Remember those days when you would dress up in scary/adorable costumes (gender dependent) and go trick-or-treating with your friends in groups of 10 or 20 to beg neighbors for free candy? And it was actually acceptable? Well, not any more.
Granted I'm probably a little old for trick-or-treating and my constant diet implies I'm not going to eat the candy anyway, but the idea of getting to knock on strangers doors, mutter some construed rhyme, receive a handful of free candy, and have all of that be socially acceptable is just too enticing to pass up. So I use my ten-year-old brother as an excuse to continue the tradition. Usually, we get a couple pieces of candy from each house, some better quality than most (there's always those stingy people, right?). Then there's the people whose dogs run out and sniff your butt, which is always uncomfortable. All in all, the free candy makes everything worth it, kind of like old-age hospitality in the new century (think along the lines of baking cookies for the new neighbors).
But not this year. Safety issues aside, poor trick-or-treating yield is yet another hidden consequence of the economic crisis, which is quickly turning into a social crisis as the presidential candidates race to the finish line with polar ideas on who deserves the tax cuts and who deserves the increase. Could the simple, all-american tradition of begging for candy be yet another perk of US culture removed by the recent market crashes? A microcosm of what's to come perhaps?