This goes against the code at howtobeadad.com: never provide useful or important information, least of all instructions on how to do something. Correctly. So I’ve added in how to do be a total box of chocolate-covered douche-peanuts as well, to even things out. Also, I figure since this isn’t exactly a major parenting or world issue (yes it is, shhhhh), I’m safe from the assassins we hired to put us out of our misery should we ever become authoritative blowhards. Fingers crossed and braided into a friendship bracelet!
I’m going to tell you here the good and the evil side of how to trick-or-treat, so you fellow parents can properly or improperly teach your children. Let us begin at the beginning.
The Neighborhood (Good)
If you’ve got a crappy neighborhood for trick-or-treating (“crappy” being defined here as mostly darkened porches or ones that are separated by marathon distances), there’s no shame in migrating to greener, more candy-laden pastures. Otherwise, spiral out from your home and say hey to people who write the same street name as you on their envelopes.
The Neighborhood (Evil)
Shunning your own decent area for the riches of a destination neighborhood is a little bit of a punk-ass move. Think of the candy in your neck of the woods without a child’s bag to call its home, all because of some frothing at the mouth about a house somewhere else that lobbed whole candy bars at children from mortars last year.
Approaching a House (Good)
The shortest distance between two points is easily determined by any costumed child and an illuminated doorway on Halloween. Unfortunately, this path also results in a national average of $81.4 million in sprinkler head and garden plant damage. Use sidewalks, paths and driveways. If it’s hard underfoot, you’re good.
Approaching a House (Evil)
If it’s soft underfoot, you’re a punk and my gardener’s newest best friend. Since you’re into being evil though, just make sure to stomp on any flowers or shrubbery that may or may not have gotten in your way. And if a mythological unicorn happens to materialize in front of you, you can use the shards of any broken lawn decorations to kill it and drink it’s blood, you bastard.
Don’t forget to scare a few years off the lives of any nearby trick-or-treaters. Life is short, on Halloween it’s pretty much your job as Jerkzilla to shorten it with bullying terror. Scrub their heads with Nair, kids love a good head tussling.*
* this actually happened to my wife when she first came to America from England as a kid. Happy Baldoween, eh, gov?
The Greeting (Good)
Waiting your turn, look up at the candy distributors and clearly say “Trick or treat!” in a festive, upbeat tone; or say it “in character” for the costume you’re wearing. Offer your bag or bucket closely enough that they don’t have to FedEx your goodies to you. Smile! Even if you’re a horribly disfigured zombie Pokémon.
The Greeting (Evil)
Shove past anyone in the way, skip saying anything and thrust your bag out without looking up from your portable gaming system, smartphone or your general aura of rudeness. Do not make eye contact! If the candy isn’t given instantly, roll your eyes, or (if your costume covers your eyes) let your flailing shoulders say “Come ON!” in an aggravated shrug. Feel free to grunt. You’re an evil trick-or-treater, remember, so whines and grunting are for you like song to a bird.
Mega extra evil credit if you’re not even wearing a costume. Or just used a marker to write something you saw online that’s clever and ironic on an old t-shirt. Hey, lemmings are cute, right? Watch that first step, though, it’s a doozy.
Receiving Treats (Good)
Say “Thank you!” or “Happy Halloween!” Refrain from displaying any looks of disapproval at what you were given, or even checking to see what was just plunked into your haul; just smile and look thankful. If it happened to be a candy you dislike, you’ll probably be able to trade it (covered later), and if it was something lame like an eraser or a dime, you’re better off not knowing right then. For especially bad offerings, such as fruit, it is advisable to remove the weight from your bag, but do so out of sight and in a trash can, or provide some botanical philanthropy by placing it in nearby foliage. Rotting fruit can provide a pleasant fragrance and is a natural fertilizer.
Receiving Treats (Evil)
Still going with the evil angle here, if you’re tame enough a demon to allow them to toss treats in your bag without grabbing unsanctioned fistfuls of whatever you damned well please, inspect what you were given scornfully and then look disgustedly (even if you’re satisfied) at the pathetic offering. Share Hell with them, tonight is your night.
Leaving the Property (Good)
For high-traffic houses, think lanes. There should be a natural flow going up to front door and away. If not, try to establish one by following the child ahead of you. Everyone wins. And trips and collisions happen a heck of lot less.
Leaving the Property (Evil)
Bolt. You’re in a cosplay mosh pit of underaged chaos and the stage is the next house. Rush it! Your costumed shoes were meant for trampling, and that’s just what they’ll do. If you’ve got a blunt object, destroy the house’s pumpkins in the pandemonium or drop a weapons-grade firecracker in one for even greater effect. You’re as devoid of morals as you are of feeling, so make it memorable for the people that do have them.
The Ideal Route (Good)
You can do a zig zag up and down each street, following a grid. Be careful at crossings blah blah blah. Be safe. But also remember the halfway rule of hiking. Measure the distance you travel by half what you’re willing to go. You’re going to need to turn around and head back, and your feet and bladder and appetite for all the treasure you’re carrying are going to have a lot to say about the length of your Cand-odysse-y.
The Ideal Route (Evil)
Don’t just work both sides of the street, work all of the streets! Hit houses with good candy over and over and over. Trade masks with fellow a-holes and con those houses until their bowls are filled with the same emptiness that your own cold soul possesses. Once you’re done sucking a neighborhood dry, you can always piss and moan enough for your parent to bring the car around to rescue your entitled ass and taxi it home for you. Fake an injury if needed.
While you’re on your way though, don’t forget that mugging isn’t age-specific and just double your plunder, double your pleasure, by ripping a bag out of the hands of a sadly overly-redundant trick-or-treater who stayed out parental eyeshot. You’ll be the biggest winner at being a loser, but you’ll have more sugar nummies, you *****y ****.
Sorting and Trading (Good)
If you cleaned up, try not to be smug or compare hauls. Be graceful about your plunder, even generous. You can offer prizes you don’t even care for and look like a rockstar. And, when trading, be honest about valuation. Don’t pretend to not love Milk Duds when you’ve had shuddering dreams about them. Fairness, always.
Also, kids should not underestimate the value that adults place on candy; either from desire to gobble some of it up or on a fussier, health-conscious basis, to keep you from eating it. Try to be magnanimous. Even if you have to Google what that word means.
Sorting and Trading (Bad)
This is poker now for you evil turds. Sweet Tarts might make your skin crawl, but you’re going to make your fellow trick-or-treaters crawl for them. Fake, feign, cheat, whatever it takes to improve your candy portfolio. The is HalloWall Street and you’re playing the market! Sell high, buy low. Short ’em. Do some insider trading. You’re dead inside, so it doesn’t really matter. Candy matters.
Don’t forget to TP the “nutritious” houses after hours and soap up their cars like a good little demon. Almost forgot! Ringing the doorbell for the surprise delivery flaming bags of feces are always a nice return-treat in the dead of night, too, for you up and coming inmates.
There you go. That’s it. I could’ve written a book (that no one would have bought or read). But I’m lazy so yay, right? I’m sure there will be hordes of people who pony up to tell me what I’ve missed and left out. Really? Just comment your additions. Don’t tell me what I “missed.” You know you wouldn’t have read this if it was “comprehensive,” or a book.
In closing, teach your kids how to trick-or-treat however you will. But realize that just because your kid might be dressed as something evil, he or she can still be good about it. Also, folks, bear in mind that candy just doesn’t taste as good when it’s coated with greed and the taint of douchebaggery. Decently earned candy isn’t spoiled with the commonality of sweets you could get at a car dealership reception desk. On the flip side, there’re few things sweeter than properly procured trick-or-treatsies.
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Flamethrowing Instructional Diagrams
I took infographics and gave them flamethrowers because DUH!