Halloween Hissssterics

Halloween centers around the ancient, solemn Celtic rite of taking candy from strangers. I spent Halloween in Ireland once and celebrated by getting too drunk to verify how they observe the holiday in the modern era. But in America, I know for a proven fact that the tradition had not changed in hundreds, or perhaps dozens, of years.

But nowadays, Halloween is ruined. We celebrate with the increased paranoia that our youngest, most impressionable citizens will experience actual fun. Reflective tape diminishes the fearsomeness of paper plate masks. Families gather in shopping malls or parking lots before sundown. And I get strange looks and questions about my age that I sure didn’t get when I went trick-or-treating back in the day.

Yet while parents today still check candy for poison, they don’t check ANYWHERE for silent rattlesnakes.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

If this column were a snake, it would be freaking out because it shouldn’t be a snake. But while you were distracted watching this column freak out, a silent rattlesnake would probably bite you. Anyway. Read the entire piece on the New Mexico Mercury right now! It’s all treats and no tricks, except for where it’s tricks.


(Featured image, “Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake,” copyright Nathan Rupert / CC)


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