Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween by the Numbers, Including Tax Receipts

On Halloween I become a minority in my otherwise white neighborhood. It's about evenly split between black, brown, and white. It's great because everyone is in a festive mood. Some of the black parents will say "have a blest evening" or something in a similar spiritual vein.

We get a lot of visitors because our neighborhood is a Halloween magnet. Around the corner from me, on 38th Street between Cuming and Davenport, folks go all-out. Lights, props, music and scary sound effects, costumes, a 15-foot-tall dancing skeleton on ropes and pulleys.

We keep refilling a big bowl with a half-dozen different kinds of candy and invite trick-or-treaters to pick one. First customer was just before 6. Gave out the last of nearly 800 pieces of candy at the stroke of 8.

I offer a piece of candy to adults as well as children. I figure they're earning it and it makes things more fun. About 30 gratefully took one.

Thank-you rate from children was about 60%, sometimes with a prompt by a parent.

A few parents asked about my 5% tax. Earlier in the afternoon I had fired off an email to KFAB drive time host Crash Davis. Crash had opened an interview with U.S. Rep. Lee Terry by asking if there would be any "redistribution" at the Terry home when the kids returned with their Halloween loot. Lee didn't miss a beat and immediately replied no, he lets the children keep what they earn. Solid conservative doctrine.

That got me thinking -- always dangerous. I emailed Crash: "You have inspired me to follow the lead of my city and institute an occupation tax under my own roof. I will tax my children for the privilege of using our home as the staging area for their business tonight. I'll only charge 5%, but I get to pick which 5%."

Crash thought it was "brilliant" and that I was "on to something -- or on something."

Hey, the kids have to learn. We gave out all of our candy and daddy forgot to stash some ahead of time so hand over those Reese's peanut butter cups.

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