Halloween, A Laughing Matter


The Atlantic

Jessica Bodmer, Staff Writer

Every Halloween, children prepare for a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating. When kids ring the bell at most doors, a parent asks the anticipated question before handing over the delicious candy: “Do you have a good joke?”

Surprisingly, this tradition is only common in the Midwest. If you visit either of the coasts and ask about the joke tradition, residents will not know what you’re talking about.

However, trick-or-treaters in St. Louis and nearby places are always prepared with go-to jokes. Families at St. Dominic are no exception. Younger siblings of our Crusaders are prepared to earn as much candy as possible every year with their clever jokes.

“Why did the golfer bring two pairs of pants? Because he got a hole in one!” senior Christian and sophomore Emma Hall’s little brother said.

“Why could the toilet paper not cross the road? Because it got stuck in a crack,” senior Anna Fernandez’s little brother said.

“Why couldn’t the little boy be in the pirate movie? It was rated arr,” senior Emma and junior Luke Henke’s younger sister said.

The tradition of telling a joke on Halloween originated in Des Moines in an attempt to stop hooliganism during the Great Depression. At this time, children would break streetlights, turn fire hydrants on and destroy anything in their way for fun. Coming up with jokes and telling them distracted the kids from harming other property.

No one knows why asking jokes before receiving candy is only a Midwestern thing. The tradition simply must have never spread. Other areas do not understand the tradition because they think dressing up and walking from house to house is enough work, but the jokes kids tell bring a spark and laughter to the streets of the Midwest, so keep on telling them.