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Hartselle Enquirer

The trick's on the parents now

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
A friend of mine recently expressed shock after she took her three young children shopping for Halloween costumes. After she purchased all the pirate swords, sparkly princess wands and super hero capes needed, her total bill came to $200.
I was floored. I had no idea Halloween costumes cost so much. You could add up the cost of every Halloween costume I ever had and not equal $200.
When I was very young, Halloween costumes consisted of plastic outfits that fit like giant sandwich boards. Completing the look was a plastic mask held on your face with thin rubber string. These strings usually broke before the end of trick-or-treating, something you were happy about as you quickly realized after getting your mask on that it was hard to breathe.
There were only a couple of costume options each year. One year, Superman and Wonder Woman were popular and I remember seeing about 100 of those walking up and down the street. The next year, it was Fonzie and Marie Osmond. There were 100s of those, too.
The total cost for those costumes was about $5. And, if your parents didn't want to spend that or you ran out of time, you could always wear your dad's old shirt and some rolled up pants, throw a bandana tied to a stick over your shoulder and you were a hobo. Cost? Nothing.
One year, I decided I was going to make my own costume. I put on a sequined dance costume, a pair of blue jeans and a pair of my mom's high heels. I added lots of makeup, telling everyone I was a "movie star." I probably looked like an 8-year-old floozy, but I thought I looked quite glamorous.
I don't think many kids make their own costumes any more. Last year, my nephews had costumes that would rival a Broadway production. Their costumes lit up, made noises and did everything but say "trick or treat" for them.
But even that's changed.
Most children don't say "trick or treat" any more. The few that show up at the door just thrust their sack at you and expect loads of candy.
Things have changed.
Where is the rumor about the grouchy old man who put razor blades in the apples he hands out? (Did anyone ever receive an apple for Halloween? If so, please let me know.)
What about the house that was too dark on Halloween night so even the bravest Superman wouldn't walk up the drive way?
Where is the mean lady who would keep your ball if it landed in her yard and would sit on her front porch and make sure no one got to her pumpkin?
All those things are gone now. But, if for some reason, I do get an 8-year-old movie star at my door Oct. 31, I'm giving them all the candy I have. Every last piece.

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