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article imageOp-Ed: No candies for 'children of the hood' causes neighbourly ill-will

By Viga Boland     Nov 9, 2011 in Lifestyle
Oshawa - Halloween may be over for 2011, but in an Oshawa, Ontario neighbourhood, a 26-year-old man got an angry letter for not dishing out candy on October 31. So now, he's shelling out some sarcastic words of his own on classifieds site Kijiji.
Tom Ibbitson wasn't home on Halloween 2011 to give the neighbourhood ghosts and goblins some sweet treats and it seems the "children of the hood" didn't like that. Or rather, I suspect, the parents of the children of the hood didn't like it.
So they wrote Tom a somewhat nasty letter telling him that the nice old lady who previously lived in that house always gave the kiddies home-made candy apples. Now, in deference to the fact that he's a male, they understood that he might not have the skills to make candy apples, but the least he could have done, in their opinion, is shell out chocolates and candy! Furthermore, they advised him to "rectify" the situation next year, but reminded him that unpackaged apples, along with bags of chips, weren't welcome.
Needless to say, Tom was quite upset to find a letter like this in his mailbox, signed supposedly, by "the children of the hood". He doesn't know who the complainant is and wants to find out. So, he's now posted a letter of his own on KIJIJI, and at the time of my writing this, 128, 337 people have visited the site and read Tom's notice, in which he apologizes to no-one for being such a meanie on Halloween, and further states that he plans to buy a pile of sweets this weekend and invite his friends over to enjoy them with him. The neighbours are welcome to come and watch by the way.
Well welcome to the neighbourhood Tom. It hasn't taken long to get yourself into trouble with those around you over something as insignificant as to whether to shell out or not shell out on Halloween. Since when did doing so become mandatory? Perhaps Tom wasn't home because he was working. Perhaps Tom is like many of us who would rather give canned goods to those collecting for the needy. And what would these neighbours have thought if Tom were a dentist and instead of candies, he gave the children toothbrushes and/or toothpaste?
KJ Mullins of Digital Journal pointed out in her article, Halloween is a scary time for kids with food allergies. Even if a child doesn't have allergies, how good for their bodies is all that sugar? My own grand-daughter brought home a pillowcase nearly splitting at the seams. It was chock-a-block full of enough candy and junk food to keep her wired and hyper for months to come. Sure, we can monitor the child and not allow her more than one piece a day, but by the time she gets through that bag, most of it will be stale. What a waste, especially after reading elsewhere that in October alone, Canadians spent over $300,000 on sweets! I'm sure there's much better use for all those dollars!
Tom's notice on Kijiji will, of course, raise more ire from those who wrote the original letter and the neighbours will be all a-twitter about who "the children of the hood" really are. In the meantime, I bet the children themselves don't really care about any of it. They probably have more than enough chocolates, candy and chips with or without Tom's contribution to Halloween.
As for Tom, well when did you lose the right to live your own life and make your own decisions?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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