by Dan Savage
on Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 4:19 PM
So my boyfriend and I live in a house on one of those flat blocks on Capitol Hill that is absolutely overwhelmed with trick-or-treaters on Halloween. I'm not complaining! I love Halloween and we do the house up and have people over and pass out hundreds of dollars worth of candy every year. But mixed in with all the happy kids who come in costume—kids who come from all over the freakin' city (good luck finding a place to park anywhere near our neighborhood after 6 PM)—are the usual 'tween and teenagers who are too cool for costumes but not to cool for mini-Snickers and individually wrapped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. They look embarrassed to be standing on your porch. They mumble "trick-or-treat" without making eye contact. They carry pillow cases, not plastic pumpkins. They don't come in costume. Everyone complains about older these older kids but no one is prepared to do anything about them.
For these trick-or-treaters—older kids who aren't in costumes—we lay in a few bags of peeled-and-wrapped garlic cloves. We mix 'em into the bowl with the rest of the candy so they're handy, but we're careful to only give 'em to older kids who don't come in costume. The garlic says, "My, you're getting up there," and, "Gee, you could at least make an effort." We think everybody should do it.