It’s vaguely exciting that we Americans are getting to watch the making of an Inscrutable Holiday Tradition. IHTs are those celebratory things you do for no fathomable reason, like kissing someone under mistletoe at Christmas, or dyeing eggs on Easter, or giving security guards wedgies on New Years Eve. At some point there was probably a reason (or at least justification) for doing these things, but the rationale has been lost to the mists of history.
Well on its way toward joining them is the Inscrutable Holiday Tradition of buying two bags of bite-size candybars in October. Of course, it isn’t Inscrutable yet. We buy them to give out to those Trick-Or-Treaters who come to our door on Halloween night. But if your neighborhood is anything like mine, Trick Or Treaters are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Kids these days go to malls or stay home playing “X-Treme Trick Or Treating” on the Xbox or something, I dunno. At any rate, they don’t come to Chez Baldwin any more; we get fewer each year, and this year we aren’t expecting any. But we still bought two bags of candybars. If we hadn’t, and a T-o-T’er were to show up, we’d have to give him cans of lentil soup and beer coasters, which is the functional equivalent of tp’ing your own house.
I’m guessing that this will convert into a Full-On Inscrutable Holiday Tradition over the next 30 years or so. In 2032, families will purchase bags of bite-size candybars on October 1st without having the slightest idea why they are doing so. They will then, in accordance with tradition, dump the sweets into a big bowl and set it by the front door, where it will remain, untouched, until the end of the month. On the evening of October 31, everyone will dress up like bunnies and ballerinas and the Inexplicably Still Living Strom Thurman and watch holovision until they fall asleep. And on the following morning, everyone will gorge themselves on syntho-chocolate, having completed the annual Halloween ritual. And then they will get in their HoverSUVs and telepathically listen to Jenna Bush’s State of the World address while they commute to their office on Phobos, the end.