Sunday, October 26, 2008

One BAD Thing About Milwaukee

You know I'm always saying good things about Milwaukee, but seriously, they have the LAMEST trick-or-treat policy on the planet!
(And I'll bet you thought I was going to say something about gun violence, hyper-segregation or appalling dropout rates, didn't you?)
For the most part, trick-or-treat in Milwaukee County takes place in the AFTERNOON on the Sunday before Halloween. Can you believe it?!?!
This lame state of affairs came to be during the 1970's when the trick-or-treat world was gripped by the widespread panic over razor blade-laced apples and poisoned candy--which ultimately turned out to be untrue in the former and not the seemingly random acts of the latter. (The poisonings were done generally by persons known to the child--like a family member.)
As is the case in these sorts of things, the powers that be get whipped into a frenzy and make some dubious decisions in attempt to make things "safer". At the same time not looking at the "why or how" of the actual problem. (Post 9/11 world, anyone?) But I digress....
This candy crackdown happened during the last year I was eligible for trick-or-treat--6th grade--(Yes, teenagers, you ARE too old to be trick-or-treating. That's why Cryptmaster Dale has that "special" cauldron of candy for you: Dots, Dum-Dums, LaffyTaffy and nothing chocolate.) so it didn't really have an impact on my overall memories of Halloween.
My memories are of going up and down 55th Street--AT NIGHT, like it is supposed to be--accompanied by my parents. We would be getting candy and being crazy with our friends, while my folks would visit with their friends and maybe be offered a shot of brandy at one house or another. Since we lived in an upper flat and no one rang our doorbell, Mom would just give a bunch of candy to our landlady, Auntie Clara, who lived downstairs and got all the action. Sometimes we would take a ride over to my Gramma's house and try to scare her. I also remember the Freitags across the street always gave my sister and me something special.
The next best thing (having a ton of candy being the best thing) was that November 1 was All Saints Day--a Holy Day--and because I went to Catholic school, there was NO SCHOOL!
The suburbs were the first to switch to Sunday, and the City still had the 31st, but now I see the City has also made the change. So now the poor kids have to go out in BROAD DAYLIGHT and beg for candy. Have you ever tried to be a scary vampire with the sun shining in your eyes? It sucks! Or how about a Zombie or Werewolf? Not so good at 2pm. Even Cinderella was a night person.
And its not only the kids that have it rough. Think about all those dads that now have to have their Sunday Packer game interrupted by the incessantly ringing doorbell and choruses of "trick-or-treat!" Its enough to start handing those little grubbing ghouls your empty PBR cans instead of candy.
Its not right, I tell ya.
Even though the consensus is to go with Sunday afternoon, the individual communities can't agree on what time. So I guess if you were really determined to make the most of your candy-accumulating you could canvass Milwaukee from 1 until 4, then high-tail it over to Franklin or Greenfield where the trick-or-treat hours are 4 until 7. If you had really planned ahead, you could have started in Bay View (technically the City of Milwaukee) on Saturday night. If you are starting to come off your sugar high by Friday, the REAL Halloween, you could head out to Waukesha for another round of candy grubbing. It seems the outlying suburbs have stuck with the 31st.
OK...time to go carve some pumpkins!


john said...

For a good catholic girl (woman ), it surprises me that the pagen celebration gets so much ink ! It seems to my recollection that dressing up was the big deal as well as putting fear into your poor young sister. You and Kathy, harumff.
Oh well, since there is no Packer game today, guess I'll go away and enjoy a sunshine day before it begins to snow !!
Oh yes, I heart Mke, so there !

MaryRuth said...

Dad--Pagans schmagans....its all about the fun, isn't it? You mean you didn't sit at home and hand out candy?? Wow, you're gonna get your house TP'd or something.

goldenrail said...

I never really minded going trick or treating in the afternoon. It was the trying to put my costume over my snowsuit that was usually the problem. Well, except for that one year I was a birch tree, then the problem was trying to sit down.
And yes, I had plenty of friends who did the canvassing, one neighborhood and then the other, especially since St. Francis and Cudahy are so close and often had different trick or treat times.

Miss Healthypants said...

I agree--it is sooo stupid. I loved wandering around in the dark with my friends in our costumes. It just made it somehow more exciting. :)

Except for the year when I dressed as a model and wore 1-inch heels. A nine-year-old should not wear 1-inch heels. I was VERY uncomfortable.

Otherwise, I've always enjoyed Halloween & trick or treating IN THE DARK! :)

MaryRuth said...

GR--yeah, it was always a bummer to have to somehow work warm clothes into your costume.
Birch tree sounds good!
MHP--high heels would definitely impede maximum candy accumulation!

So Cal Peeper said...

I have two friends who never trick-or-treated. One lived on Kauai - the closest house was like a quarter mile away, and one in Oregon - homes were an acre or so apart. Sad, huh?

My husband didn't go because he said there were people who did put stuff in the candy/apples, and people who would set their dogs on the kids - but then, he lived in New York.

I remember homemade pop-corn balls (pre-razor blade era) my mom handed out and the smell of night blooming jasmine - that always reminds me of halloween.

MaryRuth said...

SoCal--I made popcorn balls for the first time this year...might as well had razor blades in them--they were so sticky I thought my fillings were going to come out!
Wow, to have dogs set on you...that's awful!
Does your mom have a secret for the jasmine? Ours are in really bad shape (we just got them)