The American government handed out bank bailouts, and proved that you can answer the doorbell with a lot more than a York peppermint patty in your hand. But how far, exactly, can we take this Halloween tradition? Let's ratchet this from boring to badass.
This is standard operating procedure, but we can build it better. There are two possible options: monstrously outsized sweets, and, um, "behavior modification substances". You want to blow a kid's mind? Hand him a four-foot chocolate grizzly bear. Just make sure he doesn't shit himself all over your porch. You want to drive his parents crazy? Lots of candies involve caffeine. Some candies involve lots of caffeine. Maybe they sell 5-Hour Energies in bulk. Somebody may sue your for demolishing the neighborhood, but the little fuckers' parents will make sure they never bother you again.
2. SHEER TERROR
There are haunted houses, and then there are haunted houses. We want these children to avoid your place not because you give out apples or toothbrushes, but because ninety-five percent of them curl into a fetal position and cry a few seconds after setting foot on your property. I'm not talking about zombies or ghosts. I'm talking about mind-warping, trauma-inducing shit. I'm talking about tombstones that read, "Mommy and Daddy will be under here one day" . I'm talking about crystal balls that screech "NOBODY LOVES YOU AND NOBODY EVER WILL" at the fortune-teller's touch. I'm talking about buckets of real pig blood that stink to high heaven. H.R. Giger did the design work on the Alien movies. Maybe he's available for hire. We've gotten soft, and nobody finds vampires scary anymore (thanks, Twilight). Halloween shouldn't give you goosebumps, it should ruin your life.
This and "sheer terror" may or may not overlap. If you make it a regular thing to spend Halloween on LSD you're a braver man than I. If you make it a regular thing to give kids LSD on Halloween then you're my fucking hero. Yes, it's illegal and abusive, but think about how interesting the world will be in twenty years. Do you want to sprinkle wonder and Halloween magic over the lives of the neighborhood little ones? What's going to do that better than sparkly glowworms crawling out out of their Kit Kats?
Listen, you can't just hand out guns. You'll get shut down too quick. Fireworks might be more doable, or big, elaborate Lord-of-the-Rings swords (don't pretend you don't know where to get them; I've seen your catalogs). Imagine the kid's surprise. Imagine how well it'll go with his costume. Imagine the carnage. There's no real fear in anyone's heart come Halloween anymore, and that depresses me. We could all dress up like we're inhabiting a post-apocalyptic landscape, or we could just inhabit one. All it takes is a little assault hardware in the hands of the world's ten-year-olds. People have argued that this is more "Christmas" than "Halloween", but I don't see anything particularly Christmas-y about a chainsaw.
No, no, I'm not suggesting pedophilia. You're a sick f**k. Here's an idea: forget kids this halloween. Gather a list of participating adults, make a map their houses, and go door-to-door exchanging something you really care about. And by that I don't mean "cheer and neighborliness". Swap fluids, swap wives, and swap embarrassing stories the next day over your post-hangover bacon. At least three fourths of the non-kid costumes on the market involve being half-naked anyway, so I say we just give in to our subconscious desires and admit to ourselves what this holiday's really become. I'm more frightened of herpes than werewolves. Know why? Because herpes actually exists.