Halloween really does bring out the scariest of people.
No, I’m not talking about gruesome costumes and wet-your-pants pranks that are staples of late October.
I’m talking about tactless candy thieves. I know what you’re thinking – kids will steal candy from time to time, especially when it’s easy pickings. But I’m talking about an even more frightening activity – kidless adults, taking candy … from kids. Truly the stuff horror films are made of.
Last week’s “Safe on the Square” was, once again, a grand success. My age was evident as each costume revealed my lack of knowledge when it comes to the newest fads.
At the Times, we bought the same amount of candy to share with the town’s ghosts and goblins that we normally purchase (over $225 worth). Only this year, unfortunately, we ran out of candy about 45 minutes before the end of activities (blame me, I’ll plan accordingly next year. But I also want to blame the dozens and dozens of people who insist on starting to make the rounds at 1:45 p.m. when the event doesn’t start until 2:30 – not really fair for the folks who follow the rules).
The scariest things I saw this year – not zombies or bloody faces. No. It was the adults, who did not have children, walking through our candy line, plastic bags held out, waiting on someone to toss in some candy. I wasn’t sure what to do. Toss candy in and get them out of my line, or cause a scene in front of three girls in their best “Frozen” attire.
What exactly enters a person’s mind that would lead them to deem this to be acceptable behavior?
Then there were the parents who actually did have kids, but would ask for separate pieces of candy after their child received some. As if they are entitled to their own stash. Do like me and most every other parent – raid your kids’ bag when they are sleeping. A glimpse at the obesity statistics around here tells me that kids don’t need a fourth of what they racked up, anyway.
Again, I ask: What is wrong with people? I’ve vigorously tried to keep this column clean of political banter, but is this the “entitlement” mentality I hear of? Sure, it’s just a piece of candy, but is that a microcosm of the society we live in? A society where adults feel compelled to literally steal candy from children in order to satisfy their own selfish sweet tooth?
–Josh Peterson is the publisher of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the publisher’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column and best personal column. The National Newspaper Association named him “Top 30 Under 30” of newspaper professionals in 2016. He can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29