Trick-or-treating: old in age but not in spirit

Oct. 30, 2005, midnight | By Devon Madison | 18 years, 7 months ago

Blazers head out on Halloween despite their waning adolescence

She walks up the front walk, bag of candy in hand, wearing an extravagant costume and a luminous face like the grinning jack-o-lantern that sits on the front stoop before her. Accompanying her are a bunch of her buddies, also extremely excited and ready for the night they've been waiting for: Halloween. No, these kids aren't six year-old girls dressed in witch costumes, fresh from their school party earlier that day; they're high school juniors dressed in suggestive costumes, expecting great things from the neighbors they've never met.

For many young kids, Halloween night is a time to be reckoned with. As children, we prepared for it for months, planning out our outfits and waiting for the night where they get to stay out late collecting as much booty as possible. But where does one draw the line in being too old to trick-or-treat? Blazers agree that being too old for trick-or-treating is difficult concept to accept.

Hair-raising tales

For a couple of years, I could get away with trick or treating at an older age. In eighth and ninth grade, as long as I had a costume that was legit, I could get away with looking like a 10 year old. It wasn't until last year when I dressed as a tennis player and headed off into the neighborhood that I ran into problems. A few adults looked disgruntled, as if I was about to steal all the candy from the four year-old dressed as a dinosaur in front of me. It wasn't until an older man asked me, the tennis player dressed in a buttoned up polo, a tennis skirt, a visor and a racket in hand, if I was dressed as a Hooters girl. This is where I draw the line. No longer was trick-or-treating about disguising yourself and collecting as much candy as possible; now it was just getting creepy.

Other Blazers have had similar negative experiences with trick-or-treating at an older age, some even more traumatizing than my own.

Junior Gabe Barouh went out last year on Halloween, and was walking to a friend's house to begin their trick or treating. Already dressed in costume, Barouh was honked at by three men who thought he was a woman. Granted, Barouh did fit the part, wearing a skirt, fishnet stockings and high heels, but he still felt violated.

Junior Lily Fischer and sophomore Becky Richmond had a similar scary experience when trick-or-treating last year. The two girls were attacked by a couple of guys who threw pumpkins at them. "One hit me in the face, and one hit Becky in the arm," Fischer recalls. "It really hurt."

Sophomore Elizabeth Horne went out trick-or-treating last year with one of her best friends. They approached a house that seemed empty, but could hear music playing inside. They knocked on the door but received no answer, so they turned to walk away. Just as they were leaving people ran out from behind bushes throwing candy at them. Horne found that the experience wasn't as funny to her as it was to the pranksters. "It was so scary," she says.

Despite their bad experiences, Blazers, like me, just can't seem to rid themselves of the habit. Barouh has a similar opinion on the whole situation. "Even though I had a bad experience, I'm not going to let that stop me from going out again this year," says Barouh.

Blazers just wanna have fun

So who says you can't trick or treat when you get old? There's no defined rule, like the one at carnivals that say you can't go on the kiddy ride unless you're shorter than four feet tall. So I say, dress extremely appropriately so as not to endorse any crazy ideas, get out there on your block, and trick or treat like there's no tomorrow. Nobody can complain about a free bag full of candy, except maybe a dentist. And if adults deny us the unalienable right of childhood, than politely leave, and hope that they remember that we can drive, we don't have 8 p.m. bedtimes and we don't have to be 21 to buy a carton of eggs.

Devon Madison. Devon Madison has a famous brother and sister. What went wrong? No one will know. More »

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