Saturday Night is upon us, and to some of you, this may be the scariest one ever. Vampires and werewolves used to be terrifying, but we now know they are no match for a simple wooden stake and a silver bullet. This year the biggest fear is a horse of a different color. Or, to be more accurate, no color.
That invisible monster lurking where you least expect it is changing the way we do Halloween. Houses this year are taking steps toward distancing themselves from infectious, double-masked children who were raised on dunking their hands into oversized bowls of candy by parents who bobbed for apples in their youth (gross, even then). Trick-or-treaters have to worry about the safety of their take-home haul. Was that a safe, clean house or was the guy coughing and wiping his nose while putting these treat bags together?
It’s a crapshoot no matter which side of the ball you’re on, so let’s look at how we can minimize the danger and place the fear more directly on the shoulders of Drac and Frank.
At the source, we have the homeowner. This isn’t the year for you to make homemade treats unless it’s for your family or the neighbor kids who quarantined with you this summer. Your party should remain small. Everyone is on the honor system, so don’t invite the guy who would never let the sniffles get in his way of a Mad Monster Party.
Store-bought candy should be fresh out of the bag with minimal handling to protect the innocent. To protect yourself, you may wish to work on a delivery system. Mark off your sidewalk at six-foot intervals with chalk or colorful duct tape. A simple, decorated piece of PVC pipe on an elevated frame could act as a fun candy chute. Feeling really fancy? Build a trebuchet or catapult and launch the candy toward the street. Lil’ Johnny needs to work on his pop-fly skills anyway.
If you’re not concerned about that invisible demon, do something anyway. Still think it’s a hoax? Well, do something to make the kids feel safer.
Parents, let’s not lose sight of the fact the dangers of the past are still relevant at today’s festivities. Flashlights are great because traffic is a bear. Werewolves really do come out on a full moon. And if the 1980s taught me anything, it’s that parents have to check their children’s candy for PCP and razor blades as if they were food tasters for royalty.
“Let me see that Reese’s. I have to make sure no one imbedded a tiny razor blade into the sealed package. You can have the other half, son. Oh, what’s that suspicious white powdery stuff on that Whoppers’ wrapper? Could be sugar, could be PCP. Dad better have a look.”
Now we have something else to worry about that isn’t as far-fetched. First, use lots of hand sanitizer, just like at the fair. Germaphobes already do. Be like a germaphobe. Wear a mask. Yes, even if you are wearing a spooky mask. This is the year for the ninja costume if ever there were one. Even Michael Myers is wearing a paper mask underneath his rubber one. It’s what attributes to his longevity. Be like Mike.
I know the temptation is great, but don’t dig into your candy immediately. I had to wait for my parents to sift through the razor blades and PCP. You can at least wait until the wrappers have been wiped down and sanitized. The other option is to let the candy sit for 48 hours. Shut up and wipe it down.
If it’s something special you’re looking for, perhaps the Perdido Queen’s Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise should be on your list. It’s a celebration of Halloween on the water as the cast of Bay City Improv takes guests on an adventure-filled mystery to solve. Dine at your private table with dinner provided by Dauphin’s. There is also a full cash bar.
Boarding is directly behind the Mobile Convention Center. Reservations are required. Visit perdidoqueen.com for more information.
The Haberdasher has been your favorite for high-end cocktails. Halloween week is no different. The current offering of spooky tiki drinks includes the three-rum blend Ichabod’s Island (you may taste a hint of pumpkin) or the four-rum blend Zombie 113, an absinthe-laced drink sure to put you in the creepy spirit. This week the menu expands to more Halloween drinks and will run Wednesday through Friday. The bar will be closed on Halloween night.
If you’re dressing up and in the mood for a good breakfast/brunch/lunch, the Ruby Slipper Café is the place for you Halloween morning. The 100 North Royal Street hotspot should be full of young folks, as kids in costume eat free from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.! This, of course, is with the purchase of an adult entree. Single parents with two kids may be able to sneak one under the radar, but if you have too many kids, you’d better find some more parents.
The Stapleton Bluegrass Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 31, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with six bands and seven food trucks. The event was postponed from last spring when the coronavirus took over, but will go on Halloween day under beautiful skies at the Stapleton Elementary campus. No coolers are allowed, but you’ll have great music and great food to start your Halloween right. Visit the festival Facebook page or stapletonbluegrassfestival.com for more details.
Mask up, my little ghouls, and spread the cheer instead of the illness. Avoid the germs just like you would the razor blades and PCP. On a personal note, I’d like to remind my students I get a 10 percent tribute from your Saturday haul. It’s OK. I usually like the candy you don’t enjoy.
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