On Saturday night, KDUR held its 21st annual Transvestite Ball while The Hank was completing another successful seasonal run of “The Rocky Horror Show.”
Both events are local Halloween traditions, but both have come and gone this year with Halloween still days away. To further muddle matters, a handful of costumed revelers made the rounds this weekend as a few bars attempted some “pre-Halloween” parties, knowing many of their working class clientele aren’t able to let loose on a Thursday night.
Speaking of Thursday, drive carefully. Come rush hour, parents will hurry home to dress their kids and send them camouflaged and sugar-fueled out into the dusk, while those receiving them must themselves get home in time to greet them with treats lest they become the victim of a trick.
There’s a simple solution to this, and all it would take is an act or two of Congress. And it would be a popular act for a bunch that could use some positive public relations: Make Halloween the last Saturday in October instead of Oct. 31.
The actual date of the 31st has come to be meaningless to all but the most devoted pagans and Christians – the story on Wikipedia is so long and convoluted it can’t even be summarized here. Suffice to say, there’s no good reason Halloween still needs to be on the 31st. Only two holidays – New Year’s Eve and July 4 – require observance on those particular days – and for good reason.
Better comparisons can be drawn from Memorial Day and Labor Day, which always fall on predictable Mondays, and Thanksgiving, coming on the third Thursday in November each year. Even Easter, which is based on an actual event that was purported to have occurred on an actual day, has been celebrated in adherence to a weekly calendar instead of a specific date. Jesus may have risen from the dead on April 14, for example, but it’s still and always Easter Sunday.
Here are just a few of the pro arguments for changing when we observe Halloween:
Parents would never again have to rush home after work to help kids get their costumes ready to take kids trick-or-treating. They’d have all day Saturday for that. It would be known far and wide that come sundown or close to it, the streets will belong to the kiddos. Some may even consider closing some streets to traffic during that time. And, oh, yes, during that time, it would be Saturday afternoon traffic, not a typical rush hour that may fall on a weeknight.
Bars and organizations would never have to guess when to schedule parties and events. They’d be on Saturday – Halloween.
Residents would not be bothered by trick-or-treaters on more than one night by parents who don’t want to send their kids out on Tuesday evening. They’d be bothered on Halloween only – Saturday night.
Friday could be dress-up day for schools and workplaces so no one would get cheated out of their school and office parties.
I’d do a cons list, but there’s just no good reason to not do this. And even if you’re wary of supporting something that I come up with, don’t let that fog your vision. A good idea’s a good idea regardless of the source – if Hitler had invented Super Glue we’d still use it. So please forward this to the lawmaker of your choice, and let’s hope Friday is the last time anyone will have to worry about going to work with a Halloween hangover.