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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

No Class Division on Halloween!

Hello, everyone!  It's only a couple of days left until Halloween, and I have a special Halloween themed WHO AM I WEDNESDAY entry to share with all of you this week.

Now, this entry is going to be a little bit different.  Usually what I do with these kind of entries is write it in the form of a diary entry, and regurgitate whatever thoughts I have going through my mind. 

Well, in this one, I'm still going to regurgitate whatever is going through my mind...I'm just going to present it in a different way.

Okay, so I'm sure that most of you have read a newspaper at some point in your lives.  If you haven't...where the heck have you been the last century and a half?

Anyway, there are some sections of the newspaper that I tend to read more than others.  I'm not one for the sports section, I have no interest in the financial pages, and as far as I'm concerned, the society pages only exist so that unimportant bigwigs can feel important by having their names in print on the second page of the third section of the newspaper.

But some of the sections I absolutely love.  The entertainment section...well, given the theme of this blog, that's a given.  The comics section?  Well, it really depends on the comics that are printed inside, but I will say that in most cases I'm perfectly fine with newspaper comics.  And of course I am one who cannot resist doing the word searches, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku puzzles inside of the newspaper.

(Even though in most cases I screw up the Sudoku so badly I have to buy another newspaper in order to finish it.)

Oh, yeah.  There was one other section in the newspaper that I enjoyed reading as well, and until now I was sort of ashamed to admit that I did enjoy it so much.  But I figure that now that I am old enough to not care what other people think, I will admit that I did read advice columns in newspapers.

You know the ones I mean?  The ones by Dear Abby, or Ann Landers, or other columnists who answer questions on medical issues, domestic disputes, repairing broken friendships, and saving marriages.  Yes, I did read those when I was a teenager. 

Then again, I also watched Ricki Lake.  Again, something I wouldn't have admitted as a teenager, but would admit to now.  After all.  I don't care anymore.

I guess part of the reason why I liked reading advice columns was because I wanted to see if the experts actually could answer any questions that were going through my head.  But, I'll also admit to wanting to see people ask such idiotic questions that it was worth seeing Abby and Ann Landers deliver some verbal smackdown to the dimwitted.

Well, recently someone posted a link to one of these advice columns.  I'm not sure if this column is printed in newspaper format, but it is definitely found in online format.  It's a column that is entitled "Dear Prudence", and just looking at her website on, it appears as though she writes the column once a week.

Anyway, a couple of days ago, I read the following question asked by a regular reader.  It has to do with Halloween, specifically the trick-or-treating portion of the event.  This letter writer questioned trick-or-treating etiquette and as you can see, she is frank and honest about her opinion.  But that doesn't mean that's a good thing.  Here's the letter, as written.

Dear Prudence,
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more "modern" streets - mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners.  (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.)  I have noticed on Halloween, what seems like 75 per cent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood.  Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas.  I feel this is inappropriate.  Halloween isn't a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children.  Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, but what's the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday?  But it just bugs me because we already pay more than enough taxes towards social services.  Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
                                   - Halloween for the 99 Per Cent

Wow...where do I begin with this one? 

First of all, I had to actually wonder if this was a real legitimate letter, or if it was some sort of parody.  I mean, sites like The Onion report false news all the time.  But let's just go with the assumption that this letter is in fact the real McCoy.  Did anyone else find this letter to be a tad bit, oh, I don't know...condescending?!?

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I consider myself to be within the 99 per cent of the population.  Heck, I'm probably considered a bottom feeder of the 99 per cent at that.  I went to school with a lot of kids who came from families who were the 1 per cent of my town (or at the very least, acted like it).  I knew where the rich people lived, and I knew where the poor people lived.  Do you really think that I cared about status quo when it came to trick-or-treating?

Hell no.

Really, there were only two major rules when it came to trick-or-treating when it came to my family.  Rule number one - never go trick-or-treating by yourself.  Always have a parent or guardian with you at all times, or barring that, use the safety in numbers method and go trick-or-treating with a group of half a dozen kids.  And rule number two - always trick-or-treat in well lit areas.  After all, on Halloween night, it's dark by six o'clock in the evening.

Nowhere in the Halloween rules of safe trick-or-treating did it say "only go trick-or-treating in the area where your economical status best fits".

I'll be honest with you.  I was the kid who stayed out all night long on Halloween.  I would stay out until at least nine o'clock.  In that time, I reckon I hit up a good two dozen blocks.  Of course I trick-or-treated in my own neighbourhood, but I eventually ended up in the north end of town - a place where all the middle to upper class folk lived.  And not one of them told me to get off of their property because I was poor.  Really, when you're wearing a Halloween costume, who the heck is going to know anyway?  Most people I know love to see the wonderful costumes that they would see. 

And really, candy is candy no matter what the size of the house is.  To me, it didn't make much of a difference what houses I went to.  All candy tasted the same.

(Though I have to admit that the house that gave out full size chocolate bars...I would purposely hit that house each time I went out...and it was a good eight blocks away!)

Really, the only message that I have for the "outraged 1% person who doesn't believe in giving candy to poor people" is this.  I hope that the money you save on doling out candy to the ghosties and goblins from a different snack bracket is a lot.  You're going to need every last dime to buy enough cleaning products to scrape off the residue of broken eggs that are smashed up against your immaculately expensive front porch.

I mean, seriously, I have known a lot of elitist snobs in my lifetime, but this letter writer sure takes the cake.  If this person really feels that strongly about this, maybe they should just shut off all their lights and pretend that nobody is home.

Besides.  I bet they handed out raisins instead of candy.

That's my thought anyway.  But I suppose you're wondering how Prudence responded to this person.  Have a look at this brilliant response as we close the book on another WHO AM I WEDNESDAY!

Dear 99,
In the urban neighborhood where I used to live, families who were not from the immediate area would come in fairly large groups to trick-or-treat on our streets, which were safe, well-lit, and full of people overstocked with candy.  It was delightful to see the little mermaids, spider-men, ghosts, and the occasional axe murderer excitedly run up and down our front steps, having the time of our lives.  So we'd spend an extra $20 to make sure we had enough candy for kids who weren't as fortunate as ours.  There you are, 99, on the impoverished side of Greenwich, or Beverly Hills, with the other struggling lawyers, doctors, and business owners.  Your whine makes me kind of wish that people from the actual poor side of town come this year not with scary costumes but with real pitchforks.  Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 per cent live.
                                                    - Prudie


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