11.01.2007

Regional Quirks

Ok St. Louis. I have to know. What is it with your Halloween traditions?

I went over to a friend's house last night and we sat out in the front yard with the fire pit, drank some beer, and handed out candy. But something wasn't quite right... Where I grew up the kids spent at least a month thinking about what they were going to be on Halloween and when the day came they all got dressed up, visited every house in the neighborhood, said 'trick or treat', got their candy and left. Boy is it different here.

First of all, I was shocked at how many kids either weren't dressed up at all or really hadn't made much of an effort. I saw plenty of young teenage girls in pajama pants, a few polyester 'tattered' robes (you've seen 'em, they're standard Halloween issue), and quite a few that were dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt with a meager attempt at 'scary' face makeup. The only ones that really had costumes to speak of were the youngest kids since their parents dressed them up.

Another thing that threw me was the 'trick FOR a treat'. The first time my friend asked a kid if he had a joke, I really didn't think much of it. But after the next five or six, I was beginning to see a pattern. I finally asked about it and was informed that "of course every kid has to tell a joke or do something for the candy". We never had to jump through hoops to get our candy. And correct me if I'm wrong but it's Trick OR Treat, is it not? I was taught that it went something more like this. When I say 'trick or treat', I'm telling you that you have a choice. You can give me a treat, or I can play a trick on you.

I don't know. I guess I've found several things about St. Louis that are different from the West Coast. This is just another in a long line of regional differences. See, diversity is fun!

2 comments:

Kristen said...

Yeah, there were several people talking about the joke thing at work today. We didn't do that where I was from just four hours from here. I guess I was aware it was a choice, but it wasn't a requirement, just a funny thing.

Kristi said...

I don't think these things are particularly St. Louis things (well, I've never trick-or-treated in other cities, so what do I know), just probably a sign of the times kind of thing. Selfish teenagers figure they can get a lot of free candy with minimal effort (that pisses me off) and everyone wants to hear little kids tell jokes. I never noticed it as much when I was trick-or-treating age... seemed like only one or two houses would ask me for a joke back in the day. Wasn't aware they are ALL doing it now...