Hallowe’en has passed and I am outraged. I hate to begin rants with “when we were young” BUT when we were young all the children on the road got together weeks beforehand and began our preparations. We collected stuff for the bonfire and sorted out our “puca”. There should be a fada on that “u” and it’s pronounced pooka for the non-Irish speaking reader.
We created a whole performance that was done in each house on the road (maybe about 6 at the time). We had a song, a poem, an Irish dance, we even played bloody recorders or tin whistles or something. Costumes were of course homemade. An aged aunt in London would occasionally send Hallowe’en masks and these were a big deal. The family being visited would applaud our efforts. Then we collected our rewards and had our party with all the usual traditional games.
What do we get now? They arrive in dribs and drabs. I had one pair last night. I opened the door and here were two professional made up witches. Girls about 9 or 10. I did a big greeting and admired the costumes. They just stood there like morons with the mother hovering in the background. I gave them lots of encouragement. Asked them was I going to be tricked. Asked them who they were. They couldn’t even say “Trick or Treat” or introduce themselves. Just stood there offering big shopping bags. I gave them a few lollipops and fun size smarties boxes. They may have felt short changed. I am not sure what the expected rewards are. But I felt short changed. Are all modern children that socially inept? The mother was nice and I had a chat with her. My lot will sing for their supper. I am determined.
Update: A number of correspondants tell me that my childhood experience of Hallowe’en was most unusual. The other kids weren’t going to the same trouble. More evidence that my background was a little “special”. Uh-oh.