IF a group of masked men burst into a bank demanding “Hand over the cash!” that’s robbery.
If someone brazenly takes items off a supermarket shelf, stuffs them in the pockets of their overcoat and runs out without paying, that’s theft.
So, why has it become acceptable for children and teenagers to knock on our front doors and demand free sweets and other goodies every 31st of October?
In fact, it’s more than acceptable. It’s actively encouraged by some parents who spend money on Halloween-related items which on November 1st either get stored in the attic for a year or thrown out. Supermarkets are full of Halloween costumes and horror masks with bloody axes through heads and eyeballs popping out – not forgetting those grinning ‘killer clowns’.
Unbelievably, more than £300 million was spent on such Halloween tat last year by British parents who probably regard Halloween as ‘just a bit of fun’. But in these times of appalling terrorist attacks, where’s the ‘fun’ in children running around wielding ‘blood-soaked’ plastic knives and meat cleavers?
If you think manufacturers and retailers only supply what the public demand, were you aware that several Halloween websites have been advertising ‘Anne Frank’ costumes?
Even if some people had ‘demanded’ it, what responsible company would want to make money from a costume representing a young girl who died in the Holocaust?
The website channel Mums found that two thirds of parents would back a strict age rating on Halloween costumes; a further three quarters would like supermarkets to take ownership of the outfits they sell; and 55 percent of parents felt children’s costumes are too sexualised.
We’ve travelled a long way down the bumpy road to ‘Bad Taste City’ since the harmless apple-bobbing of Halloween’s past.
Will someone press the bell for me please? I want to get off at the next stop.
Phil Evans is a Welsh stand up comedian. He writes for Llanelli Online. Phil’s website can be found here