Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, drunk and bleary,
Over many a weird and worn-out custom of childish lore . . .
— apologies to E. A. Poe
Peace and joy, Camper.
Step over to Your Uncle Jerry’s Haunted Refrigerator Box, my friend.
Sometimes older individuals are known as “characters.” You've seen them. These folks carry a wealth of pointless wisdom, and they often feel burdened to pass this onward. To the young. That's you.
Such transmission is a folkloric process, easy to underestimate. It's a good thing. This is how young campers build their own store of bitterness and poor life choices. Left alone, we might listen only to our peers and our parents, thereby missing out on the more advanced and time-ripened life mistakes.
Your Uncle Jerry’s favorite relative, Great Uncle Jerry, modeled many cheerful bad ideas. He was the one, for example, who first handed out cigarettes at Halloween and rode a stick horse to the Mormon bishop’s house, dressed as “Lord Godiva”—something you might try yourself on a night like this.
It was by following his advice, believe it or not, that Your Uncle Jerry developed some of his own most adorable character flaws. Great Uncle Jerry opened one's mind to many an enlightening disaster with such comments as:
But your mom said not to run around naked. She said nothing about riding your bike.
That is no way to roll a joint. Did you learn nothing in 8th grade??
Always tell a woman it’s your fault, not hers. Pull a long face and tell her you’re not good enough for her. Yeah, that one always works.
Well, duh! Of course, you should study humanities!
What a character. It is thanks to him that Your Uncle Jerry majored in religion and literature. If Great Uncle Jerry were only alive today, Your Uncle Jerry would cheerfully kill him.
But Halloween. Listen, your parents will say a lot of idiotic things at this time of year. Things like “Great costume! So scary!” or “Luv You!,” or “Have fun! Be back by midnight!” They don't mean any of it.
What you need to hear is some good old-fashioned Great Uncle Jerry horse sense.
To wit: You are too old to be trick-or-treating!
Yes, yes, immaturity can last forever. That’s a given. No, you look fine dressed in tinfoil and glitter. Wait, let me guess: You’re a Dementor disguised as Shakira. Nice. You're still too old.
Come on, Scooter. The beard. The beard and the sleeve tattoo. Those are attached.
Let me simplify it: We're talking pubes, pal. If you've got them, you go to ComiCon. I don't make the rules. No more trick-or-treat.
Oh, come on. There is no crying at Halloween. Seriously, you are way too big for . . . Okay okay, here's a couple of smokes. Now, go.
Next! (Jeeze, do they teach nothing in 8th grade anymore?)
Joy and peace.