Your recent request for holiday submissions reminded me of an issue that comes up every year in my neighborhood at Halloween. I have heard friends talk about it in other areas as well, and know that it is a fairly common complaint. I was curious how others here at e-hell handle this situation.
Every year along with the adorable children dressed up as spooky vampires (or sparkly one), princesses, and a variety of animals, my neighborhood gets hit with an influx of teenagers and adults. Some of these “trick or treaters” are in their thirties! None are in costume. Some of the worst violators have included a man of about 19 or 20 that yelled at me from the sidewalk demanding to know what kind of candy I was giving out to determine if it was worth the 30 foot walk to my porch, a woman of about 30 that pushed though a group of 6 children on my porch to shove her bag in front, and (my all time favorite) a woman of about 30 that rang my bell and when I answered held out four plastic bags. She then told me that her “kids” were tired and she had left them in the car and was trick or treating for them.
My response to the 20 year old man was to ignore him the first two times he yelled at me as I smiled and passed out candy to the children. The third time he yelled, the children were walking down the steps and informed him that my candy was only for kids. When he became agitated by that, I told him that the officer two doors down had the same rule. Suddenly, he decided to go to a different street. I told the woman that pushed past the children that she needed to get off my porch immediately. The woman that claimed she had left her “kids” in the car was a strange one. I looked out on the street and saw no car. None. She saw me looking and then claimed that she had left her “kids” on the next street over and walked over. I told her that was dangerous and illegal and that my neighbor was an officer and would be getting a call from me. She also chose to leave quickly. I am certain there were no children with her at all.
My normal strategy is to keep some small junk toys (spider rings, temporary tattoos, etc.) and hand those out to the adults that come by. I only have to give out about three per night, all the other grown trick or treaters somehow spread the word that all I have are erasers or stickers and the fake trick or treaters stop coming by. The first year I decided to try this strategy, my very first grown up (also a young man in his late teens/early twenties) turned around and yelled out to the sidewalk, “She don’t have candy y’all. She’s giving out toys and junk”. Two women walking up my steps from the sidewalk turned around and left. It’s worked out much better than telling every adult that I won’t give them candy. What are the thoughts of the e-hell readers out there on how to handle adult trick or treaters? 1006-15
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