COLUMN: Halloween: a retrospective (and what to expect for the future)


Trent Jonas

Trent Jonas is a graduate student studying English and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Trent Jonas, Columnist

So, because the Celtic idiots who lived 2,000 years ago thought that New Years was on November 1 instead of a week after Christmas, they came up with this shindig call Samhain, which is most decidedly not pronounced in any way close to the way it’s spelled.

All the ghosts of the dead had major FOMO and showed up to Samhain to party for NYE.

The folks who weren’t ghosts got a little freaked out by the phantasmic party crashers because they caused trouble and trampled the crops.

On the other hand, the Druids dug it because they thought all the ghosts tooling around helped them dish out hot takes on the future.

Then you were born- and your parents dressed you up in stupid onesies and took pictures of you as a pumpkin or a teddy bear.

Or they used you to accessorize their own lame costumes and couldn’t understand why they didn’t win the costume contest at the neighborhood sports bar as a drunken (not part of the costume) Pooh bear with slutty Kanga, and you playing little Roo.

After you were about two, they couldn’t use you anymore because you’d become fully indoctrinated in consumer culture, had seen too many ads on TV or pop-ups on, and demanded your own costume.

So, they took you to Spirit, where they only found dress up gear that was too scary or whorish for their beloved toddler, and you ended up as a Power Ranger or Iron Man or Disney princess straight out of the aisles of Target.

This went on for several years, with the trick or treating, parents hovering over your shoulders sucking up all the disingenuous compliments—“Oh what are YOU?! You’re such an A-DOR-able little Squidward!”—while the homeowners couldn’t wait to slam the door in your little face and make fun of the poorly-markered lunch bag you were wearing on your head.

Then you hit that age where nobody wanted you as a trick or treater, and you didn’t get invited to good parties, so you probably just sat around the house eating the candy your parents bought to hand out to trick or treaters, sniffing glue, and drinking your Dad’s Coors Lights that he saved to give out to his friends because he didn’t want them sucking down his precious IPAs or, God forbid, the Spotted Cow he picked up when he stopped at a Kwik Trip in Beloit.

Which brings us to today, when you’re all on the verge of discovering that adult Halloween can actually be fun.

Then you’ll have 30 years of adult hangovers that hurt worse than the sugar hangovers of your youth.

Eventually, you’ll decide that none of it’s worth it, stop dressing up, stop buying candy, and on the last day of October, turn out your porch lights and head over to the neighborhood sports bar and watch the morons make fools of themselves in the costume contest.

Maybe you’ll pilfer a Snickers or a Reese’s from the candy bowl at the hostess stand, and you’ll drink your drink, and eat your chocolate, content as a Druid on Samhain, thinking to yourself, “Now, this is a happy Halloween.”

Trent Jonas is an English gradute student. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.