Be careful out there

Here in the eastern half of North America it seems Hallowe’en will be either cancelled or made very, very miserable and dangerous thanks to Hurricane Sandy.

Over the years I’ve worked as both a courier and a cab driver and the one night of the year I hated driving wasn’t, as you might expect, New Year’s, but Hallowe’en.  On New Year’s,  because of social pressure, I could pretty much take it as fact that most inebriated people would be travelling by taxi, so the roads would be relatively safe.  But not on Hallowe’en and especially not on side streets, or in townhouse complexes.

Remember back to when you would go out to trick-or-treat. You do remember, don’t you?  C’mon now.  I’m 68 and I remember going out, so you must remember as well.  If you were like me, you were much more interested in what goodies you’d get at the place across the street than in any traffic that might be coming down that street.  There are many more vehicles on the road today than in the time of my youth and most side streets are lined with parked cars. Parked cars make great concealment for small children ready to charge across the street, often in front of moving vehicles.  In addition to driving a taxi, I frequently acted as night dispatcher and on Hallowe’en, I would often remind the drivers to be careful on the side streets.  And, although I’m no longer dispatching, if you plan on driving on the evening of October 31, be careful on the side streets because the kids won’t be watching for you.

A friend posted on Facebook tonight that she expected to have lots of Hallowe’en goodies left over because of the expected foul weather.  The complex I live in gives out candy and stuff in the lobby and leftovers are donated to a local foodbank. If you find yourself in the situation of having most of your goodies left, consider doing that. Most foodbanks won’t accept home-made treats, but “store-bought” stuff is fine.  They will usually reserve these little treats for families with young children, or in some cases, keep some on hand to give to the kids accompanying their parents.

Once again, be careful if you’re on the roads on Hallowe’en and if you find you have plenty of candy left over, consider my suggestion.  And remember to hug an artist – we need love (and Hallowe’en candy) too.

Cat.

Rushing things

Canadian Thanksgiving is about two weeks away on the weekend of October 6 -8 this year.  Yes, we celebrate the way Americans do, with too much food and football on the tube.

Hallowe-en is about a month away.

The proximity of these two holidays makes for some interesting sights in stores right now here in Canada.  The paperboard cutouts of turkeys and the fake autumn leaves are fighting for space with the paperboard cutouts of black cats and the plastic skeletons on the shelves.

What is it about some retail outlets that they rush the seasons?  I haven’t seen it myself, but I did hear a news commentator saying that he’d seen Hallowe’en stuff on store shelves before Labour Day.  I mean, c’mon.  They’re still pushing the “back to school” stuff and they’ve already got the Hallowe’en stuff out?  This is something I just don’t understand.  If you’re a parent, you know there is no point in buying your child a costume before Labour Day because the kid’s going to change their mind at least five times between early September and the end of October.  Same thing with buying the goodies to hand out.  They’ll be stale by Hallowe’en if you buy them now, that is if they don’t get eaten in the meantime.

And, if this is a typical year, many stores, once they remove the Thanksgiving displays, will replace them with Christmas stuff. Definitely right after Hallowe’en if not immediately. My personal view, especially with Christmas, is that since people are inundated with Christmas advertising for at least six weeks, once Christmas actually arrives, people have become insulated against  what should be a joyous time of year.

Am I the only one who feels merchants push things too much; that they rush to get the next season’s or occasion’s products on display?  I know from past observation that shortly after  New Year’s, they will have the Valentine’s Day displays up; and about February 16 will have the paper shamrocks out for St Patrick’s Day.  It may help boost the bottom line for the merchants, but do their patrons end up suffering from festive overload and just don’t care when the day actually arrives?

Of course, if you believe the stories surrounding the Mayan long calendar, there won’t be a Christmas anyway.  But I’m am optimist.  All that will happen is the calendar will start over, just as does ours every January 1.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.