One of the Gay Uncle’s readers recently posed an interesting series of questions regarding how folks will be dealing with the spookiest of scary holidays this year. Since her inquiries truly…piqued Gunc’s interest, he thinks her missive is worth quoting in its entirety.
Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? My husband came across an article with some info about background checking neighbors. I thought that may be a little overboard, but it had some other good suggestions for some precautions I haven’t thought about. Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church’s fall festival this year instead of door-to-door to prevent that from happening again. I don’t know yet. What’s your advice? Am I over-reacting or just being a concerned mom?
Since there are so many different ideas and concerns included here, the G.U. is going to try to address them one at a time.
1) Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? Well, Gunc and his boyfriend are planning on sitting in a friend’s new hot tub, getting wasted, and watching zombie movies on a big screen using said friend’s new DVD projector. Their “safety precautions” will include having plenty of towels and robes around in case any kids drop by. They’re hoping this will keep them from spending the weekend in jail.
2) My husband came across an article with some info about background checking neighbors. The G.U. asked a brutally intelligent mom friend who chairs a commission on childhood sexual abuse about this one, and she said that folks should definitely be aware of any sex offenders that live in their neighborhood, though she cautioned–with a commendable degree of rationality–that “convicted and released sex offenders are the tippy-tippy-top of the mountain of risk in terms of children and abuse. Nearly 90% of kids who are abused are molested by family members.” She went on, “There is no way to absolutely ensure that your child is safe. Do what you can, within reason, but remember that accepting the presence of risk is part of life.”
3) Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. The Gay Uncle would like to point out that there are a number of factors that may have potentially been involved in this boy’s illness other than the endemically infectious nature of the holiday. First, Halloween comes during a season called “Fall”, the time of year when children return to the Petri Dish/Germ Pool of school, when the weather often vacillates wildly between warm and cold, and when kids frequently O.D. on sugar, all of which tend to compromise their immune systems. Gunc is willing to bet that the boy wasn’t Roofied, dosed, or a victim of bio-terrorism, but that he caught a bug from a classmate, refused to wear his coat over his Wonder Woman costume, and/or simply ate one too many pounds of candy corn. Next question.
4)I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church’s fall festival this year instead of door-to-door Given the lax standards for admission to most churches, and the number of sinners that come through them on a weekly basis, the Gay Uncle would like to posit that the basements and rec rooms of such locales likely have a higher infectious bacteria count than subway poles, kitchen sponges, or gas station toilet seats combined. (While cleanliness is next to godliness, the reverse is not necessarily true.) And the whole bobbing for apples thing that often takes place at these festivals–while ultimately resulting in a lower sugar intake than T-or-T-ing–requires immersing your child’s vulnerable oral and nasal passages in warm, germy, kiddie-face water. Plus, if you’re going to a church to avoid Stranger Danger, Gunc has one word of warning: Priests.