(or how to fail with the compliments of the season.)
A previous year, early in the evening of the 29th October and there is a knock at the door. I open, expecting the usual suspects of chuggers, double glazing, Mormons etc but instead I am met with a youth, not much shorter than myself, wearing a cheap “Scream” mask.
“Trick or Treat” he exclaims, holding out his hand expectantly.
I reply “No thanks” and gently close the door, for fear of crushing various body parts in the doorway. I wasn’t in the mood to educate the youth in his epic fail, but I should have let him know a few things…
First of all, it’s the 29th October. It’s not sweets or money you need, but a diary. Did you not notice the lack of similarly attired individuals in the area? I appreciate that this is a large housing estate, but it’s not a mail shot you are doing. If you really want to make a bit of money, speak to one of the takeaway proprietors and you could deliver a menu or two at the same time.
Second, aren’t you a bit old for this? The time to stop “Trick or Treating” is when you have grown tall enough to reach doorbells unassisted. You can resume when you are old enough to drink. Until then, please grow up.
And that mask, really… When I was younger than yourself, we used to spend weeks making our costumes, getting it all together, so if you’re not prepared to put as much effort into your costume as I would, then please darken my door. Oh, I’m sorry, it’s not a cheap “Scream” mask, as you actually spent a bit more and got the one that has fake blood pouring down the front. Tasteful. I see now that you have tried to speculate to accumulate.
Now that I’m on my rant, “Trick or Treat?” This is Scotland, it’s called Guising. If you want to use an American tradition to make some money, then go get a job in McDonalds. You will be less disappointed working there than when I refuse to contribute to your continuing economic development. I believe you will also get an occasional free burger.
Shall I even mention the tumshie lamp that you are clearly not carrying. Get a big one and you can go home to haggis, neaps and tatties knowing that you have contributed the core of your lamp to the evening meal.
And in looking at you, do I even know you? I know all the wee folk round here, and you don’t seem familiar. Casting the net a bit wide, aren’t we?
Were you trying to scare me? If you want a scare in return, I’ll answer the door with a chainsaw. I have done this before, and the caller went running. In my letter of apology I did suggest to the TV Licensing man that it was probably a bad night to make house calls.
And when we went out guising, we told a joke or two, sang a song or generally entertained. Yes, I am finding this entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons. So we’re getting to the crux of my argument. If you are going to knock at my door and expect a donation from me with no possibility of return, then you are not guising, you are begging. Now go away and stop bothering me.”