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.