Monday, October 31, 2011

Treat or Trick?

Of course there's no way anyone is going to change the hallowed Halloween formula, but think about it: the first option is for the caller to receive a treat. Only if none is forthcoming is the caller supposed to perform a trick on the householder.

In practice, very few tricks are played, because almost all households are prepared to offer candy or other Treat. Can readers ever remember any tricks being played? I believe that most collectors of Treats don't have potential Tricks to play.

If you don't want to give out Treats, it's wise to be out of the house. It's really not kosher to trick an absent householder. If you want to challenge the caller, probably the best thing to do is to have lights on, music playing, and avoid opening the door. What would the caller do? Maybe turn over a garbage can. If one is a polluter, unraveling a length of TP is a possibility. Vandalism might tempt a teenager, but is unlikely from a child under ten.

Another point occurred to me when I was thinking about the annual conclusion to October: the phrase is really mixed up. The one treating doesn't trick. Fortunately, we don't have to hear "Give me a Treat, or I will Trick you". So, I guess we are stuck with: "Trick or Treat".

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