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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Trix Are For Kids

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       They're as ubiquitous as the Milwaukee corner tap.   Or Walgreens.

       There seems to be a "Halloween Express" at almost every major intersection, or in any strip mall sporting an available store front.     They started popping up in late August, with the inflatable pumpkin showing up along I-94 at State Fair Park a few days ago.

       I won't be patronizing a single one of 'em.

       It's not because of some high moral belief or religious stand against October 31st.    I liked Halloween as much as anyone.

       But then, I grew up.

       Halloween is for kids.   It's their chance to dress up, go door to door and come home with a grocery bag full of candy.   I think adult involvement should start with the choice of a safe, age-appropriate costume for your kids and end with an inspection of your child's take (which also includes appropriation of mom and dad's favorites).    

       Don't even get me started on teenage kids who don't even bother to put on a costume, yet ring doorbells and mutter a half-assed "trick or treat", hoping to score a Snickers.    Be gone, and sin no more.   

       College kids get an exemption: they come up with the best, most timely and politically incorrect costumes.    We give them a pass because they're young.     And, because they need another reason to party.

       No grown man should take a baseball mitt to a major league game unless he's playing shortstop and no adult should be counting down the days until Halloween unless he's Vincent Price.   Or Boris Karloff.    Perhaps Eddie from "The Munsters".  shoots down the urban legend that Halloween is now the nation's second largest retail holiday.     In truth, it finishes way down the list behind Christmas,  Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Easter and Father's Day.    Snopes says that's because few if any gifts are exchanged on All Hallow's Eve.     Still, we'll spend $5 billion on the occasion and the National Retail Federation figures two-thirds of us will celebrate Halloween in a manner involving retail purchases, spending an average of $60 each.    Only a third of that amount is devoted to candy, leaving one to wonder where the rest ends up.

       I'm guessing you'll find most of it in the cash drawer of a "Halloween Express" near you.    You won't have to look very hard to find one, and numbers like that make it very clear why there are so many of them up and running two months ahead of time.

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