Has it Come to This…?

By October 31, 2005General

Here’s a story from Sunday’s Washington Post by Ylan Mui entitled, “At Many Elementary Schools, The Party’s Over.” The gist of it is in the sub-heading: “Anti-Obesity Focus Curtails Celebration Sweets.”

Has it come to this…?

The story profiles one Jake Balcom, an 11 year-old elementary school student in Howard County, Maryland, summoned to the Principals’ office over the loudspeaker to celebrate his birthday. When he arrived, instead of the usual gooey treats, he got a handshake (What about germs…?), a pencil and a card. Said the card, “We hope you have a terrific birthday.” Right.

This is all part of a no-sweets campaign by — among others, the self-appointed Center for Science in the Public Interest. Whose interest is that again….? For Halloween at one school there is only allowed on “cupcake item” and one “candy item”. What the hell is a “Cupcake item”? Is it a cupcake? At another school, one mom eschewed the usual sweets for watermelon, grapes and bananas. Yum. How glad are you that you’re out of elementary school? And, if you want to read a real buzz-killer, check out the Center’s “Ghoulishly Great Ideas for…Trick or Treating“. It’s a total downer, with “tips” like, “At the party, serve no more than one sugary/higher fat item.” And there’s this tip: “Shift children’s’ focus away from candy to reading and writing Halloween stories.” Do they expect kids to come to these parties? Do these people have kids?

Back to our friend Jake: Once extricated from his nanny-state school, his buddies went to the movies and then repaired to his house where they “feasted”, says Mui — correctly — on sloppy Joe’s and birthday cake. At least the poor kid had a rightful birthday celebration before the day was done.

This is yet another story that’s funny, and not. Lawyers and nanny regulators are running amok. The Halloween disclaimer, below, is maybe not so far off base. How very, very sad.

Dare we say it? What the heck — at the risk of being sued, Happy Halloween!