It is time to share my rules for trick-or-treat, with the informed perspective of being:

-a parent that has taken their kid out

-a parent who has taken other kids out

-a homeowner handing out copious amounts of candy

- a kid whose community did not allow this (thank you, town full of JW's and SDA's)

1) Full bars need to be reserved for full effort - I kept six(6) full candy bars for those with good costumes, some imagination, or were taking a bunch of little ones along. Everyone else gets one piece.

2) You can smoke. You can trick-or-treat. But you can't smoke and trick-or-treat - If I see a bad teenage mustache, and you just stand sheepishly at the door when its open, its time to hang it up. You've had a good run.

3) You need to get there on your own power - If you show up at my door clutching an 11-month old who can't even have the candy, you should be ashamed. There are plenty of Halloweens to be had. Hell, if your kid needs a stroller to get through the circuit, you should probably reconsider your route.


4) Don't be the beer wagon parent - It is a 120 minute ordeal, in which you are in charge of your kids, plus some other people's. Stay alert, and on your toes. If you wanted to drink, you should have volunteered to be the one handing out the candy back home.

5) "Football Player" is not a costume - Ditto "dancer". I get to take candy from you for this unoriginal bullshit.

6) What You See is What You Get - No, I don't have an alternative candy bowl. We are already at the point where I don't give out anything with nuts, and I have some non-chocolate mixed in there in case that allergy crops up. You should have come earlier when there were Skittles.


7)Leave the dog at home- Bonus points to the shithead whose un-neutered pitbull was lunging at kids last year.

8) Stick to the script - Things I have seen given in the past include:unwrapped candy in ziploc bags, popcorn balls, tennis balls, golf balls, a penny, toothbrush, lottery tickets(?), Chick Tracts. That last one got a very special visit from me the next day.

9) Be Neighborly- You have a BMW 550i in the driveway. You've got no kids to ferry around. I can see your ass on the couch in the window watching HGTV on the 65". Nobody called the cops when your pool party last summer went to 2am on a Tuesday. The least you can do is put out a bowl, asshole.


10) Stick To Your Own Neighborhood - Yes, the most controversial. But, I say this as someone who grew up in the middle of the country, and went trick-or-treating only once, when I was 12, and we moved into a town that allowed it. Most years, the non-religious families in town got together in someone's back yard with a couple cases of beer, threw out a couple bags of candy to the kids, and then had a pumpkin carving contest, and then a bonfire. Ah yes, real knives, open flames, riding in the back of pick-ups to the back 40.

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, if you can't walk to the house from yours, you can't get candy from it. A couple years back, towards closing time, I had a mini-Buzz Lightyear, about four years old, stroll up to my house, and ask me if I knew where his Mom was. Didn't know the kid. Asked him if he knew his address or Mom's name (did not). Finally, he told me they came in a brown van.

Now, at this point, the optics of this situation are bad. I can't keep the kid at my house until the parent shows (my wife is taking our daughter out). Can't really drive him around, same problem. So, I stand at the side of my street, as the sun goes down on our little Hoosier berg, and it starts to get cold. Eventually, a brown van comes trolling slowly down the street, looking for him. They yell at him for leaving the group, load him in, and speed away. No acknowledgement of the situation.