Trick or Treat signs and marketing are everywhere in October. I even walked past one just now in Hong Kong. All of them assume you want treats, not tricks. Weird. Treats, usually cheap and sugary, are ubiquitous and most health-conscious adults take a hard pass. Tricks, on the other hand, take creativity, time, and often money. So it is usually a real treat to be tricked.
Trick or treating’s origin was in bribing neighborhood kids so they wouldn’t play tricks on you. Are/were adults really that scared of kids? If the bribe price was a cheap piece of candy to stop neighborhood kids from egging my house, I can see how that would catch on. But these days, candy is plenty and kids are too lazy to trick people. It is the adults, with years of experience and resources to pull off some good pranks, who we should fear and to who can make our neighborhoods fun again.
Here are a few easy Halloween tricks to help get you started:
Foreclosure sale or political yard sign: find a vintage sign, one that is opposite their politics, or a totally made up measure (like Vote Yes for Polygamy).
Removable bumper stickers: easy to place on the rear bumper and might not be seen for days.
“Decorate” their house with Police Line - Do Not Cross yellow tape for a welcome home surprise.
Ding dong ditch, updated for Ring: dress like a burglar, go to the door and trigger the motion detector. Put tape over the camera. Then go home.
Hidden sound devices: My neighbors were the victims of my product testing for Meow Hear This. After dinner at their house, I dropped the sound device into a bowl near their bed. I assumed they would find it before going to sleep. In the middle of the night, however, they swore cats had gotten into the dinner scraps outside and were thoroughly annoyed. For hours. That was an easy and memorable prank that we can (now) laugh about. If I came to their door this Halloween and said trick or treat, I’m sure they would give me something waaaaaaay better than candy to not have a night like that again. And now I understand and appreciate the origin of trick or treating.
Comments will be approved before showing up.