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Calling out trick-or-treat offenders


After last week’s Dos and Don’ts of Trick-or-Treating post, I was paying close attention to the etiquette of people ringing my doorbell last night.

For the most part, the kids were kind, cute and grateful to be taking my Kit Kats. But there were offenders, oh yes there were.

Here are some of the people who were not treats. (Note: Offenders not pictured)

The Cell Phone Talker: I had three different people come to my door last night while on a cell phone. I’m not talking about parents on phones, standing behind their kids. I’m talking about people holding out bags wanting my nom-noms. Look, I’m as tethered to my phone as anyone, and even I’ll admit this was ridiculous. A special shout out to the tween girl on her phone who said neither “trick or treat” nor “thank you.” I think Microsoft made a commercial about you. No … really!

The Possibly Lying Adult: “Oh, can I have one more for my other kid who is sick at home?” What that really means is: “I think you’re an idiot and I’m gonna try to get more candy out of you. You don’t know how many kids I have, sucker! This Butterfinger is going to work with me tomorrow.” Maybe you really do have a sick kid at home. Maybe I’m just cynical. But I doubt it.

The Greedy Bastards: What’s with these kids who look at you sideways when you give them just one piece of candy? I’m not giving you lame candy. I’m giving you the good stuff. Be happy with one, you entitled little snots.

The Stroller Pusher: Were there always parents pushing their hella little children from house to house in strollers? Or is that something I’m just noticing now that I’m soon to be a dad? Last night, these stroller pushers were out in mass, many of them causing traffic jams on their way up to my door. (And one of them ran over one of our lawn lights, I think). Look, lady, we all know that kid is not eating the candy — it can’t even sit up on its own. You’re a grown ass person, so just save all of us the trouble and go to Rite Aid to buy yourself a bag of Snickers instead. I’m promising the world right now that I will not be pushing my child door-to-door next Halloween just so I can get some candy.

[photo: Gary Kazanjian / Fresno Bee]

Responses to "Calling out trick-or-treat offenders"

Spurs O'Fire says:

I had a stroller pusher who not only held out a bag for the baby, but was also in a mask and had her own bag.


bradley says:

Spurs O’Fire: i too had an Adult Trick or Treater Who Was Obviously An Adult.

I told her to get lost. She spit on my porch.

Caroline says:

I handed out candy at ZooBoo the weekend before Halloween… which was a lot of fun & some of the parents were dressed up & I didn’t mind giving them candy too. However I agree with you on the stroller pushers… walking up & holding out a bag “it’s for my son/or daughter”…or not saying a word at all, just holding their bag there for you (haha… the one with the binky in it’s mouth??? that has no teeth??? sure it’s for them) We all know better.

Oh, I also had a kid who I already put a few pieces of candy in his bag just stand there holding their bag waiting for me to put more! And the parent didn’t seem to care that they raised a rude kid.

Overall, most kids were nice & said trick-or-treat, or at least Thank you when they got candy.

Mary says:

That is why i quit handing out candy years ago. No one knows how to say “thank you”. The clincher was the grandparents trick or treating for the granadkids who had gone to a Raider game!!!!@

3 little kids ages 8-10 come to door no costumes, 9:30 at night, backpacks on backwards with flap open towards me. They did say trick or treat, but I felt like sticking there heads in there own backpack and zipping it up.

Cherie Fountaine says:

I just have to say; I have experienced all of these (except the cell phone talker)! LOL I have to find humor in the fact that I thought I was one of the only people on the planet that notices this. LUCKY for me, my kids are grown and I was at the RAIDERS game! Tailgaiting! Wooo Hoooooooooooooooo! Hang in there Mike; there is no shortage of ‘stupidity’ or ‘rudeness’ in the world so hang on and enjoy the ride (E-TICKET)! :)

I had a trick or treating dog in costume, owner held the bag for it


DLR says:

man by the time Oct. 31 actually comes, I’ve seen and had so much junkfood that I don’t care WHO comes to the door or what they want. I need to get rid of that crap by then!

I had a few older people at my door but for the most part they had good costumes. If you really want candy that bad, I’ll let you have it.

I still try to give the crappy candy to the lame non-costumes, old people or the ones supposedly for toddlers.


John says:

HILARIOUS. I was bummed that my condo doesn’t get trick or treaters until I read this. Thanks!

Typical Jackassery says:

I think you could honestly say that person was not a REAL adult, but a child trapped in an adult body.

ceeeff says:

My son is 7 months old, has just learned to sit up by himself, and I never considered actually getting him a costume let alone going ToT with him. It’s not like he knows what is going on. He’d more than likely rip off anything that I put on his head, stuff it in his mouth, then spit up all over himself. That’s exactly how I want to waste $30.

Maybe next year we put him in a costume, but I doubt it. When a kid can say, “Trick or Treat!” followed closely by “Thank you very much!”, then and only then should they be out ToT.

Kathy Mahan says:

I’d say 90% of the people who came to my door were nice. The kids said trick-or-treat and thank you. Only one girl complained about the candy, asking her brother the trade with her because she didn’t like Almond Joy. I had two adults with their babies, both dressed up, collecting candy for themselves — one even admitted it, which at least made me laugh. My biggest pet peeve of the night: kids ringing the doorbell dozens of times in a row. I thought my cat would never recover!

Tecee says:

When adults come to my door they get breath mints and the bags for babies get baby food!

Talullah says:

Let’s see…I had the following show up at my house last night (AFTER the WS game ended):

1. The kid who didn’t say “trick or treat” and decided he would just put his hand in the bowl of candy. I pulled it away, said “I give you the candy”, asked him what to say (which he then did), gave him a couple of pieces (’cause I don’t want any leftovers) and then asked him “what do you say?” and he looked a little dumbfounded and then said “thank you”.
2. Teenage boys in lame-ass “costumes”, no bag, just holding their hands out. Really?
3. Momma with toothless, unaware, bottle-sucking baby in a stroller (neither in costume).
4. Kid asking me if there were other houses around? What? Yah, kid, there ARE other houses around, I’m not an island! Then asks “do you know if they’re giving candy?”. Sorry, I didn’t take a neighborhood poll of who would be passing out candy, Mapquest it and then print out flyers. Walk around! Figure it out!

Ah, Halloween. Not only do the goblins come out but so do all the village idiots. But I love it! Crazy, I know.

jennifer says:

I love this idea, totally doing that next year!

mine weren’t too bad, mostly polite. I did get some groups that had small toddlers and infants and the adults held out bags for the babies PLUS they had their own bags…but the adults did say trick or treat and were completely decked out in costume. If they’re going to that kind of trouble for candy they can have it. Funny part is I live in a neighborhood of mostly older people in Old Fresno High, however I’m in my 20′s so probably the same age as these people. They actually just looked more embarassed saying trick or treat to me.

Cathy Fletcher says:

I had two women who came to the door not dressed up and I asked one if there were many kids trick or treating and she replied,”not like it used to be when my kids were little” So, where are your kids? No excuses, she just put her pillow case out and wanted candy. I couldn’t belive it. That didn’t just happen once, it happened 3 time last night. One was at least somewhat dressed up, pretty gutsy.

David says:

At my house, everyone older than about 12 got “scarrots” – baby carrots in individual serving Hallowe’en themed packages – the Visalia Winco had a big bag of about 30 for under $2.

I forgot to have them available this year, but next year babies will get individual Zweiback teething crackers and dogs will get Milk-bones. I think I’ll cut up my Sunday coupon circular and hand out coupons for tissues for the children who were unable to attend because they are sick… and I think a polygrip coupon for the grandparents who should be home handing out candy instead of trick-or-treating for their absent grand children.

Daniel A says:

We received most of the above except “Adults”. There were too many teens who don’t dress up and don’t say anything. They get one candy. What was surprising to me was how many kids were dropped off by adults carrying a car load of children. It’s obvious they are not from our neighborhood, as I would notice 400 kids packed into one block, but for the most part, the imports were well mannered.

Chase Sanborn says:

I wish trick-or-treating would re-invent itself in my lifetime. Seems like a ‘teaching moment’ to let youngsters, as an idea, collect food and goods for needy families.
But alas, that will happen when Fresno State becomes THEE California State, the AL dumps the DH and America the Beautiful becomes our National Anthem.

Almost Stomped Someone Down.. says:

How about a special shout out ( and by shout I mean with two special fingers held high) to the guy who thought it would be funny to scare my little dog.
Doggy was so excited to see all the kids and then some jerk in a Michael Myers mask decided to tease him, freaking him out. Guy is lucky that my friend was holding the light sabers at that time and not me. Though, everyone around got to hear me yell at him.
All it takes is one goon to ruin a good time.

I am A-OK with giving candy to teens as long as they attempted to dress up and are polite.
I’m with you on the good candy. We get GOOD candy… and yes only once piece is given out ( unless you’re especially dear or kind)… I’ll take one Milky Way over a handful of jolly ranchers any day…

hatesfresno says:

Damn freeloaders…………. these bedstains were rude, disrepsectfull all for what? FREE CANDY……. tell mommy and daddy to get a better job, put some overtime in at work or and go buy your own bags of candy.

ungrateful little tumors.

David says:

The “drive-ins” don’t bother me so much. If you live out in the boonies with no sidewalks or your neighborhood is just unsafe – go ahead and bring your kids to my ‘hood and walk the block with them. The neighbors and I are not too stuck up to give your kid a piece of candy.

The “drive-bys,” though, are another story. I saw at least 3 big SUV-loads of kids who would drive up to a house, unload, leave the engine idling, beg for candy (including the un-costumed adult driver), and load back up to be driven to the next promising-looking house.

These kids got “scarrots” – individual serving packets of baby carrots. And really, I think I’m doing them a favor because they’re clearly headed for early-onset diabetes, what with the focus on maximum candy and minimum walking.

Look, pick a neighborhood, park your SUV, and spend an hour walking around. The fresh air and exercise will be good for you and your kids. When they get too tired to walk on their own, or their bag is too heavy for them to carry, they have all the candy they need.

I have to say, it’s not the kids who misbehaved, but the parents. By and large, most of the children who came to my house (and especially the ones whose parents waved at me from the sidewalk… as it should be) were happy to be out among their friends, enthralled by our intricate pumpkin artwork, and grateful for the adoration and generous treats handed out by their neighbors.

It’s the “drive-by” adults who behaved badly by endorsing and encouraging a culture of gluttony and entitlement. Their message: “Watch kids, I’ll show you how to get the most candy for free, without even trying or caring.” Those parents (and grandparents) need to be publicly corrected for their inappropriate behavior at every house, and their requests for handouts impolitely refused.

Next year I’ll have more scarrots and plenty of valuable Fresno Bee coupons to give out to adults who have conspired to steal this formerly youthful rite of passage away from the children.

And that goes for your little dog too!

Kassandra says:

The kids with the open backpacks/ no costumes came to my house too! It was almost 10pm. What really annoyed me was when I was trick or treating with my kids in Tower, and we kept running into the mom who couldn’t put her cigarette down! She had no shame walking through crowds of children puffing away!

erica says:

It was nice to see so many kids come around to our house in our small town. If a teenager comes by in a cool costume I have no problem giving away the candy. I was shocked with how many people rolled up with baby strollers no costume and a bag held out. I just wish I could say oh sorry you aren’t very Halloween and just shut my door.

The icing though was the woman who knocked on my door at 9:40 PM more than 90 minutes after we ran out of candy and shut off our light with two small children asking for candy. I couldn’t believe it. 9:40?! And you you are still out with small kids? She is lucky she didn’t wake up my baby.

Gianna says:

Oh I didn’t even hand out candy unless they said “trick-or-treat”…..aaand they only got ONE.

I don’t even mind handing out candy to adults that are trick-or-treating, as long as they are in costume.

Delaine Zody says:

Nice comments, and all true, but you are preaching to the choir here. No one who did these “tricks” is going to be reading this, unfortunately.

Erin says:

I fully agree. I hate when teens and adults come to my door so what i do is give them the crappy candy or other things like pencils and such. As for the parents who bring their babies up to my door, well guess what here’s a teething buscuit or a sugar-free saftey sucker. And yes i even had a guy come up with a dog so I gave the dog a dog treat.

Donny Marvin says:

I thought I would be nice to the Parents with the bay strollers, I had pre-chewed candy for all the babies, they were not happy about this. Don’t they know how bad my mouth hurts from pre-chewing that darn candy for them, un grateful parents I tell you!