I’ve never fully understood the merriment that is Halloween, apart from being the one day in a year when guys can legitimately wear eye-liner and walk down the street with speedos outside of their pants, demanding sweets (without being committed/arrested); and where a certain z-list celebrity female is papped wearing a mermaid’s get-up in public. My American friends on the other side of the pond however go Gangnam for this holiday.
Halloween used to be the one night in a year when I’d purposely ensure that I was AWOL from the house, or bunkered-in watching a movie in the dark, to avoid the need to re-oil the hinges on the front door and/or replace the batteries of my door chime in the aftermath. Needless to say, this makes me sound like Ebenezer Scrooge, but bar humbug, the truth will set me free!
Halloween in South Africa passed without the faintest whiff of a trick-or-treater. No terrified screams from adolescent zombie-lookalikes to accompany the triggering of an arsenal of booby-traps I had rigged up along the length of my driveway. It was all rather disappointing.
Jokes aside, the concept of ‘trick or treating’ in South Africa would not fly. If a stranger were to turn up on a South African’s doorstep wearing a Scream mask and wielding a plastic blade, they would either be wasted by a 9mm on site, or become a human-sized dog-chew. There is also the scenario where a trick-or-treater, partaking in a ‘one-of-a-kind-police-supervised-trick-or-treating-session-along-a-select-street-in-Jo’burg-where-all-the-homeowners-are-paid-actors’, is mugged for the stash of goodies in his plastic jack-o’-lantern. Chortle if you will – this would inevitably happen.