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Horrors (Halloween)

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Spud McLaren
623999.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:54 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Is giving sweets to "strange" kids still "allowed" where you live, then? British hysteria about "paedophiles" is such that this is a thing that one is very strongly advised not to do, and furthermore kids are warned in school not to accept any such offer.

Or is the difference that Maine kids only go banging on the doors of people they know? Here, they go indiscriminately from door to door as surely as do the Jehovah's Witnesses (they were here about twenty minutes ago!).

The JWs or the Halloweeners? A bit early for the latter, isn't it? Reminds me of a scene from Outnumbered:

Householder answers knock on door.
2 teenagers outside: Trick or treat?
Householder: It's September. Halloween is at the end of October!
2 teenagers outside: Yes, but we're away then.

624021.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:06 pm Reply with quote

In the US, kids go door to door, but focusing on houses that are decorated for Halloween. The Jack-o-lantern being the most common decoration. They expect candy, and are a bit put off by healthy snacks or money. Though there is a movement to give something other than sweets, it is hardly mainstream.

There was some wives tale about people handing out apples with razors in them, drugging the candy, or hypodermic needles in the candy bowl when I was a child. The local hospital opened up its X-ray room and would scan children's halloween bounty that evening and the next morning. I thought it was silly as a child, but the adults took it very seriously.

Today, the hypodermic needle scare has completely removed any personal contact from the transaction as the person who answers the door must drop the candy directly into the child's bag. Which, to me, makes it feel a lot more like panhandling.

As for that razor scare - it turned out to be just one of those stories children tell on hallowe'en to scare each other that some parents, and news anchors got a hold of. It never actually happened. But it did convince America that buying individually wrapped candies is "safer" than handing out fruits or homemade foods.

No wonder so many US kids are overweight!

624080.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:33 pm Reply with quote

Maybe we should avoid the deluge of little beggars by putting a sign in the garden "NOT CRB CHECKED".

Maybe not.

624122.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:17 pm Reply with quote

Sadly Spud, it was the JWs who saw fit to bang on our door this morning. Incidentally, if you really really don't want them to call, leave an empty cigarette box lying around outside your house - no one who has smoked tobacco more recently than 1973 is allowed into their faith.

624143.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:57 pm Reply with quote

Around here, it's mainly younger kids who go out trick or treating, and they tend to go in groups with at least one responsible adult. People who don't want to give don't switch their porch lights on as a rule. We haven't had trick or treaters except for our granddaughter in the four years since we moved here, as we're out in the country and it's not really a road for walking down, and the houses are well back off the road.

624155.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:18 pm Reply with quote

Sadly Spud, it was the JWs who saw fit to bang on our door this morning. Incidentally, if you really really don't want them to call, leave an empty cigarette box lying around outside your house - no one who has smoked tobacco more recently than 1973 is allowed into their faith.

That's good - I'm safe from the pests then ....

What do you get if you cross a JW with an angry biker?

Someone who knocks on your door and tells you to piss off.

Spud McLaren
624158.  Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:36 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Sadly Spud, it was the JWs who saw fit to bang on our door this morning. Incidentally, if you really really don't want them to call, leave an empty cigarette box lying around outside your house - no one who has smoked tobacco more recently than 1973 is allowed into their faith.

Hmm. What's significant about 1973, I wonder? This is getting QI!

624278.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:57 am Reply with quote

As far as I can tell, that year doesn't have any particular significance. Kingdom Ministry of Feb 1974 noted that anyone who had smoked in the last year was to be "shunned". And "shunning" is a serious matter to the JW's - if you're subject to shunning, then a JW is not allowed to speak to you unless "there are important family matters requiring contact" (Kingdom Ministry, Aug 2002).

You might therefore imagine that the rule is that it's people who have smoked in the last year who are not welcome, but it seems not to be - it's people who have smoked at any time since one year before the rule was made.

There's a long list of activities which, they say, must lead to shunning. Among them: receiving a blood transfusion, attending a funeral at another church, voting in Malawi, yoga, boxing, and celebrating Christmas.

Quite apart from a long, long, list of sex acts which the JWs consider "perverted". Provided of course that you are married, sexual intercourse is allowed, but there must be no foreplay. "Touching of the sexual parts" is a shunning offence, as is "handling of female breasts". It seems that one is allowed to, shall we say, prepare oneself for congress, but any such preparation must take place out of the partner's sight.

Spud McLaren
624280.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:00 am Reply with quote

Ah. So presumably Jehovah has to do His own Witnessing there, then.

624281.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:01 am Reply with quote

brace yerself, bridget...

and why the hell do they object to voting in malawi?



624287.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:21 am Reply with quote

That one comes from a 1991 work called Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, and cites John 6:15 as its justification. ("Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.")

The point seems to be that Malawi was a one party state at the time, and President Banda was an autocratic revisionist. He was one of those presidents who would proclaim that he had won the election with 99.837% of the votes, and everyone (including unborn children) was required to pay the poll tax which permitted / compelled one to vote for him.

The JW's didn't really approve of him, it would appear.

624289.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:25 am Reply with quote

fair enough, i wouldn't approve of that kind of behaviour either. which means i'm agreeing about something with jehova's witnesses. strange feeling.



624330.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:33 am Reply with quote

A couple of JWs once appeared at my door the morning after quite a heavy drinking session.
I grumbled that my boyfriend* and I were about to go and give blood.
They left.

And yet I worked with a chap a few years ago who was a JW, and a lovely fellow. A very good spin bowler, rider of large motorcycle, prone to non-harmful practical jokes, such as putting the contents of the holepunch in someone's sandwich box, and a generally twisted sense of humour. He liked a drink, too; on a works' outing, when asked why he was as pissed as the rest of us, he slurred that God had put the grape on Earth for our enjoyment. I did not ask what their view of the coca leaf, poppy or cannabis sativa was. Shame

*I was married (to a woman) at the time.

624374.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:15 am Reply with quote

i dare say they kicked him out in the mean time... ;-)

nice way to get rid of them at the door, btw. i ocne got rid of a bunch of presbyterian missionaries (who'd just come for the third time) by letting them have a look at the crucifixion picture on my wall. it wasn't jesus being crucified on that one. they gave up then.



624397.  Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:04 am Reply with quote

There's an elderly couple of Calvinist Christian missionaries who occasionally come around our way, and they are big fans of Ian Paisley (he's on the front of the booklet they try to sell). Telling them that I'm a Catholic usually gets them running!

JWs I'm afraid I scarcely give the time of day, but I'll talk to Mormons if I don't have anything better I need to be doing. I knew quite a few when I was younger, and one of my nieces flirted briefly with their church (and then decided that actually, Rome continued to make more sense to her), so I do know a little about them. And I don't always mention Hamlet* ...

AFB, is the person being crucified in the picture that hangs on your wall a Mr B Cohen, by any chance?

* The Book of Mormon is supposed to have been written in the year 421 AD. Which, on the face of it, makes the fact that it contains a quotation from Hamlet somewhat surprising. The people of 421 AD are not believed to have been especially familiar with Shakespeare; nineteenth century Americans on the other hand ...


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