Drive-by trick-or-treating


Tonight, I saw for the first time (for me) a drive-by trick-or-treating. I'm not talking about the growing phenomenon where parents drive their kids to wealthier neighbourhoods for a better class of candy. We had put out a ghost made from gauzy material with a very bright cold-cathode light inside, and hung it over the street. As I stood on the street a minivan pulled up and quickly stopped. Two children went to our front door and Kathryn gave them candy. Then we watch them get back into the van and it continued down the street, out of sight. The appeared to be cruising and stopping at houses with decorations they noticed, which can be found in many neighbourhoods.

Can this be one of the signs of the death of Hallowe'en? It's not the same as it was in the past, with paranoia about evil folks putting razors in apples, but it also seems to be on the decline. We've noticed the traffic is quite light in years when Hallowe'en is on a weekday (I guess we're not in a nice enough neighbourhood) and very light compared to decades past. We've seen a replacement of trick-or-treating by controlled block parties and official events. Even the Castro had security gates where people were checked for weapons.

In turn, are fewer homes ready to give out candy to the kids and meet the neighbours? If this continues, will it be too far from candy-from-strangers-giving house to house, forcing us to put out signs indicating where the candy is, and will all the parents drive their kids over the long journey?

When I was young, we weren't escorted by parents or even my big brother except when very young. I saw much older kids that were parent-escorted tonight. (This is part of a general trend of increased protectiveness of kids, even though crime statistics continue to trend down, and are in fact in many locations lower than they were 30 years ago when today's parents were happy-go-lucky kids.)

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