Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Why Halloween Sucks

I figured it out.

I now know why I have an aversion to Halloween.

It all starts with Phil from finance.

Imagine a guy who works in the financial department down the hall from the unit where you work, which we’ll say is issues management.

Phil wears a suit every day. He nods to you when you pass him in the hallway. He presses the elevator button for you when you are both heading down to grab a coffee.

Phil smiles when you joke about the Leafs, “This could be the year … they flame out again.”

Phil sometimes does not look up at you when you pass him in the hallway because he is texting away on his BlackBerry.

Phil canvasses for the United Way. He has two small children.

Then on October 31, he changes.

He shows up to work wearing a cape.

Just a cape. Over his suit.

It’s the way he laughs though, that makes you pale from embarrassment.

It’s more of a giggle, an inane yuk.
He runs up and down the hallway trying to flutter his cape.

The women from operations laugh. You – you try not to stare incredulously.

You whisper to yourself take it outside buddy.

The display of sanctioned make believe is excruciating.

But this is what Phil has to offer. And you smile. To do anything else would be cruel.

Okay – here’s the real reason Halloween sucks:

I grew up in Cote St. Luc, Quebec, a predominately jewish neighbourhood.

Halloween was not high on my neighbourhood’s celebratory occasions list. There may have been a pumpkin on a stoop once every twelve houses.

It felt strange wandering the streets in a bed sheet and top hat under a moody and dark October sky, looking for treats where few were to be had. Where were the other kids?

It's almost 5pm Halloween night here in Toronto. I hope the little kids in my neighbourhood have a fun evening.
Me, I'll do what I do every Halloween -- dinner and a movie. But at least I won't feel alone.

Happy Halloween.

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