If you can sign your own report card …

I like Halloween, honestly. It’s fun to see the kids outside having a good time in the fresh air. OK, they’re getting a year’s worth of cavity-causing goodies in one night, but they are outside and not on the Playstation/Xbox/Wii/whatever.

It’s also fun to see neighborhood kids grow and watch how their costume choices change. My kids have gone from being pink cuddle monsters and tigers to being dead soccer players and nerds. The dead soccer player costume was the best, I think. The LSF (long-suffering hubby) cut a cleat in half, imbedded it into the soccer jersey, and then doused the jersey with red paint and painted the kid’s face gray. Classic! And Mommy was minimally involved. DOUBLE SCORE for sexy, involved Daddies.

But I have some Halloween peeves. We do live in the hood, so we gotta set some limits:

If your costume implies “trick on the corner” instead of “trick or treat,” I’m going to give you the cheap candy that nobody likes. The Whoppers. The hard bubble gum. The knock-off m&ms. AND I’m calling your mama, because she did not approve that costume and you know she didn’t.

If you are old enough to drive the church van for the trick-or-treaters, you don’t get candy unless you get your butt out of the van and make sure the kids cross the street safely. Telling little Ralph to bring you a Reese’s won’t work. Get out of the van, do a head count. It’s not hard.

Don’t wear your actual McDonald’s uniform and expect candy! If it’s your brother’s uniform, and you’ve rolled up or pinned up the sleeves, OK. But don’t come into my house smelling like Big Macs and greasy fries. You are old enough to have a job. Buy some candy and help your mama give it out. But you do get props for working, baby; I ain’t gonna be mad at a brotha for holding a job.

If you can sign your own report card, you don’t get candy.

If you have aged out of the HS football program, you don’t get candy.

If I saw your picture in the police blotter last week, ya don’t get candy.

If your baby isn’t old enough for teeth, then she doesn’t get candy – I don’t care how cute her Rock Lobster costume is. Her big sister gets a very small book to READ to the baby. We keep a stash on hand.

If Big Mama isn’t a personal friend of ours, then you can’t take candy home to her.

If we hear you say “this is why I take that diabetes medicine, so I can eat all the candy I want,” ya don’t get candy.

If you fail to hide the ZigZag before knocking on the door, ya don’t get candy.

If you cannot take the joke of me saying “How about a trick?” then you don’t get candy. The phrase is ‘TRICK OR TREAT.’ That implies an option. Go find a dictionary if you don’t understand “implies” or “option.”

If I hear you talking back to your mama and daddy, ya get a lecture. Don’t you know your parents are tired?They work HARD. And it’s a recession – these costumes aren’t cheap! Don’t you know they’ll be up all night with you because you can’t stop eating the candy? You better thank them for putting up with your ungrateful behind and don’t let me hear you sassing them. I will TAKE your candy from you and sell it elsewhere. This goes for my kids, too.

That’s about it. Hope y’all have a lot of safe fun tonight. Special thoughts go to our friends in the frozen north and to our troops who are missing this time with their families.

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