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Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I should really give up

Last night I posted about the old fashioned fun we used to have at Halloween when I was growing lad, and how it wasn’t all about ‘Trick or treat’. I posted a similar view (Although much shorter) in response to one of the ‘your view’ commenters on the Daily Telegraph website. You can read the thread here.

One person took my words seriously amiss and tore into me personally because his / her Mother had been ‘Terrorised’ by some unsupervised ‘Trick or treat’ teenagers. In his / her own words;
“You (and these scumbags) can keep your 'sense of fun'.”

Which really says it all about the attitude of many in England. No doubt the poor Mother in question was alone at the time. She was so alone and afraid that a bunch of children in fancy dress knocking on her door and demanding sweets could traumatise her so. Yet instead of taking the trouble to help remedy said Mothers solitude, the person took umbrage against the whole festival and anyone who enjoyed it and said so.

Maybe it’s just me. I’m just so used to dealing with strangers and new situations that I’ve lost the conception of what it is to be isolated and scared of the world. To feel so alone and rejected all you want to do is hide. I go out and meet the world and am used to talking to anyone. Three years on the streets showed me that it wasn’t that difficult. All it takes is a touch of old fashioned common humanity and a little guts. My own Mother taught me that. She has a busier social life than I do.

This is the malaise that haunts my native country. The fear, too often reinforced by a sensationalising media that one cannot walk the streets in peace. The fear that you will be unjustly penalised for defending yourself, or murdered if you do. The fear promoted by a State which daily saps personal responsibility from the lives of everyone and then cannot deliver the safety it promises to the very people it should really be protecting (And I don’t mean Politicians).

I really should give up on people who have given up so much themselves. The poor souls can’t have any fun at all.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where I live we have had cases where the kids have super glued locks. If you try to ignore the kids you get swore at. There are a lot of people who live in dread of trick or treat because of this. Most of us like good clean fun, but we object seriously to having the locks to our houses being super glued.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 7:56:00 am  
Blogger Paradise Driver said...

we have had cases...

And where do you live? And by cases, do you mean 2 or 3 or was it a couple of hundred?

Such lame ambiguous statements from an anonymous poster, which prove no point and illustrates what "Bill" was talking about.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 9:56:00 am  
Anonymous southerner said...

Parasite driver, as a resident of Hawaii you're hardly qualified to comment on something going on in the UK, where in some areas, gangs of feral young animals use the imported US Haloween customs as an excuse to terrorise their neighbours.

The true concept of Trick or Treat is absent...There is often no performance and it's "pay up or else"...

If you really doubt it goes on just try googling, or try the British newspapers...Aside from which, for many elderly people living alone it's the PERCEPTION of what's going on that's really frightening...

I live in Bognor Regis in rural West Sussex and tonight we've so far had six visits from alleged Trick or Treaters, two of which (Being gang-handed young adults with dogs) I would've found very intimidating, had I been elderly...

They were very offensive as I politely but firmly refused them, and I suspect that it was only the fact that my alsation was highly audible (and visible) which ensured they went away...

I hope they stay away...last year somebody returned and vandalised my car...this year it is parked elsewhere...alas I cannot do the same with my windows...

You want me to name myself? I said I was frightened not stupid!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 10:54:00 pm  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...


Just because someone disagrees with you does not entitle you to insult them; but perhaps you are the blinkered type of person I often used to deal with on the streets (And used to get a lot of blogging material about). Far too often for my liking, but that is what I was once paid to do. I strongly suspect from the tone of your post that you haven't the balls to apologise.

Hell, I dealt with gangs like that(With and without dogs) all on my own. What you seem to fail to realise is that the 'Trick or treat' genie is out of the bottle, and ignoring it only makes a bad situation worse. Use your brains; give the little darlings some cheap and nasty sweets (Nothing dangerous, mind) with a big friendly smile on your face ("Don'cha like that kind of sweet then kids?"), and I guarantee you'll never have any trouble with them again. They won't want to come back. Trust me, I've done it, it works. Like tepid vegetarian mince pies drive away unwanted Carol Singers. Word soon gets around. Otherwise you're just another target they can intimidate. Use your brains.



Thursday, November 01, 2007 1:21:00 am  
Anonymous southerner said...

1) Check out the IP addresses - Anonymous and southerner - two separate posters - does this change what you had to say? It ought...who made blinkered assumptions? You I'm afraid...

2) the parasite crack (which I regret asit lessened the impact of what I had to say) aside, check out what was actually may not agree with it but it's happened - the sweetie trick doesn't work with a gang of 16 to 18 year olds as you ought to know - I'm sorry but if they're determined on trouble you're f*cked...

3) I adopt a very liberal attitude towards my neighbours, but these aren't my neighbours...when gangs of roaming thugs damage my car three times in two years, and beat me up twice in the same period for nothing more than trying to defend my property then it's time to move on - right? wrong...I can't find a sucker to buy it...

To put it another way, when they're frightening your family at three in the morning it's funny how you can never find a traffic warden to defend you....

I'm sorry if you don't like what I say, perhaps you lack the balls to apologise...I've read and respected you almost from when you started - no more...clean start? Yes I suggest you do

Thursday, November 01, 2007 1:52:00 am  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...


Clean start. I take back what I said about having the guts to apologise. There is hope for you as a human being.

As to your question; no it doesn't change what I have to say. So kids and teens come to your door demanding sweets and you don't want them to. You can either hide behind your front door with the lights off and get your stuff vandalised (Because hiding to them is a sign of your weakness and powerlessness)or you can apply a little lateral thinking to the problem.

You can't set the dogs on the nasty little tykes because confrontation gives them the attention they demand, and their social workers will be all over you like a cheap suit. They want to demonstrate their power over what they see as their little fiefdom. You have to make it not worth their while. The only problem with this is if you've already been tagged as a target - you've got real problems.

My point is that it isn't the festival of Halloween itself; the same people you refer to will make your life a misery anyway, no matter what the time of year or festival. If knocking on people's doors was traditional at any other time of year you'd still have the same problems. From what you've written it sounds like this is already the case and they've got you tagged as a 'victim'.

I wish I could offer you some other quick and easy solution that I'd already found to work in practice. Manky sweets are good ("Sorry chaps, you're a bit late - they're all we've got left."), you have fulfilled your part of the bargain in giving out the sweets, but they won't be back so readily next time ("Sweets are crap there."). Threats are no good, they just love threats. It just spurs them on. Unless you have twenty heavy tooled up mates to call on - which I doubt.

This is the hard option; One of the things I was trained to do was first - never 'escalate' and secondly, never go down to their level, screaming and shouting; always try to get them to come up to yours. I was given this advice by a Copper with 20+ years experience, and in three years on street it always worked. No one ever laid a punch on me. Got jostled and threatened a couple of times, but never hurt (Except by ill fitting footwear). Maybe that is not the right way for you to go about it, because you cannot show the slightest lick of fear or the spell will be broken and you're back to square one again.

Might I suggest a wander into the local nick and ask for some advice. Don't go in to complain, just ask to have an informal chat with a proper Policeman. Tell them you've got a problem, explain (Don't complain) your problem politely that you don't want to press charges or make any accusations (yet), but just want some general advice on how to handle the situation. Better still, if you can find one out on foot patrol, see if you can pump the officer for some useful advice.

Failing that, if you don't get satisfaction or feel that going into the local nick would make you a bigger target, try the local Councillor with responsibility for Police Liaison and explain the problem to them. Ask at your local Council offices who it is and then badger them for a solution, they have to help you. They want the votes and publicity. Yes it will mean taking time off work to do it, but you sound as though you have a problem that needs that kind of effort. If your Council won't help, try your local MP and so on. Don't give up. The machinery is there, all you have to do is find at what level it will help deal with the problem.

This is the best I can offer I'm afraid. You can beat the bad guys who ruin the fun for everyone else, but you have to be a bit crafty about it to come away unscathed. Hope this helps.



Thursday, November 01, 2007 6:27:00 am  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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