Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Etiquette, 2015

                 Is your “teal” pumpkin on display? F.A.R.E. (Food Allergy Research and Education) wants you to join the over 100,000 houses pledging to color their pumpkin(s) teal and hand out only “non-food treats.” The reason? In order to promote a “welcoming and inclusive atmosphere” for all, of course!
                Can you imagine how “invalidated” all the little devils and witches have felt over the years, knowing it’s possible they could go to other people’s houses, knock on their doors and demand free candy, and be a victim of someone handing them  goodies that might contain an ingredient to which they are allergic?
                That is real horror. The new Nightmare on Elm Street? The Johnson’s are handing out jars of Wheat Germ™ again!
                Those abodes sporting teal colored pumpkins are to be considered “safe houses,” necessary lest the kiddies come under sneak- attack by gluten-laden confections.
                In keeping with the new, fundamentally-changed American culture, here are several other tips for experiencing a progressive, safe, non-judgmental and inclusive Halloween:
1)      When a young person appears on your doorstep wearing a Caitlyn Jenner costume, it can be confusing to know what pronoun would be least offensive to use in addressing that person. Do not risk using either a masculine or feminine pronoun! Also, most “non-binary” gender individuals prefer to be called “they,” and those that aren’t/don’t are likely to be impressed with your knowledge and effort at inclusiveness. So, after dropping a coupon to Whole Foods Markets and a button proclaiming “Bernie or Bust 2016” into the mysteriously-gendered little person’s (hopefully all-natural, made-from-hemp) bag, do not say “there you are!” Instead, say “There they are” and sleep the sleep of the anointed.
2)      Any little treasures and trinkets you hand out must be gender-neutral of course, but, also, do not refer to any adults that may be chaperoning the kids as mom or dad, or infer any traditional relationship or gender whatsoever in potential conversations with them. Moreover, don’t even use the term “kid(s),” as it is possible it could be a vertically-challenged adult you’re addressing. Much better to say, “isn’t your valued smaller person so adorable!” This is much more affirming and inclusive.
3)      Please do not weep or vow to hang all white Minnesota dentists when a mysteriously-gendered, valued, smaller person shows up in a Cecil the Lion costume! This can be traumatic for the mysteriously-gendered, valued, smaller person and their entourage, such as it may be!

4)      Please do not break into sustained applause or scream, “hell yeah, baby!” if a “trick-or-treater” appears on your doorstep wearing the outfit of a Planned Parenthood physician. This may cause certain close-minded women’s health care Deniers within earshot to bloviate on the Fox News Channel. It is acceptable, however, to leave a large financial donation to the organization in the mysteriously-gendered, valued, smaller person’s biodegradable goodie bag.

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