Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. When my kids were young, the local Lutheran church used to build and staff the most amazing haunted house I’d ever seen. They sold admission tickets and made a bundle.
The church’s architects, carpenters and electricians built an intricate structure with hidden rooms, obstacles, turns and dead ends. My family ran the operating room. Prior to opening, the makeup artist would work their magic turning me into a mad scientist/MD and my kids into ghouls. Spaghetti was dyed with red and green food coloring and oil was added to make it slimmy, looked exactly like worms. Lisa would sit in the corner slurping up and puking out worms. I would operate with a gas-powered chain saw.
We were so scary that one patron actually ran through a wall. Others literally soiled their pants. I always thought it was weird that a church celebrated a pagan holiday, but I loved being a participant in the haunted house. I also enjoyed handing out candy at home. The kids used to take a lot of pride in their costumes and loved getting candy, especially the full-sized bars we tended to hand out.
When I was a kid, I remember walking several miles to a house where the owner handed out homemade candied apples. Her neighbor served up hot oatmeal cookies. Candied apples and hot oatmeal cookies were yummy, yummy, yummy in my tummy, tummy, tummy. My friends and I never felt threatened. The candy you collected didn’t need to be checked. The world was a safer place to live.
I also remember volunteering to x-ray candy when I was an ER doctor. By the time I started to practice medicine, the world had already begun to change for the worst. Fast forward to last night, and Halloween is on life support. The “trick or treat” when kids dressed in costumes rang the doorbell was replaced by unattended bowls of candy left on tables at the end of the driveway. It was sad! The handing over of candy was devoid of human interaction.
Covid-19 continues to suck the life out of us. While social distancing is necessary, it trades human touch for disease avoidance. How important is disease avoidance? Very! How important is human touch? Is it more important than disease avoidance? Is it going to cause psychologic damage? These are questions you should ask yourself.
I find myself wondering if 25 years from now my grandchildren will fondly remember unattended bowls of candy waiting for them at the end of the driveway and tell their children how it used to be in the good old days (in 2020.)
Here’s your music and a joke.
Q: Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?
A: No, they like to eat the fingers separately.