A couple weeks ago, I wrote a Halloween Plea, aimed at encouraging an evolution of the trick-or-treat tradition away from the Snickers-and-Hershey standby. I pissed a few people off in my writing (I believe the term “douchy” was bandied about), and if my language obscured my message (come on, people, what’s one “STFU” between friends?), I apologize.
Anyway, the long and short of it is that my son, Zev, is on a diet that excludes pretty much anything edible anyone could hand him at the door, but the kid just loves Halloween (and so do I). Add to that, we live in the trick-or-treat equivalent of a rain shadow: for a variety of reasons no kids come down on our street, so we can’t even enjoy the pleasure of giving out candy.
The answer: the Reverse Trick or Treat.
Zev and I donned costumes, loaded up a little red wagon with a bag of quality chocolate and about 500 super balls, and headed out to find kids to give it to.
We had an absolute stellar night.
The basic shtick was: find a group of kids. I would shout to slow them down and announce that my assistant would like to make an announcement. Zev would then explain their options to them: super ball or candy. Choose one, not both. Which is it going to be?
At this point, there was generally befuddled looks. This was not so much “should I choose a super ball or a piece of candy” type of confusion as “I don’t understand the question” type of confusion. But as soon as we tipped the bags towards them, and they saw the superabundance of super balls and cornucopia of candy that was theirs for the taking, they switched from frozen to frenzied.
Now, I know what you’re wondering: which came out on top, candy or super balls?
Do you really need to ask? Super balls beat candy about 3:1, but that’s likely because they were more unique. If everyone was giving out super balls, I have to imagine chocolate would have been the winner.
Anyway, we both got such a kick out of the little performance, getting the kids to slow down and tell us which they were going to pick, joking about their costumes, it’s the start of a new tradition for us.
We ran into our friend Lisa along the way, who wondered aloud whether there mightn’t be some way to create a new tradition of “adult beverage stations” along the trick or treat route for interested parents (an idea that Melissa jumpstarted along the way with a flask). Sounds like a lovely idea to me. Perhaps it could be combined with the reverse trick-or-treat idea: roving adult beverage dispensation for parents, Wallingford?
A huge, huge thank you to for the haunted house awesomeness at 42nd and 1st Ave NE and at 42nd and at 42nd and Corliss, and the day glo dungeon on Sunnyside between 41st and 42nd. Next year (in addition to championing adult beverage stations), we’ll try to assemble a map of these destinations around the ‘hood.
Best Halloween ever.