>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 105 – October 31, 2004

“Where Safety Comes First and Fun Comes First Also”

Now Playing: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

I am aware that this article is being published just as most of you are about to go out and have some HALLOWEEN FUN. However, I urge you all to rethink your strategy. Due to recent security concerns, the U.S. Department of Halloween Safety, Homeland Security and New Bikes is urging holiday revelers to postpone their HALLOWEEN FUN until after the 31st of October. According to a department memo, trick-or-treaters should wait until “a few days after Easter, ideally.” The terrorists won't be suspecting THAT, now will they? And if there's one thing Americans have respect for it's government officials. So here's what happened:

-Begin trick-or-treating early: It is a well-known fact in the scientific community that bad things only happen at night. Drive-by shootings, muggings, and heroin overdoses only occur after the sun has gone down. That is why, for your protection and maximum HALLOWEEN FUN, you should begin trick-or-treating early. Unfortunately, you can pretty much count on everybody following this advice, so if you trick-or-treat right before sunset there won't be any candy left to go straight to your thighs. This is why I recommend you make sure you go door to door before everyone else, say 8:30am. If you're really lucky you'll wake people up and they'll make you scrambled eggs. God I love scrambled eggs.

-Avoid costumes that make you blind: A few years back experts recommended that people avoid masks and instead use face paint as part of their costume. This has really set the mask manufacturing community back, much the way those warnings on cigarette packs have slowed tobacco sales to a crawl. This all started one fateful Halloween when thousands of mask-wearing children, impaired by tiny little eye holes, were mowed down faster than Ashlee Simpson's career by angry motorists who were totally caught by surprise that there would be children on the road on Halloween. I recommend you avoid face paint as well, because it could run and get in your eyes and burn like a bitch and then you too would be blind and therefore a target for angry motorists. If people ask you why you're not wearing a mask or face paint as part of your wolfman costume tell them they're racists and urinate in their pool.

“I was never cute enough to be invited into a stranger's house and I'm hella curious what it's like.”

-Don't egg Osama Bin Laden's cave: Admittedly, this HALLOWEEN FUN tip is reserved for those readers in Afghanistan who were hoping to pull a fast one on old Sammy, as he is known to friends. Luckily, these people make up my readership core. It's very important to remember that Osama is one of those terrorists who can dish it out, but he just can't take it. He doesn't look too kindly upon people who sully up his cave. If you get caught egging Osama Bin Laden's cave, you will be severely punished by receiving one of those stale hard toffee pieces of shit that come wrapped in orange and black while everyone else gets a mini Snickers.

-Wear reflective clothing: Halloween safety experts insist that, regardless of what you're dressing up as, you wear something reflective so you have a better chance of being seen in the dark. Of course, this directly conflicts with their other piece of advice that you avoid going out after dark altogether, and also has the side benefit of turning every costume into a “traffic cone” costume. Presumably, the reason it is important to make sure you can be seen is so the sharpshooters have a better chance of hitting their target (you) and you get carried off by a giant dog, like in Duck Hunt.

-Just because a girl dresses up as a prostitute doesn't mean she'll have sex with you: Halloween tradition requires all girls of the female persuasion to dress up sexy for Halloween. Of course by sexy I mean slutty, which let's face it is very sexy indeed. Be aware that while for the duration of the holiday all feminine females will look like 50 cent hookers on a five dollar night, it doesn't mean that any of them will find you more attractive than they do on an ordinary day (i.e. not at all). Forgetting this important piece of information could result in a lot of embarrassment and a costly statutory rape lawsuit. If you find yourself unsure of how to approach a womanly girl-person with ovaries, just ask yourself: “What would Kobe do?”

-Use flashlights instead of candles: Despite the fact that we are now in a period of time that people of the past would refer to as “the future,” there are still some folks who prefer to use candles to light their way. Apparently people think they're Ichabod Crane or something, and this results in hundreds of deaths and, worse, minor burns. I don't get it. Who are these people who can't trouble themselves to go to the dollar store to pick up a flashlight and some AA's, but have no problem carting around globs of wax and a book of matches? Nevertheless, every year experts remind people to use flashlights and not candles as part of their HALLOWEEN FUN. If this trend continues I'm afraid we're going to see reports in the news urging people to watch out for horse-drawn carriages and witch trials.

-Carve your jack-o-lantern in a well-lit space: Jack-o-lantern carving accidents are the number one cause of pumpkin-related injuries, and the number two cause of gourd-fruit-related death (number one is having a squash lodged in your rectum as part of a fraternity initiation). Be very careful and choose a well-lit space. I suppose some people try to carve their pumpkins at the bottom of a well, but this is not a good idea. If you do elect to carve your pumpkin at the bottom of a well, make sure you have a flashlight handy. Candles just won't do.

-Grown-ups are crazy and they want to kill you: This isn't so much a safety tip as it is a warning. Adults just love to mess with you by putting razor blades and rat poison in candy. Assume every treat you get is a complex deathtrap and discard it immediately. Be especially suspicious of unwrapped candy, because even if it's not deadly it's probably covered in hair and spider eggs. Also, if an adult asks you to come inside his or her house, where the REAL candy is, go for it and let me know what happens. I was never cute enough to be invited into a stranger's house and I'm hella curious what it's like.

-Wear oven mitts when shooting fireworks at people: Since I'm sure you've all dredged through 104 issues of this crap, I know you're well aware of my previous HALLOWEEN FUN fireworks experience. Now I'm sure that, like me, you all love to hold fireworks in your hands and shoot them at other people's faces, just like they show you how to do on the fireworks safety sheet with the picture of the boy shooting fireworks at somebody's face and a red diagonal bar through it. The reason this activity is frowned upon is because people fail to take the proper safety precautions. Be sure to wear oven mitts so you don't blow your delicious fingers off, and also make sure you hold the firework firmly with BOTH HANDS. You can light it by putting the acetylene torch between your teeth.

-Be sure the stuffing heats up to an internal temperature of 450 degrees: Yes, I know this is a Thanksgiving safety tip, but that's also about the time HALLOWEEN FUN can be safely had.