Ostomy Memories of Jumping the Gun


IT WAS A WEEK AGO (A WEEK AGO!) that I saw Halloween decorations out. Big, lighted orange things on a home’s front lawn, announcing to all and sundry that they needed to get a life. To go to the trouble of putting out Halloween decorations six weeks before the day in question is more than I can handle. It’s a ridiculous holiday to begin with, when people send their children out to go door-to-door dressed in silly costumes begging for candy, the very consumption of which is provably bad for people, even children. When my daughters were small, we felt compelled to play along, for no reason other than so they wouldn’t feel estranged or different from the other children. I made a tape of scary haunted house sounds, secreted the tape player in the bushes near the front door, hoping to scare away the little monsters. A dentist lived down the street from us, and he gave away candy too, which had to be the epitome of hypocrisy. He no doubt viewed the trick or treaters as future customers. The sudden and premature appearance of Halloween yard decorations, in its obscene way, announces the onset of the lengthy “holiday season,” the anxiety-ridden stretch through Thanksgiving, Xmas, and the New Year. And then it’ll be 2022, can you believe it? Mid-term election year. Keep your barf bags close and your passports current.


Buy your candy now, then eat it all and buy some more.

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Reply to xnine

Xnine... You're so funny. Did you have a camera in my house that one year as I bought candy in September and then ate it all and bought more... then ate it again!

ron in mich

My wife does some decorations, lights, stickers in the windows, etc. but we rarely get any kids in our neighborhood. We used to get nieces and nephews, and now they are all grown up, so we are left with a large bowl of the mini candy bars that usually end up going stale.


Hello HenryM.
Thanks for the reminder of this seemingly ridiculous and potentially dangerous 'tradition'. My take on it would be that parents (should) teach their children not to accept gifts from strangers. Yet, on this day, they encourage them to do just that!
This day is a paedophile's charter for 'grooming' children for who knows what at some later date (or even on the same day).
The police over here in the UK have kindly produced a notice (To stick on the door) for those of us who don't wish to take part, and so far it seems to be very effective for my house at least.
However, having written about and lectured about the strategies of paedophiles, there is no way that I could support such an ill-conceived idea as to encourage children to knock on doors with the idea of getting rewards. Let alone adding the concept of encouraging them to extract some form of trick/punishment on those who don't comply. The former portends child abuse and the latter encourages child 'bullying'.
Best wishes
DING-DONG (run along).

My doorbell rings a loud DING-DONG!
which makes me rise and run along
to answer it as I well-know
whoever’s there may up and go.

Then I’ll be left to wonder who
the caller was who then withdrew.
So, up I get, and on my way
to see who’s at my door today.

I did not know what date it was
for if I did, I’d know because
it happens to be Halloween
and it is kids that can be seen.

I tell them that to ring ding-dong
is, in my view, totally wrong,
as they don’t’ know who they might meet
when ringing doorbells on the street.

And whilst this practice brings kids smiles
it does the same for paedophiles.
And parents know this is not right
so should not let kids out at night.

They tell their children all year long
that sweets from strangers must be wrong,
but then they send them out alone
to face these people on their own.

What sort of parents would do this,
when children may-well come amiss
because of someone’s silly game
that puts small children in the frame.

When children ring upon my door
I know I may seem like a bore.
But I tell them that it is wrong
and therefore, they should run along. (home that is!)

                                                         B. Withers 2019

Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister

Try as I might, I pretend no one is home. Close the curtains and the lights, but for some reason, they still keep knocking. Must be my car on the drive that gives it away. LOL XX


Hi Henry, I'm of two minds when it comes to Halloween. I have wonderful childhood memories of getting dressed up and going out trick-or-treating with my brother, and bringing home those delicious treats, which we would not normally have been allowed. It was just a once a year indulgence and I'm sure that is how my parents rationalized it. Now, Halloween has become something else entirely, it's a retailer's dream and they are making the most of it. You can't just have costumes and candy anymore. I saw Halloween cards in the store a while back, as in greeting cards. Who sends out Halloween cards? Presumably there are people buying into this lunacy. I am surprised you just saw the first signs in your local stores. I'm sure ours began showing up at least a month ago. And yes, it is the start of what many call the "silly season", but I think that is a far too mild a word to use. It's enough to make you want to fill your face with chocolate!


Reply to Bill

Hi Bill, things may be different in the U.K., but here in Canada, I have to say that Halloween is probably not any more dangerous for the average child than any other day. When I was a kid, my younger brother and I would go out trick-or-treating completely on our own. We never went far from our house, maybe just a couple of blocks in any direction, but we certainly were vulnerable. That just doesn't happen anymore. Children are accompanied by their parents, always. The only law is an unwritten one, but it seems to be followed universally.

Interestingly, the first memory I have of witnessing bullying was when my little brother and I were out on Halloween. We were probably five and seven respectively. A local fast food place was giving out chips (french fries) to all the kids. We both got ours and were walking down the street when a bigger kid, not wearing a costume, came up to my brother and just took his packet of chips. He started crying, but he was wearing a mask of a smiling clown face. I was always very protective of my little brother and felt it was my fault. It was a traumatic experience for us both I'm sure, and the memory has stayed with me these 60 some odd years.



Me again, I was just reminded of my least favourite thing about Halloween: fireworks!! I was driving home from my wound care appointment when I suddenly heard what sounded like loud gunshots, very close by, only to realize it was fireworks. Will someone please outlaw these things, which do nothing but injure and maim some, and scare the crap out of the rest of us. Actually, most of them are outlawed, but that doesn't seem to stop people from getting their hands on them and the cops seem to have better things to do with their time. I can hardly wait until this is over!


Reply to TerryLT

Hello Terry. 

Thanks for this story. I can well-see how such traumas of childhood can last throughout the rest of people's lives. When I get a bit of spare time I would hope to use this concept in yet another rhyme on the subject of bullying.


Best wishes


Reply to Bill

It would be an honor to be the inspiration behind anything you might choose to write!

Reply to TerryLT

Hello Terry.

Thanks for the anecdote about childhood memories of bullying lasting into adulthood. This was not a concept that I had rhymed about before so I am grateful for the opportunity of doing so before my next book on bullying goes to press.

I thought you might like to see the product of your concept. 

Best wishes



When children are subjected to
the bullies, and their points of view,
or worse than that, their acts of shame
in their cruel bully’s game.

The child feels weak and vulnerable
to bully’s being horrible,
and they don’t have the wherewithal,
so, end up being a punch-ball.

Childhood traumas are unkind
to the child’s receptive mind,
for they repeat time and again
to reinforce the angst and pain.

The child re-lives these nasty things
and, of course, this often brings
the nightmares from the victim’s past
back to life, and makes them last.

It is because these things are wrong,
they seem to last for far too long,
and so, the trauma’s not forgot,
but ends up as a nasty blot.

The incidents may be long gone,
but memories will linger on
as if contained within a store
to plague their mind forevermore.

Because those memories linger long,
they seem so pertinent and strong,
then they attain a higher plane
which will not let these feelings wane.

The memories of a child should be -
cheery, happy and carefree.
Thus, it is down to you and me
to save the child from the bully.

                                    Be Withers 2021

Reply to Bill

Hi Bill, you have perfectly captured the emotional impact of bullying on a child that can last a lifetime. Thanks very much for this.

All the best,


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