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Thread: The TRICK component of 'trick or treat'

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The TRICK component of 'trick or treat'

    Seems like Halloween is 99% about children getting candy these days. I'm not suggesting that Halloween pranks and mischief have entirely vanished but rather that they seem to be declining in both frequency and prominence. Maybe it has something to do with the commercialization that seems to be relentlesly invading every holiday? Does anyone else think this is the case?

    Any Halloween tricks you can recall pulling in your youth (or ones that happened to you?). We had our jack o lantern get smashed a couple times and our windows soaped once but I can't recall anything more serious.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Back up in NJ we called the night before Halloween Mischief night. I'm sure some Detroit area Cyburbians will chime in with what they call Devil's Night. We would always make sure all lights were on and keep the kids moving. Generally trees get TPed and soap on windows of cars, but then the more serious lighting things on fire and eggs on cars/houses happens too. In Detroit vacant buildings almost always go up in flames. Not a good night.

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    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Back up in NJ we called the night before Halloween Mischief night. I'm sure some Detroit area Cyburbians will chime in with what they call Devil's Night. We would always make sure all lights were on and keep the kids moving. Generally trees get TPed and soap on windows of cars, but then the more serious lighting things on fire and eggs on cars/houses happens too. In Detroit vacant buildings almost always go up in flames. Not a good night.
    Another Ex-pat Jersey Boy Agrees.
    Oddball
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    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    In Detroit vacant buildings almost always go up in flames. Not a good night.
    This was once a very serious problem in Detroit maybe 10-15 years ago, but I understand it's been significantly curtailed in recent years. Maybe DetroitPlanner or some other locals can fill us in on why and how its declined.

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    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    With "trick or treat", you are teaching the kids to extort candy from your neighbors with a threat. Good training for government jobs.

    With no "trick" threat, you're just teaching them begging.

    Not sure which is better I guess the begging.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    This was once a very serious problem in Detroit maybe 10-15 years ago, but I understand it's been significantly curtailed in recent years. Maybe DetroitPlanner or some other locals can fill us in on why and how its declined.
    It wasn't just Oct 30. On years when that date fell on or near a weekend, it would be several days of arson, fire calls, and burning buildings.

    Angel's Night is a collaborative effort between the city administration and citizens. IIRC this started during the Coleman Young years (or perhaps Dennis Archer). Components include re-tagging Oct 30 as Angel's Night, enlisting hundreds of citizens to drive the streets (equipped with radios and yellow strobes), a curfew for youth, and keeping an eye on vacant buildings. If the weather warranted (warm and dry), the fire department would soak certain abandoned buildings.

    One year I was out driving after dark, and in every direction within several blocks I could see a yellow strobe atop a car.

    Interestingly, off-duty firefighters from nearby places showed up to help. One time the Freep talked to some guys who'd driven up from Indiana; they were volunteer firefighters from a small community, and figured they (and Detroit) would benefit from the experience.

    More recently, the number of fires and arson calls has dropped dramatically.
    ETA:
    At its peak in 1984, 810 fires were reported in Detroit from Oct. 29 to 31, fueled by, among other things, Devil's Night's growing notoriety and the city's large number of abandoned buildings.

    But the number of blazes has dropped - 147 fires were reported last year for the three days ending Oct. 31, up from the 113 reported in 2006 and 121 in 2005.


    Other interesting facts: Detroit recreation departments plan parties for kids. Angel's Night 2008 has 30,000 volunteers signed up, and they expect help from 50,000 residents. Kansas City is emulating the Detroit success with a similar volunteer effort. More at www.angelsnight.org

    (former Detroit planning & development employee)
    Last edited by Veloise; 30 Oct 2008 at 11:24 AM.

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    TP shooting incident

    It's probably been in every local paper by now...a homeowner in my county shot at some kids TP'ing his house. (It was 1 am, "I figured they weren't coming to sell Mary Kay.") A 14yo was struck by the pellets, and the shooter then unloaded twice more "to mark the car."

    In his defense, there's been an odd string of small-town homicides lately. He was home alone, and disabled. County prosecutor is charging everyone involved; in part because the kids were near the detached garage, not inside the house. Two of the perps are young adults. They all attend the same church.

    Side door to fame dep't.: it was in an interview for a zoning position with the subject jurisdiction that the meeting room ceiling fell in! I sensed movement from the acoustical tiles above, grabbed my portfolio binder, and leaped five feet.

    And the shooter is a distant relative of mine. Father's cousin says that he is the grandson of a great uncle. Yikes.

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    It's probably been in every local paper by now...a homeowner in my county shot at some kids TP'ing his house. (It was 1 am, "I figured they weren't coming to sell Mary Kay.") A 14yo was struck by the pellets, and the shooter then unloaded twice more "to mark the car."

    In his defense, there's been an odd string of small-town homicides lately. He was home alone, and disabled. County prosecutor is charging everyone involved; in part because the kids were near the detached garage, not inside the house. Two of the perps are young adults. They all attend the same church.
    As I've said before...I'm perfectly alright with self-elimination due to stupidity. Hope they get a few days in the clink and have to provide the man some community service in the form of maintenance on his property or house.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    We don't do Halloween quite as big as you guys, I guess Bonfire Night gets the most attention.

    My favourite tale though is when I trick or treated the trick or treaters in a small village I used to live. I knew a few of the other kids in the village were going to be doing the rounds, so I thought I'd lay a trap.

    I got fishing line and tied it to several objects, including a metal bin lid, my sisters toy trike and the handle of the gate that lead to my back garden. I left the gate wide open.

    I then took up position in a bush at the far end of the front garden and settled in for the night. I had hold of the other ends of the fishing lines. The garden was pitch black (no street lights) and I'd turned the movement activated security light off.

    Sure enough the kids started to come...

    As they got halfway down the drive I'd yank the gate shut, making sure it slammed...that got a few of them straight away...

    Then as they neared the front door i'd pull the bin lid off, sending it crashing to the floor with a loud metallic clang...two or three legged it back up the drive in terror...

    Then, if they'd made it to the door, and walked back down the drive I'd pull the trike along behind them...that usually put pay to most. Shrieks were numerous and one or two of the younger ones cried.

    Doesn't sound like much but at 13 years of age it was bloody brilliant!

    We also have a Mischief Night in West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Plenty of eggs get thrown.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Very few outhouses to tip over or move anymore. (heard that one from my dad.) A friend told of twisting a screw eye (cup hook) into the wooden siding of a house attaching a long wire to it and twanging it or better yet using a bow on it if one was available from a kis who was stuck w/ violin lessons. Said it really sounded spooky, especially inside the house.

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    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    note to self

    Off-topic:
    To avoid egging, don't park the car on the street tonight
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally posted by HarryFossettsHat View post
    We also have a Mischief Night in West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Plenty of eggs get thrown.
    IIRC, it's November 4th-ish? My dad grew up with it in Doncaster area and we had it instead of the trick and treating part of Halloween in the Axholme area (Lincolnshire / Yorkshire border). I know Northumbrians and similar who have heard of it, as well as Scots. But the West Cumbrians have looked at me blankly when I've mentioned it. I'm not sure we all have it on the same day

    Our standard trick was to take the gates off all the houses in the village and swap them round where they would fit. A lot of co-ordination out of about ten children.
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    we TP'd our fair share of houses. i don't think TPing is cause for being shot at. yelled at, yes. call the cops on, yes. shooting, no.


    in my early teen years we'd hide in the bushes and jump out and spray our friends with shaving cream. ah, such is the life of a small town girl.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    This was once a very serious problem in Detroit maybe 10-15 years ago, but I understand it's been significantly curtailed in recent years. Maybe DetroitPlanner or some other locals can fill us in on why and how its declined.
    This is my first year of my volunteer duties than I have decided to stay home and not drive around in the car with the yellow light flashing. Why you may ask? The home next door to mine had a terrible fire at it several months back. Recently, workmen have been working on it (finally). I want to make sure it is back and somewhat marketable (about as marketable as houses in this region can be).

    Make no mistake, I am still registed as a volunteer only this year I watched the house. This was not exaclty thrilling (though on the 29th I did see a hooker in front of my house propositioning a guy, then he sped off without her, about 2 minutes later the cops showed up!)

    The saddest part of holloween recently is the lack of trick or treaters. Its not that the neighborhood is lacking children, its that people are too broke to hand out candy, parents are too scared to let there kids out at night, there is a curfew, and many of my neighbors are muslim and this puts them in a bad position of having to take certain candies away from their kids that may not be halal.

    Veloise, you did not need to second guess yourself, were right Mayor Young started the extra volunterer patrols. The first year of Archer he did not place much of an emphasis on it, and it really taxed the fire and police departments. Archer's second Holloween he was in it full-force.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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