Full disclosure: Halloween is probably my favorite holiday of the year. It edges out Christmas because it doesn’t cost me a fortune, and it beats the hell out of Arbor Day. I love trees, but, come on.
I couldn’t care less about the candy on Halloween — I’m more enthralled with the principle of the holiday. I like any occasion where you’re allowed to dress up like an idiot, prowl the streets after dark, and ask your neighbors to give you free stuff. It’s just a great community building event.
There was a period in my life where it was socially unacceptable to trick or treat. That awkward phase from 13 to 33, between puberty and parenthood. Those were the dark days. But now that I have kids, trick or treating is once again the highlight of my Fall. Typically, I get dressed up as something ridiculous, like Dorothy from Oz or a giant, sexy pink bunny (see the picture above. The dude in the yellow is my five-year-old son. He has that Benjamin Button disease), and hold my kids’ hands as they walk from one house to the next, trying to judge how quickly the sugar crash will come. “If we hit all the houses at the end of this block, can I get them back home before they rip off their costumes and start rolling around and screaming in the middle of the street?”
Naturally, now that I’m a respected adult, I also carry a bunch of beer with me while I trick or treat. A small, rolling cooler works well. You can use it as a bench if you get winded, or as a makeshift stroller if one of your kids craps out too early. Plus, if you’re really creative, you can dress the cooler up as part of your costume. For example, if you’re Dorothy, the cooler can be ToTo. The problem with toting a cooler though, is the other dads in the neighborhood will know that you have beer and they’ll come over to you and drink all your beer.
So ideally, you’ll develop a costume that allows you to stash the beer on your body. The perfect costume for stashing beer is Santa Claus. Yes, this can be a little confusing for the neighborhood children—the blending of the two holidays can have a result similar to crossing the proton pack streams in Ghostbusters for their little minds—but it’s worth it because you can easily get six tall boys of Dale’s in the belly of one of those red suits.
What you stuff your Santa suit with this Halloween is entirely up to you. It should be cans, of course, because, you know, the environment. And also, we don’t want a bunch of broken glass on our neighborhood streets. This is a family holiday—show some respect.