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A Halloween abroad with no trick-or-treating

First Posted: 3:00 am - October 21st, 2015

Sandi McBride - Contributing Columnist



Photo contributed by Sandi McBride Carved pumpkins and other Halloween treats were not celebrated in London in 1979.
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I was sure that we were about to have a mutiny on our hands on Oct. 31, 1979. Here we were in the great United Kingdom , just a few miles outside the famous city of London and my crew were about ready to jump ship.

The cries of “What? No trick-or-treating?” were heard all the way down to the kitchens of the Tudor Lodge.

I’m sure of it. What makes me certain is because a small bag of sweets was deposited on both of the boys’ beds in their hotel room when they returned from school. I am not sure what mischief the cook thought these two small boys could get up to, but she took the hotel’s slogan seriously: “Our Aim is to Please Our Guests, Young and Old.”

I had a hard time explaining to the boys that trick-or-treat was a strictly American tradition that I was pretty sure the candy companies thought up to sell their products. (I can be cynical at times — wait til you hear my conclusions on Mother’s Day.)

I could be wrong, but I think it’s pretty close to the mark that the holiday is a marketing ploy. Since most of the witches and goblins, vampires and ghosts came from England (what?) they could not be convinced that the English did not celebrate this next-best holiday to Christmas. Since we were the only Americans at the lodge, we couldn’t get others together for an impromptu party, so we took in a movie instead.

It was there that Michael, our youngest, while munching on a box of popcorn, announced to everyone in the theater “Hey! This popcorn has sugar on it!”

Yes indeed, the popcorn had, not butter and salt, but sugar. Michael acted as if it were a plot against America, not only no trick-or-treating, but sugar on his popcorn.

I could tell there was about to be a pout fest, so I instructed him, somewhat kindly, to pull his lip in before someone came along and built a patio on it. This achieved a sullen smile, but a sullen smile is better than no smile at all.

The movie we saw slips my mind, but I believe there was a dog in it. Nothing was chasing it, trying to kill it or attempting to fit it into a giant mouth, so I am assuming it wasn’t a horror picture.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “Lassie Come Home” because Liz Taylor was nowhere to be seen. It must have been a lackluster affair because while I can remember nearly every minute of our time spent in that beautiful land, for the life of me I can’t remember what movie we went to see on the first Halloween of our lives spent in another country.

The director and producers should feel shame, and if I ever remember the name of the movie, I shall write to them and let them know I was less than impressed.

Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.

http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_Sandi-McBride2.jpg

Photo contributed by Sandi McBride Carved pumpkins and other Halloween treats were not celebrated in London in 1979.
http://thecherawchronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_pumpkin2.jpgPhoto contributed by Sandi McBride Carved pumpkins and other Halloween treats were not celebrated in London in 1979.

Sandi McBride

Contributing Columnist

cherawchronicle

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