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Michael Roberts, who also happens to be featured in our cover story, has a suggestion in the aftermath of Halloween: let's take it back from the kids.

By Michael Roberts

IT HAPPENED again this year. Halloween, like almost every other special day on the calendar, has become another kids' day. Add it to Christmas (loads of presents), Easter (Resurrection? Nah, it's about chocolate bunnies) and the special first, second, third, fourth, etc., birthdays, each one a milestone in the all-important life of the American child. Meanwhile, as adults, parents struggle with the grind of earning wages to support their youngsters--or just themselves--and maybe a mortgage on a house the kids will likely inherit. The brightest spot on their horizons is often the kiddies' college graduation, which they often fund. It's not easy being a parent. They worry about so many of the choices their children have. Wanting the best for them, they work more, they give countless hours, they become soccer moms. Trips to Europe are sacrificed while much of their future is spent watching and nurturing the little seedlings into adulthood.

So many years with precious little time that is just theirs. Not a problem, really, just a reality they've chosen. They exist with few accepted avenues for a little Me time.

I'd like to propose a day just for adults: Let's take back Halloween. As a children's day, Halloween is problematic at best. First there's the candy. Do children really need all that sugar? Oh yeah, and before they eat it you better take it to the police to have it X-rayed, just in case. Cavities and razor blades: just what our kids need. How about British studies linking heavy candy consumption to criminal behavior later in life? And don' t forget the toxic chemicals found in face paint. But not to worry, they'll be just fine as long as you carefully select their neighborhood trick- or-treat route and act as Sherpa for their greedy little scavenger hunt.

Halloween: it's problematic and fraught with peril!

(Also, what kind of lesson could possibly be learned by going door-to-door asking for free stuff? Nobody even asks for a trick anymore. Kids would probably be fearful if presented one: "OMG! That guy must be a child molester!")

Face it, this is nothing but complicated on every level: message, behavior and diet. Let's take back Halloween, folks. This is a day filled with magic and mystery, exciting role playing--a chance to cut loose and literally be someone else. We deserve a day with little or no travel time, allowing adults a fun break from the ordinary, minus the children. Halloween gives adults a little piece of Burning Man with none of the hassle and dust. This is a day to let your freak--or sexy--flag fly!

Let's start next year. Trick or treating could be phased out gradually, as appropriate for your kids' ages, and just omitted from the experience of anyone under 5, but details are your own to work out.

They've got Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy--not to mention a usually very generous set of grandparents--so now we'll have one day just for us adults. You really think they'll be deprived if they lose this? And parents can rest assured that this complicated and perilous night is just for adults--'cause face it--we're big enough to handle it!

Michael Roberts lives and works as a bartender on the Westside.

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