Groups of teenagers are scary. Are they making fun of your car? Probably. Do they think your pants look stupid. Likely. Is that short one with the weird haircut gonna egg your house to prove to the tall one in the jersey that he's "not scared of sh*t" and post it to TikTok, memeifying your reaction—fists in the air, rollers in hair, braless—for eternity? Honestly, it's possible! Teens assembled in groups are one of the most frightening forms of H. sapiens documented to date, and yet, on the ~*sPoOkIeSt*~ night of the year, I believe these mercurial goblins and ghouls deserve to roam free! And not merely roam free, but knock on doors and ring bells in search of All Hallows' Eve's yearly promise of saccharine treasure: candy.
Maybe you think of your local trick-or-treating teen posse as Sondheimian street prowlers ready for a rumble, white socks, tapered jeans and all. Or maybe it's more of a '70s-era crew of bat-wielding adolescents in suede vests and bell-bottoms hopping turnstyles and flipping the bird. (Clutches pearls!) Or, perhaps your anxiety takes you to a straight-up Purge-style nightmare, where one night a year, you put a free-for-all bowl of Whoppers, Smarties and Almond Joys on the porch while you lock yourself in the bathroom and obsessively check the Ring footage.
While there may be outliers here or there (when are there not!?), if a flock of children ages 13 to 17 have congregated to roam the streets in search of a sugar high, can we not oblige? Because let's think of the alternatives: the hormonally confused boarded up inside all night scouring the dark web? The sexually active (or wannabe active) kids chugging Mike's Hards in Crank Turner's stepdad's basement while Crank Turner's stepdad is most certainly bowling and definitely not home? The overachiever working on their college essay on a gorgeous fall evening? (Scary!)
“But the teen trick-or-treaters take away from the little kids!” Oh, please! The little ones shouldn't eat that much candy anyway and are in bed before the big kids really get going.