Political correctness is taking its toll on Halloween.
Consider some old Halloween activities, for example:
Witch burning – Just singe one around the edges today and the ERA types will be on you like stink on poop.
What 30 centuries of white male authors used to call witches, are today respected as complexion-impaired, wardrobe-challenged wome… uh, womyn.
Window waxing – These days you’ll only set off the light-, noise-, motion-, and aroma-sensitive burglar alarm, and quickly exit in cuffs and revolving lights – if you’re lucky enough not to leave prime filet of leg with the neighborhood rottweiler.
Trick-or-treating – This obviously would be prosecuted as a violation of federal RICO [racketeering] statutes, except that most of the perpetrators are juveniles, and thus have the civil right to thumb their noses at the law and be back on the street before the candy runs out.
And then there are the treats themselves:
Candy should be dispensed only with balancing doses of Ritalin, soft- bristle toothbrushes and an effective (but fluoride-free) dentifrice.
Apples should be organic, Alar-free, union-packed, washed in genuine American Zephyrhills water, and X-rayed before being handed out. Any worms should be housed, fed, read their rights, then returned to their native soil, or, if they so choose, given refugee status in yours.
Certain traditional Halloween games are not politically correct:
That icky old “autopsy” game in which you blindfold little kids and tell them a plate of spaghetti is guts and a bowl of peeled grapes is eyeballs will cost you your homeowners insurance because of the choking hazard, and due to the risk of suits for emotional damage.
Pin the tail on the donkey, with a real pin? Uh uh, cruelty to animals or their depiction is a no-no.
Bobbing for apples is permitted, as long as there’s an equal (and not separate) opportunity to jane for them, too.
Jill-o’-lanterns are encouraged, shortly they will be mandatory.
And, finally, costumes:
Ghosts are out of date. Casper is clearly a dead, white male, probably European, and full of hot air to boot.
Fairy princess costumes might offend both gays and feminists.
Frankenstein monster costumes will offend transplant recipients, not to mention employment-producing neck-bolt manufacturers.
Dracula outfits will bring stern warning letters from the Transylvanian consulate.
Those neat masks with jaws rotted away, eyes bulging on distended optic stalks and massive, oozing wounds will get you in trouble with lawyers who specialize in representing accident victims on contingency bases. Which is to say, all of them.
A cowperson? Perhaps, but don’t pack a gun. And don’t even think about punching a cow.
So there you are. The scariest thing about Halloween these days is that you’re not allowed to offend or scare anyone. And if someone scares you, you can’t scream. In some communities, any auditory emissions over 75 decibels is a zoning violation punishable by a fine and/or jail term. Whether you can react instead with a sullen but non-denominational moment of silence will be considered later this term by the Supreme Court. Until then, do so at your own risk.
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