In which I learned to love Halloween

By David Fong - Contributing Columnist

It’s not so much that I hate holidays and special occasions, it’s just that I hate anything in my life that requires me to put forth even a modicum of effort.

Let’s face it — holidays are seriously hard work. Easter requires the coloring and hiding of eggs. The Fourth of July requires grilling food and shooting off fireworks — or, at the very least, traveling to a designated location and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes while professionals shoot off fireworks. Birthdays require cakes and presents. Christmas means endless decorations and shopping.

None of these things appeal to me — because none of them involve my favorite pastime of laying on the couch while alternately taking naps and watching college football. If someone ever decided that was an official holiday, I’d pretty much be the king of that day.

If it were up to me, all of the holidays would be combined into one day during the year in which we would celebrate all of them at once. We could decorate a tree with colored eggs, dress up in scary costumes, hand out presents, grill hamburgers and cook turkeys (I’d probably stuff the hamburgers inside the turkey because it would make things easier and taste delicious), drink green beer, give one another sappy cards and boxes of chocolate and then have one big countdown as midnight approached.

We could do it all on one day, then be done with it. I’d probably sleep in late and go to bed early, thus ensuring I had minimal involvement in said activity.

Of all the holidays I hate — which, with the exception of Arbor Day, is pretty much all of them — the holiday I hate the most is Halloween.

I have never been a fan of Halloween — even when I was a kid, I tended to view Oct. 31 with a certain amount of dread. I think this was, in part, because I was guaranteed to have the worst costume in the neighborhood every year. My mother, you see, hated Halloween then every bit as much as I do now, and therefore put exactly zero effort into ensuring I ever had a worthwhile costume.

And that’s how, for six years in a row, I was dressed as a hobo for Halloween. That’s right, in a less politically correct day and age, it was completely acceptable for parents to dress their children up as the economically disadvantaged. My mother basically accomplished this goal by having me wear some of my dad’s old clothes, smearing some dirt on my face and handing me a bundle consisting of a bandana attached to a yardstick.

Truth be told, my Halloween costume as a kid probably made me look a lot like I do now in every day adult life.

Since then, I’ve never been a fan of Halloween — not only because of the emotional scarring, but like I said, Halloween takes some serious effort. I hate picking out a pumpkin. I hate carving a pumpkin and putting it on the front porch. I hate my wife nagging me all the way until Easter to “Please throw away the rotten pumpkin on our front porch.”

I hate walking around the neighborhood with my kids while they ring the doorbells of strangers. Alternately, I hate sitting at home and having strange children ring my doorbell and ask me for candy. And ever since I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes three years ago, I can’t even truly enjoy candy anymore.

That’s right — Halloween is now officially a holiday that could kill me.

All that being said, I usually do everything I can in an effort to avoid being involved in the Halloween process.

However, last week, my son Max asked if he could be Charlie Brown for Halloween. I thought that was a bit of an odd request, as Max has never been a huge fan of the “Peanuts” comics, so I asked him why he wanted to be Charlie Brown for Halloween. He said our dog, Millie Jo Marie — who is a beagle mix — could be Snoopy and he could be Charlie Brown.

Right after he said that, my heart — much like the Grinch’s did at Christmas — grew three sizes. When he asked if I would be Linus and carry a blanket, I thought it might explode out of sheer joy. So Max is going to be Charlie Brown, our wiggly pup is going to be Snoopy and I’m going to be Linus.

All of a sudden, Halloween doesn’t seem quite so bad. Don’t worry, though … I still can’t stand Christmas.

Troy’s very own David Fong appears on Thursdays in the Troy Daily News. Contact him at; follow him on Twitter @thefong

By David Fong

Contributing Columnist