Halloween used to be my favorite holiday, but no more. It was in a time when no one had a computer much les the Internet, though we did have running water and indoor plumbing and electricity, washers and dryers and the like.
We seldom saw an obese kid back when Halloween ranked as among my favorites, and we didn't have swagger, designer duds or rap. Instead, we had times playing in forts we built under feet of snow in the winter and times exploring the neighborhood and ice skating in the street after a heavy frost and good, clean fun where no one thought about calling the police and Halloween was at the top of just about every kids' list.
We took our store-bought costumes of a ghost or Cinderella or a pirate with their plastic faces and went trick or treating around the block. There were no bloodstained costumes, no fake blood or severed hands or feet and no razor blades or drugs in candy. About the only drug we knew about was the aspirin in our medicine cabinet or the penicillin prescribed by a physician. Other than that, most of us had never heard of any street drugs. They were saner, more innocent times.
Then the clock struck midnight, the coachmen back into mice, Cinderella ran from the ball and everything bottomed out. The dividing line between decent and indecent began to shuffle and merge around the time of President Kennedy's assignation in the 60's. Then came the era of free love and Woodstock and a time when freedom of speech eventually came to mean the right to be rude and indecent, and we morphed into a nation of slobs.
And Halloween went with it. There's a fine line between tales of haunted houses and hanging bodies, and we so long crossed it, it doesn't look like we're ever coming back. And the only way that Cinderella is ever going to get into the ball is if she dresses as a mummy.