Have a blast, but keep your fingers

A look at an annual event made all-too-tedious by vandalism and recreational explosives

Halloween 2011 will soon be just a memory and some might lament its passing. Many will just be happy the whole sordid affair doesn’t last longer than it does.

Some refer to the orange and black period as a holiday. If it is a holiday for some, it’s never one for police and fire departments… and it’s a bona-fide nightmare for house pets and livestock.

Halloween is the time of year, despite the annual efforts of police and community leaders, where bad stuff is just waiting to happen. If it doesn’t, so much the better… but the occasion just has a negative connotation to it that no amount of candy can counteract.

“Lighten up, have some fun,” say some.

“Let’s ban fireworks,” say others, and their suggestion has some precedents.

Sooke, BC, up until a few years ago, was like a war zone for about a ten-day period around Oct. 31. Powerful bomb-like firecrackers went off day and night. Someone seemed to be seriously hurt every year. All too often, in Sooke or another community on the south Island someone would lose a finger or two in a firecracker accident. Every year dogs and cats went missing, some never to be seen again.

The District brought in tough laws and the RCMP members were happy to enforce them. The problem disappeared right away.

Eliminating Halloween isn’t what’s being promoted here… but maybe a steady scaling back… sort of how we handled that “Dancing-around-the-May-Pole” business. Does anyone remember that?