“What’re You Gonna Be?” By Chris Zito

It’s a tradition as old as Trick or Treating. Kids ask each other starting shortly after Labor Day, “What’re you gonna be for Halloween?”
For kids, it’s a monumental decision and it’s daunting. Next to what you want from Santa, it’s the biggest decision of the year.

No matter what time of year, the Bearded One is never far from a kid’s thoughts.

Long gone are the $5 drugstore costumes that didn’t resemble anyone. I remember one year I begged for a Casper costume and got it. It consisted of a white smock with a picture of Casper on it and one of those “good luck crossing the street in the dark with no peripheral vision” masks. So authentic! If it hadn’t been for my deep devotion to candy (a devotion that haunts me to this day) I would have stayed home.

Casper the Bitterly Disappointed Ghost

Today’s kids arrive at the door with either a homemade costume or a furry team mascot type of deal. The child’s face is never covered. This is important because one can  no one can drag the Trick or Treaters into the house and waste valuable time trying guess who they are under their mask.  Oh yeah, it’s safer too. Vince prefers the mascot type which is wonderful. They are warm, functional, and he looks so cute other parents take out their phones to video him. Well, they should anyway.

Dragon-boy/Candy Collector/Hearthrob

There is so much fear surrounding Trick or Treating among adults that alternatives have sprung up. There are mall walks, Trick or Treating in broad daylight, and even Halloween parties at the office. The kids love all this stuff. What do they know? They have no idea that their parents were cut loose into the night to run around grabbing free candy and committing minor acts of vandalism until it was too cold to stay out or people turned their porch lights out and refuse to answer the door.

“I told the last bunch! I ain’t go no more snickers!”

Due to these multiple opportunities to dress up some kids end up using multiple costumes in the same year. Last year a friend gave us a dalmatian costume so we figured we were all set. This year someone else handed down an alligator suit. Both would qualify the kid to go to our neighbors houses and collect free stuff on October 31. However as we all remember the free candy is only part of the deal. The right costume can make or break the night for a kid. He wants to hear grown up squeal about how cute he is. He wants to hear the other kids utter a breathy “COOOOOL!” when they see him. And the one thing to avoid about all else is the dreaded, “What are you supposed to be?”

Game board? Farm yard? Confused bachelorette party stripper?

Let’s hope the kid makes the right choice. A traumatic Halloween night can change the course of his life. It goes well and he moves onto Christmas with the usual anticipation. A lousy one and he could grow up to be the guy without candy on Halloween night and a mess to clean up on All Saints Day.

Easily avoided with a couple of bags of Tootsie Rolls.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito


One Response

  1. I think the newest halloween costumes are getting so sophisticated that we’ll be grafting skin soon…

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