Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 10 Commandments of Trick or Treating

Halloween seems to get bigger each year and as Holidays go, it is second only to Christmas in terms of its commercial side. We'd like to sing out about Halloween this year by composing something useful on this page.

Here at Sporting Chance Press we know kids (well sort of) and we know Trick or Treaters. Because we publish The 10 Commandments of Baseball, which is all about a fine list of baseball and life principles, we have composed our list of Halloween Trick or Treat Maxims following the same model. This is not a complete list and it does not include the serious stuff like don't eat any candy that looks weird or is unwrapped or don't go to the strange houses. This list is strictly light-weight, but principle-laden none the less. It's a list for parents and teachers to share with their kids. Here then are our 10 Commandments of Trick or Treating.

1. Nobody becomes a Trick of Treat legend by walking from house to house. You've got to hustle--nothing dangerous or stupid mind you. Make sure your costume does not inhibit your vision or movements--and don't go jumping over any iron fences with pointy things.
2. You will never get a lot of candy unless you put some effort into it. Call out "trick or treat" loudly and proudly. Don't be one of those I'm too good to say "trick or treat" or "thank you" kind of kids. Make the master or mistress of the house want to give you the candy.
3. Don't soap windows and houses. If you come to a house where the people don't give candy or they left a bowl of candy on their front doorstep and the earlier kids emptied it out, don't waste any time soaping up the windows or knocking their pumpkins over, etc. What's over is over, move on.
4. Make sure you look good at all times--take pride in your Halloween appearance. Don't be one of those kids who wear their regular clothes and put on a monster mask and then tip it up to the top of their heads like sunglasses so no one even knows what you are supposed to be. Life requires creativity and effort.
5. Decide on the course you are going to follow and stick with it. Be decisive. Don't go down a few houses on one block and then skip over to the next--willy-nilly criss-crossing the street.
6. Don't make excuses about your costume or how little candy you end up with in your bag. Achieve good results by great effort. Resist eating mounds of candy while you are still raking it in.
8. Don't shout "Trick or Treat" once and then give up. Give each house you visit your best shot at finding someone home. Shout a couple times. Some kids sound the words out to make the words longer: tri-i-i-i-ick or tre-ee-ee-eet. Now that's hard to ignore.
9. Don't criticize the masters or mistresses of the house based on the candy you get. Don't be one of those kids who say stuff like, "Oh, I don't like bit-o-honey" or "Sugar Babies stick to my teeth." No matter what the brand, take it and express gratitude. Remember, you don't have to eat everything you get.
10. Maintain control at all times. Work fast, hang with good friends who behave themselves and get home when you are supposed to get home. It's a lot more fun that way and it just isn't cool to scare your parents on Halloween by being late.

The 10 Commandments of Baseball

The 10 Commandments of Halloween are loosely based on Joe McCarthy's 10 Commandments of Baseball, a book we have published by J. D. Thorne. The Commandments are a simple list of principles that may seem self-evident to those who were coached well as kids playing Little League:

1. Nobody ever became a ballplayer by walking after a ball.
2. You will never become a .300 hitter unless you take the bat off your shoulder.
3. An outfielder who throws back of a runner is locking the barn after the horse is stolen.
4. Keep your head up and you may not have to keep it down.
5. When you start to slide, S-L-I-D-E. He who changes his mind may have to change a good leg for a bad one.
6. Do not alibi on bad hops. Anyone can field the good ones.
7. Always run them out, you can never tell.
8. You will never become a .300 hitter unless you take the bat off your shoulder.
9. Do not find too much fault with the umpires. You cannot expect them to be as perfect as you are.
10. A pitcher who hasn’t control, hasn’t anything.

The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy's Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life) provides a concise review of these principles illustrated with brief stories of golden age greats baseball greats along with the author's personal experiences. You can get it at Top image is of the Halloween Song book..

Post copyright 2011 Sporting Chance Press.

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