A couple of years ago I blogged the question: How old is too old to trick-or-treat?
If you are not fond of handing out treats to six-foot-tall kids dressed as killer tomatoes on Halloween, then you might consider moving to the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois, or any of other town in this candy-laden country of ours where teen trick-or-treaters have been officially banned from the streets on October 31st.
Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert is a straight shooter, who doesn’t mince words when it comes to explaining why his community put the kibosh on teen trick-or-treaters:
“When I was a kid my father said to me, ‘You’re too damn big to be going trick-or-treating. You’re done.’ When that doesn’t happen, then that’s reason for the city governments to intervene.”
Sounds like something my dad would say. Oh wait. He did. Which is why I stopped trick-or-treating when I was 12. I did hit the streets to collect money for UNICEF during the Halloweens I was in high school, but I wasn’t wearing a costume or begging for candy.
Mayor Eckert told local news reporters that while he is personally against teen candy beggars, the real reason he banned high schoolers from trick-or-treating on Halloween is because his office was inundated with complaints from single mothers and senior citizens who were frightened by freaky looking kids showing up at their doors at all hours of the night on October 31st.
If it were me I wouldn’t even bother answering the door after a certain hour, but I suppose the incessant knocking would get annoying. Then, there’s the chance that a disgruntled costumed teen would unleash a nasty Halloween trick because I didn’t hand out a high-calorie sugary treat, so, yeah, maybe the ban is a good thing.
Then again, stereotyping teens is never a good thing. I’m sure there are many very well-behaved 13 year olds, who wait all year to dress up like singing cowboys or mutated dragons and go out in public without having to worry about being harassed for doing so.
If you don’t live in Belleville, and you don’t like teens pounding on your door on Halloween, then consider hightailing it to Meridian, Mississippi; Bishopville, South Carolina or Boonsboro, Maryland. All of the cities prohibit kids over the age of 12 from trick-or-treating on Halloween.
How do you feel about teens that still trick-or-treat? How old is to old to go door-to-door asking for candy?