Call me the Grinch that stole Halloween.  Not much of a fan.  Dressing up in costumes and dragging kids through the streets so they can beg for candy has just never been my idea of having fun.

Maybe it's the time of year.  It's usually chilly on Halloween.  My warm, green summer breezes have been replaced by brown grass, bare trees and crackling leaves underfoot.  My 8pm sunsets have given way to pre-dinner darkness.  It's enough to make anyone bitter.

Even as a kid I was never a big fan of Halloween.  It just never made sense that my parents would buy tons of candy to give away to other kids when they could have just given it to me and saved us all a lot of trouble.  Bah humbug!  The only benefit of Halloween was being able to hang outside after dark with all of my friends in the neighborhood.

Seriously, Halloween has become big business.  What hasn't these days?  People spend fortunes for decorations and costumes.  Back in the day we carved a jack-o-lantern and wore big old clothes for a costume.  Nothing fancy.

Today, friends who live in so-called "nice neighborhoods," those with cull de sacs and little thru traffic live in fear of the pending invasion.   Just as the sun is about to set van loads of kids descend upon these neighborhoods like locusts in over-drive, pouring into the streets sucking up every Kit Kat and Reese's Cup in sight.  And they keep coming.  Wave after wave.  Long after reasonable people would expect to be able to relax for the night the doorbell continues to ring.

Some of these folks tell me it can cost well over $100 dollars to satisfy these mobs of kids.  And don't shut the lights out because they know you are in there!  They can see the glow of your TV screen through the blinds.

Parents, please use common sense and go easy on the folks.  Keep your kids in your own hood and don't pray on he "nice neighborhoods."  How much candy does a kid really need?   Candy makes kids fat and ruins their teeth anyway.

And just a reminder, screen all treats before the kids begin their chow fest.  It is often hard for kids to identify tampered with candy when they are having sugar convulsions, especially if it's dark out.

Most importantly, have fun and take lots of pictures.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.



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