Athena Swears That Any Rumor of Her Turning Into a Zombie Is Just That, a Rumor

Be that as it may, I am skeptical.

And yes, a couple days early. Here in Ohio, they have “Beggars’ Night,” on the thinking that Halloween has been colonized by adults, who will have lots of drinks at their Halloween parties and then take to the road, not necessarily watching for tyke-sized ghosties and ghoulies out looking for treats. I am also skeptical of this, but hey. As long as Athena gets her brains candy, no one gets hurt.

40 Comments on “Athena Swears That Any Rumor of Her Turning Into a Zombie Is Just That, a Rumor”

  1. If I were expecting any trick-or-treaters this year (which I’m not. Living in a back house behind a locked fence with the landlords pit mix patrolling the yard means not many casual visitors), I’d be giving out the Halloween treat I just discovered – Coke Zero and Planters Smoked Bacon Peanuts.

  2. Mmm…buhraaainsssss.

    I wanted to dress my baby up as a baby velociraptor for the Halloween, but it didn’t really work out for a variety of reasons. The least of which being I hadn’t the foggiest where to start and the most of which being 10 week old babies aren’t really up for that sort of thing. Or, so I’ve been told by the ten week olds baby momma.

  3. I grew up in Ohio, and when I moved to Minnesota I learned that most people actually trick-or-treat on Oct. 31. It was a revelation to me. I called home and told my mom, and she said, “But NOBODY trick or treats on Halloween! That would be such a terrible idea!”

    When I was growing up, though, the theory wasn’t that adults would hit children with cars, but that nasty adolescents would play tricks on them or possibly that they would be molested by Satanists or something.

  4. OB, a green onesie and a baby bonnet with eyes appliquéd on, and a row of felt triangles sewn along the edge. No harm to the wee one, and quite costume enough. Also it would be adorable.

  5. Growing up in Toledo, we always trick-or-treat’d on Halloween. I don’t know what to make of that. Why did Ohio not invite us to the party?

  6. Ninjas? DONE!
    Pirates? DONE!

    What’s the next done-to-death net meme going to be? I vote for–

  7. My husband wants to be a zombie cow for his Ultimate tournament. Where did you get your make-up for Athena?

  8. After ninjas, pirates, and zombies, you have to have either robots or monkeys. I think it’s one of those Internet Laws or something.

  9. No, seriously, I always try to get thoroughly drunk no later than 6 PM on Halloween night, during prime trick-or-treating time, and drive home to sleep it off… or is your town one of those that has trick-or-treating from 2 to 4 AM after the bars close? LOL.

  10. Xopher – thanks for that, I like it. If you’ll excuse me I have to retreat into my cave to scheme on how to sell this idea.

    Also, plus ten to you for agreeing that a baby velociraptor would be adorable.

  11. Other Bill, remind your wife that any overly cute photos of the baby are ammunition for her to hold over his head when he’s grown into a surly rebellious teen…

    “Oh yah, you think you’re going to stay out late? Fine, that just gives me time to post this picture of you as a baby velociraptor on my Facebook page and tag you with it!”

  12. I grew up in one of Chicago’s north suburbs (Morton Grove), and trick-or-treating was a two-night deal — the 30th was Beggar’s Night and the 31st was Halloween. There wasn’t any real difference between the two, except that I usually used one night to trick-or-treat for candy, and the other for UNICEF.

    When I moved to Minneapolis, I couldn’t find anyone who was familiar with Beggar’s Night. So I’m pleased to hear that it wasn’t just local to me.

  13. @ other bill – put me in the “baby velociraptor is adorable” brigade. :) i think s/he would be delightfully cute. and as an added bonus if anybody annoys you, you just hold up the baby and make rawr sounds at the person. *squee*

    why didn’t i think of this for my god daughter? i wonder if she’d let me do it now? she’ll be 15 in december. . . .

  14. @ galJ – as part of the final point for the case of the baby velociraptor, this bit played a vital role. Tomorrow, we quest for materials for what may well be the worst/most adorable baby velociraptor costume evar.

    @ turtlesong – “and as an added bonus if anybody annoys you, you just hold up the baby and make rawr sounds at the person. *squee*”

    Great minds and all that… Actually, picture that in a two panel XKCD comic and that’s *exactly* the mental image Im trying to realize. Only add a phwoar to that rawr.

  15. When I was growing up, though, the theory wasn’t that adults would hit children with cars, but that nasty adolescents would play tricks on them or possibly that they would be molested by Satanists or something.

    What? No, that’s Devil’s Night, which is October 30. Halloween and trick-or-treating are October 31. You Ohioans can’t get anything right.

  16. Aw, Athena has discovered cosmetics and like many young women is putting on too much at a time.

    In my town the candy grabbers are out tomorrow, the 31st. I have been digging the pit trap all week. We like to make them work for their candy.

  17. This year because the 31 falls on a Saturday we hope to have fewer trick or treaters. See, out in the sticks they bus them in to any population centers. Seriously. For a village of around 2000 souls (with a big bend of the bell curve toward retirees) we typically handle 400 or more (Trick or Treat we have big traffic jams with all the minivans, some of which have out of county plates). All the different towns vary their schedules. We do it the Saturday before Halloween to match up with the Ruritans Halloween Party for kids, which I like but thankfully don’t have to work this year. So the roving hordes of ToTers go from town to town scooping up their loot. Since we’ll now have ours on the same day other communities have theirs, we expect some scheduling conflicts for the little tykes.

  18. Cincinnati seems to be a weird hybrid of normal Halloween behavior, and the strange stuff going on out in the country where you live, John.

    Trick-or-treat is on the 31st, as is right and proper. But they call it Beggar’s Night, for no apparent reason. I’m quite sure this was not the case when I was a kid. And I know that the hours (6 to 8 is common) are a lot earlier than when I was a kid, when we never started until at least 7, and were out until at least 9.

  19. Bearing @4

    I grew up in Ohio, and never even ehard of anyone doign trick or treat on any night except the 31st until about 10 years ago. It was always from dusk until 8:00, it was never listed in the paper because everyone just knew that you waited until it was dark, and then started going to the houses with lights on.

    I can’t stand havign it on any night other than holloween. And I’ve never heard a single argument from anybody who actually makes the decision as to why they moved it.

    Now get off my lawn!

  20. @ other bill – dude, xkcd is *so* what i was thinking! w00t!!!!! just remember: pics or it never happened. :)

  21. Begger’s Night for me, growing up in Buffalo, NY (in the 70’s) was an extra night of Trick or Treating. So we had 2 nights of candy.

    Nice to know that Begger’s Night wasn’t just a Buffalo thing.

  22. mythago @ 19 Actually, Trick or Treating on Halloween is a mid-20th century convention, before the 50s or so Halloween was what Devils Night/Moving Night/Mischief Night is now, and I dunno how it is in other regions, but in Southeastern CT where I was young and in the suburbs of DC where I’ve been for ages, those pranking nights had faded out as well (though I know it still goes strong in NJ)

  23. Mel @31, dunno about trick-or-treating but the 30th has been Devil’s Night as long as my dad, who is seriously old, can remember. And no, setting fires is not the traditional expression of holiday cheer.

  24. I’m with @mythago – here in Western PA, 10/30 is Devil’s night, when the adolescents distribute eggs & t.p., and 10/31 is trick-or-treat night.

  25. I had a split childhood. In the South Bronx, where I lived until 12, Nov. 30 was just the day before All Hallow’s Eve (I went to a Catholic school.. we didn’t dare say Halloween!!). I never did any trick or treating, since I had to be in bed early, since we had to be at mass very early on All Saints Day.

    Then I moved to New Jersey, where the day before Halloween was known as Mischief Night. That day was primarily for teenagers to get into trouble. I was humor challenged as a teenager. I saw nothing funny the year that someone decided to set off fireworks inside mailboxes, but both my brothers thought is was hilarious.

  26. Mythago, pranking certainly was at one time. TPing, egging, taking your neighbors car apart and reassembling it on the roof…In _Halloween and Other Festivals of Life and Death_ Jack Santino says that Halloween and other carnivalesque holidays “are mere ‘rituals of rebellion’ that act as a safety valve for feelings of injustice” but that on the other hand, “carnival celebrations have led to bloodshed and war” (109) which sort of supports both the idea that its a harmless holiday and that it hasn’t always been.

  27. Coming in late – sorry! It seems that this Beggar’s Night you speak of as being ‘in Ohio’ is not in big cities. I see Cincy and Toledo (admittedly not the biggest of big cities, but still…) don’t do it, and Cleveland and all its suburbs don’t either. Trick-or-treating is on Halloween, unless the 31st falls on a Sunday, when it’s usually switched to the Saturday. Of course, the biggest problem is with Daylight Savings Time now ending after Halloween, trick-or-treating -officially- runs from 6 to 8pm, and the sun isn’t really down until a bit after 7. The Powers That Be say this prevents ‘bad things from happening’ but it just makes Halloween less fun, IMHO.

  28. In Highschool I took the daughter of a friend of the family to a movie. She was just a friend, JUST A FRIEND! and I got the Machete treatment.

    I think you should posterboard these bizarre representations, and plaster them all over your “den” or “office” at home for when boys start visiting in a few years.

    That way you can tell athena “I didn’t threaten him at all!” (cuz I guess girls hate when dads act like dads, though they think it’s cute) but you can feel comfortable with having offered the threat of athena eating his brains.

  29. Turtlesong, GalJ, and Xopher, ping me at wdass at hotmail dot com if you want to see a photo of the ridiculous version 1.0 baby velociraptor costume.

  30. “Moving” trick-or-treating so as to get away from adults’ Halloween celebrations is pretty funny, given how trick-or-treating started.

    Back at the beginning of the 20th century, Halloween was two things: parties and Mischief Night. If you were a kid you likely went to a party to have fun; same with adults. Teenagers and young adults might instead be out pranking as they had nothing better to do.

    We-eellll, sometime in the teens or so, Mischief Night started being a cover for more nefarious activities, and by the 20s there was a lot of harmful and occasionally deadly things going on, usually racist-related. So a bunch of community groups (including the Boy Scouts) got together and brainstormed ways to keep this stuff from happening, and they decided the best thing was to flood the streets with people. The Boy Scouts would lead groups of kids around, the adults would give out candy, and with so many people on the streets the deadly “pranks” would probably stop, which they did.

    If you look at popular culture, you can see how this idea slowly took hold. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, for example, has “tricks or treats” as an afterthought to the party. And now, of course, you have people freaking out about the “pagan origins” of trick-or-treating, with bizarrely retconned traditions that it’s supposed to be referencing. (And yet, somehow, trick-or-treating is almost solely American, barring a few places that have borrowed the tradition.)

    So, yeah, getting the kids off the streets because of the adults’ activities is ironic, since they were put out there to stop adult activities in the first place.

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