Halloween is upon us.

It’s time, yet again,  for us to unleash our ‘inner child’, don some appropriate  disguise and then go about the business of scaring the bejesus out of the next unsuspecting human being who happens to pass by.

This year, my own inner child has narrowed his Halloween costume choices to a Wall Street banker, an officer manager armed with pink slips or one of the Real Atlanta Housewives. (The latter is mean-spirited perhaps … but definitely scary.)

The notion that so many of us get caught up in the idea of being someone else is troubling.  On any other day, posing as somebody else will get you arrested for identity theft. On Halloween, it’s perfectly legal.

Of course, recent pre-occupation with Halloween may be because of the ongoing recession. Many folks are hiding from bill collectors and repo-men. A Halloween mask is much cheaper than plastic surgery and easier than entering the Witness Protection Program, one supposes.


As wildly popular and as successful as All Hallows Eve is, one is surprised that the government did not meddle in it long ago. It is obviously ripe for the pickings. A good offense is the best defense. Thus, I offer my own plan for Halloween Reform before the D.C. crowd comes in and messes it good and proper.

First combine Halloween with April Fool’s …. make it longer. Hallo-fools Week! One’s face is already made up with greasepaint, it doesn’t easily wash off and you’ve paid the costume rental fee for a whole week.

Make participation in Hallo-fools week mandatory. This includes individuals, companies, sports teams, government agencies …everybody! Envision Lowe’s disguised as Home Depot or CNN masquerading as Fox. Picture American Idol judges posing as a healthcare death panel?

Because of pre-existing conditions, such as unemployment or just being broke many Americans haven’t participated in Halloween recently. Under the “public option” of the Universal Halloween Reform Act, he or she will be given a hundred dollars to rent or make a costume. This will stimulate the economy and create a bunch of jobs — at least “phantom” jobs — which is perfect for Hallo-fool’s.

My favorite part of Halloween Reform and Hallo-fools week is a proposed National Pranking Day, American citizens would play a collective practical joke on some other country. Replacing all of the wine glasses in France with dribble glasses, or TP’ing Canada immediately comes to mind. Another idea would be to switch the names of the U.S. and Mexico on various maps. In any event, there are lots of pranks we can do. Americans love a good joke, especially when is at some other country’s expense.

A national prank will take our minds off of our troubles including the recession, the war in Afghanistan, and the Nancy Grace Show. It also can’t help but improve our stern image in the rest of the world. One can just hear Vladimir Putin:

“Sheesh! Those wild and crazy Americans are such kidders. They actually stole the Eiffel Tower, right from under France’s nose. Can you believe it? Hell, nobody likes the French anyway. Ha! Ha! Ha! I wonder what those Americans are going to do next?”

Halloween Reform is nothing new. I have it on good authority that it was that jokester, Calvin Coolidge who first proposed Reform in the 1920s as a way of getting us out of the depression. While generally in favor of the plan, it seems that Congress had a problem with ol’ Cal changing his name to “Shecky” in order to foster a post-Presidential career as a comedian.

Let’s reform Halloween now …. before it is too late.

Oh yeah, Happy Halloween.


© Copyright 2009 Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.