Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween - The Switch Witch?

Halloween where I live is interesting. The whole town pretty much gathers around the central monument here, holds a parade around it with all the kids (and some adults) in costume, and the kids trick or treat as they go. This is good because it's kind of cool to see the community come together and have fun like this. This is bad because they're all in one spot and when you're walking your small children from door to door, you have to deal with rude, inconsiderate, oblivious, pushy kids and the rude, inconsiderate, oblivious, pushy parents who raise them. This seems to be about 90% of the population here.

But we do have a few families here who are friendly to us (When you were not born here and did not grow up here, it takes a while to break the ice with the locals. Many people here still give us the "stink eye" ... there's a sort of Innsmouth Look to these people, but I digress.) and we managed to hook up with them this evening.

The talking was the usual stuff - how cute each others' kids looked, what a great time it was this year, how much candy they got - when one of them mentioned someone called "The Switch Witch" who may come later. When they saw the bewildered look on my face, they decided to explain.

Apparently, The Switch Witch will come later on Halloween night, and if the child wants to give some candy to the Switch Witch, she will leave behind a toy. The more candy you give, the better toy you get. I immediately wondered why someone would make this up.

My guess is this is done so the child does not have a lot of candy left, and therefore does not consume a lot of candy. Basically, bribe them out of their candy with a toy.

I guess that's one way to do it. We don't want you to over-consume, so we will try to get you to take less, and compensate you for what you give up. I'm guessing the McCain campaign and the far right would find some way to call this socialist re-distribution of candy the work of Barack Obama.

I'd rather let my children keep all the candy they get, and learn to moderate their consumption in a supervised way. For a few reasons:

1. I'd rather my children learn to responsibly handle incidences of "excess".
2. I'd rather they not develop the idea that candy and toys are fungible commodities and they need to get their hands on all the candy they can, so they can then immediately convert it into an equivalent value in toys.
3. They have enough damned toys between Christmas, birthdays, adoring grandparents, aunts, uncles, and "soft" parents. They have enough of an annual "expectation", they don't need any more.
4. The excess candy would just add pounds to my body and inches to my gut. C'mon, you don't think I'd throw it away, do you?!?!
5. For Chrissake, it's just CANDY. They're KIDS. They were meant to be together.

Then again, I could be accused of taking a joyous and wondrous thing for kids - an Autumn "Santa Clause" if you will - and ruining it.

Whatever. The Great Pumpkin never came to Linus, I don't think the Switch Witch will ever come to our house.


Dr. Momentum said...

Thank goodness we don't believe in a switch witch here, who turns corn into beef or... hey, waitaminit!

Candy is a consumable, and toys are durable goods. Converting consumables into durable goods unbalances the local economy, and means you have to find new real estate to store all your new, non-liquid capital.

That's why I prefer beer. It's liquid capital, and it's consumable, so it doesn't ever overstay its welcome.

What were we talking about?

Julie said...

I think one Santa Claus (plus Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny) is enough.