ebola Containment Nurse Costume. The website selling such marvel of couture goes on to underscore the great qualities of the costume: "The short dress and chic gas mask will be the talk of Milan, London, Paris, and New York as the world's fashionistas seek global solutions to hazmat couture." The only thing being contained here is my repulsion. Barely.
The other infamous part of Halloween is the equally puzzling trick or treating tradition. But beware, you should only treat as tricking is mean and does not sell candies. If only I could electrocute a few kids once a year, I could see the charm of the holiday. I wish the Master Electricians Guild would lobby alongside the national Sugar Association just to carry a better balance.
The supreme absurdity: It is commonly accepted as a fact that giving teeth slaying candies made out of artificial flavors and high fructose corn syrup is a treat. Children would be much healthier if they received a 100 volt choc once a year rather than gorging on cavities, diabetes and obesity causing twaddle.
Of course, if little children rang my bell (they know better), I'd love to give them nougats de Montelimar, calisons d'Aix, bêtises de Cambrai, berlingots de Carpentras, bergamotes de Nancy, dragées de Verdun, sucre d'orges de Tours. Confectionery, sweets and candies are a French invention. So is dressing up. It's called Mardi-Gras. And it's for grown-ups only.