Halloween is nearly upon us again that time when little darlings all over the country knock on doors and ask you the dreaded question trick or treat. Just get in first and throw a bucket of water over them as soon as you open the door (please please please check first that its not Granny come for a visit!). One downside of this is that the innocent little muggers are often accompanied by their bruiser dads (and their Pit Bulls) so if you follow this advice make sure you have the ambulance pre-booked.
A couple of years ago on Terry Wogans early morning Radio 2 show, listeners came up with some great dodges for you to use to get your own back on trick or treaters who come round demanding money with menaces. The first trick was to create a toffee onion a marvellous and piquant change to the toffee apple, and the other was to buy yourself a pyramid of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, eat them all and wrap a brussels sprout in each of the empty wrappers, reform the pyramid and hey presto lovely healthy gifts for the kiddies who knock on your door at Halloween!
Much worse than the legalised muggings of Halloween is the latest craze of Happy Slapping thats sweeping the Western Hemisphere at the moment. This is where an unsuspecting member of the public is going about his or her own business and is then set upon, often viciously, by one or more assailants. This is filmed with a mobile phone, sent around friends and is usually then posted on the Internet. A while ago a man was happy slapped (well kicked in the face until he became unconscious) in Milton Road in broad daylight and the video posted on the internet. Our MP, Iain Wright, was on TV last night (Around the House, ITV1) where he stressed his commitment to stamping out such videos by trying to legislate and censor the content of websites where these sick videos can be posted. He pointed out that this particular video was even in the comedy section of the website and he also quite rightly stated that even though he feels strongly about this as the Member of Parliament for Hartlepool that the phenomenon is not confined to the town but happens in Sunderland, the North East and across the country I think he was a bit nervous and meant to say that it is widespread throughout the country and not just make people think that it is concentrated in our area. Irrespective of this – good luck Mr Wright.
Bonfire night is also just around the corner. Whilst visiting the shops in West View this week I saw two stitched Guys outside different shops, each surrounded by a group of kids who were good naturedly asking for money. Both Guys looked like they had been badly mauled by a group of dogs (or perhaps they were accident victims from the nearby Hospital making some money whilst waiting to be seen at A & E). One group of kids was asking passers by for a Penny for the guy and the other group was asking for 20 pence for the guy. Its inflation I suppose – I must have had a moment of weakness as I gave those asking for a penny twenty pence and those asking for twenty pence a penny. Well, thats the nature of business!
The great thing about Bonfire Night is, of course, the fireworks. Theyre brilliant entertainment and free as well (unless youre the one buying them)! You can see strange lights and stars a weekend early if you want by going to the Beer Festival at the Borough Hall this weekend.
See you all at Seaton Fireworks next Saturday.
p.s Landlord Hugh was banjaxed when it came to thinking of a suitable Halloween joke, but he did come up with a truly, truly awful firework funny (allegedly):
A local policeman had just finished his shift one cold November evening and was at home with his wife.
“You just won’t believe what happened this evening, in all my years on the force I’ve never seen anything like it.” He said.
“Oh yes dear, what happened” She asked.
“I came across two guys down by the canal, one of them was drinking battery acid and the other was eating fireworks.”
“Drinking battery acid and eating fireworks!! What did you do with them”
“Oh that was easy, I charged one and let the other off.”