October 30, 2019: Halloween is Cancelled

I feel a bit like the Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas driving around and telling everyone that Jack is dead, but it looks like Halloween is cancelled. For my town at least. Maybe yours, too, if you’re on the upper East Coast.

I got an email from the school district yesterday that said that the police department had announced that due to “anticipated inclement weather,” they’re postponing trick-or-treating (and, some would say, Halloween) until Saturday, November 2.

So awful. But so many questions.

Are the police in control of Halloween? Are we under martial law that night? What happens if I take my kids out anyway? Will we be arrested? I mean, I’ve seen those movies where Halloweens are outlawed because of some trauma in the town’s past connected to that holiday (like When Good Ghouls Go Bad), but just doing it because of rain? Sounds like a Ray Bradbury story.

Personally, I…think it’s a silly call.

I mean, it’s rain, not an erupting volcano. Parents should be able to choose whether to brave it or not and how much they trust their own umbrellas.

Also, by postponing things, they’re just making it awkward. Nobody wants to trick-or-treat in November. We’ve got sugar plums dancing in our heads by then, for Scrooge’s sake. So, in essence, they’re cancelling it. Cancelling Halloween.

Halloween was “postponed” for us once, in 2011. It was because of snow (and the massive, power outages it caused). I wrote about it during that year’s OTIS Halloween Season, the year of the Oct-snow-ber (which also inspired part of Death and Douglas). That call made sense. Snow is dangerous. It’s a matter of public safety. Rain…isn’t. Jobs and schools shut down for snow, but they never do for rain. And neither should Halloween.

I didn’t care much about that postponement back in the day. We only had one kid, and she wasn’t even two years old. But now I have two kids of trick-or-treating age. And I feel particularly bad for my eldest, who actually built her costume from scratch over the past couple of months. Not like threw together clothes from the attic a la Garfield, but built a head out of foam and fur and gloves and feet and everything. She was looking forward to showing it off around the neighborhoods. Now I’m going to have to take her to a furry convention, I guess. Or at least throw an impromptu Halloween party (although who am I kidding? I never throw parties).

When Halloween was postponed for snow back in 2011, no kids showed up at our door either in defiance on that night or out of obedience on the rescheduled night. I assume because everybody was too busy putting up Christmas trees.

Halloween’s cancelled. [Dad voice] Yet another reason to celebrate it as a season and not a day.