Twenty things they dont tell you about Halloween in the United States.
OK, from someone who CLEARLY didnt get the memo about Halloween in the USA – here are Neil's top ten things you should know before being in the States on the 31st October.
1. Kids love candy (American for sweets).
2. There are over 30 million kids in America.
3. Half of these decided that Neil and Rose's home would be a good place to go trick or treating.
4. Four bags of 'fun mix' will last you approximately 30 minutes from about 6pm onwards.
5. Handing out fist fulls of 'candy' makes you popular.
6. Tops is open at 6.20pm. It also sells candy.
7. I expect to get a call from my credit card company asking me if I authorized the purchase of $37.67 for 'Spooky party mix' bags x 8. Call your credit card company ahead of time.
8. Kids continue to come until about 9pm.
9. Older kids coming later in the evening tend not to wear costumes.
10. Older kids tend not to like being refused candy on account of their poor performance in the 'un-dead' look-a-like competition, they also thing youre a fool if you attempt to engage them with rational conversation such as 'do you have dental insurance?'
11. Eggs are messy.
12. So is flour.
13. Older kids tend to carry more eggs.
14. They also tend to carry more flour because they are stronger.
15. Eggs thrown at higher velocity tend to explode to a wider circumference than those thrown by smaller people.
16. Eggs and flour make for great cake mixture.
17. It is also rather cumbersome getting this stuff off of walls.
18. There is no shame in closing ones curtains and turning off lights at 9pm (aka my entire street).
19. Kids will continue to come to your house until you follow point 18.
20. Be prepared for the unexpected. Always be prepared for the unexpected and always be at home on the 31st October.
So be it. Neil's rules for surviving Halloween in this country. In the importal words of the WHO – next year – we wont be fooled again…
Dr Hair is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the E Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT.
© 2008, Dr Neil Hair. All rights reserved.