Hi Readers — It occurs to me that maybe the best way to fight Halloween paranoia is with cookies.
Start with the fact that there has NEVER been a case of children poisoned by a stranger’s candy on Halloween. That’s according to University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best, who has studied the urban myth since 1985. Nonetheless, the advice we ALWAYS hear is to “check your child’s candy for tampering,” and treat homemade goodies like radioactive waste. All of which is based on the belief that we are quite likely surrounded by psychopathic child killers (who hold it in till Oct. 31st).
But that idea isn’t just wrong, it’s corrosive. Start thinking of your nice neighbors as potential killers ONE day a year and how are you supposed to trust them the REST of the year? It begins to seem just plain prudent to treat everyone as evil, especially where our kids are concerned.
Result? A society where we don’t let our kids roam the neighborhood, interact with adults or do much of anything on their own. It just seems “too dangerous.” All adults are creeps and killers until proven otherwise.
So this year: Let’s prove otherwise.
Let’s be like “The Fudge Lady” my friend Kelley remembers from her childhood Halloweens. Along with her fabulous fudge wrapped in Saran Wrap, the lady included her phone number. Anyone worried could call her, thus taking the terror out of the treat.
Do the same and anyone who is worried can call us. We can chat with them, explaining that we want to spread community (and cookies). And we can remind them that even though it seems strange to get a homemade treat, we are part of the the 100% of people who have never poisoned a child on Halloween. — L.