When I was a kid, Halloween was just for us kids. A chance to dress up as somebody else, score some free candy and play a few tricks on people. Even if you went so far as to egg somebody's front door or tip over their outhouse, nobody got too upset.
But all that's changed. Everywhere I went today, there were people in costume and somebody else who thought their dressing up wasn't appropriate.
And I'm not talking about schools where the holiday has been dubbed "Black & Orange" day (whatever that means) or have requested that kids turn up dressed as a character who symbolizes compassion and caring.
That always reminds me of the Halloween I wrapped my school Vice-Principal's house in toilet paper while dressed as an Angel (complete with tinfoil halo). The concept that one night a year of childish debauchery might permanently warp a person's character or turn them down some dark pathway just doesn't make any sense to me.
Yet, I passed a zombie stocking shelves at the grocery store only to encounter a manager taking heat from an elderly couple who felt his outfit was too offensive for a place of business.
Over at Starbucks, the guys at the window bar were ogling a 20-something walking by dressed as a "sexy nurse". One of them later admitted that this actually made him quite uncomfortable since his 8 year old was trick or treating in the same get-up. That remark was met by troubled glances among his colleagues.
Like I said, some people take this stuff a lot more seriously than it warrants.
My day was made, however, by a burly guy outside the hardware store, dressed in the black and orange of the BC Lions football team and a dead ringer for their head coach.
"Hey, it's Wally Buono!" I chirped.
He smiled back. "Thank God somebody gets it," he said. "The last three people I met said I looked like a fucking pumpkin!"
As for me, I will join tonight's festivities dressed as I always dress, as the inimitable "Sexy Screenwriter".
And that's far from inappropriate -- even if only we screenwriters know it's not a fantasy.
Have a fun Halloween!