I wonder what aliens think of Halloween.

Think about it:  you’re an alien sitting up there on Mars watching all those crazy little humans on earth.  For the most part, you think you’ve got them figured out. 

Perhaps because they’re all mostly the same, they spend an inordinate amount of time trying to distinguish themselves from one another—through athletic achievements, working, spending money on cars and clothes and houses, and voting for their leaders.

They fight, they cry, they laugh, they love, they live and die.

Then one night a year they do something completely incomprehensible.

After spending 364 days a year imploring the youngest among them to AVOID STRANGERS—if there’s anything aliens have noticed, it is the human fear of the other (which contradicts their desire to be unique, but the aliens have given up trying to figure that out)—they instead send the youngest of their species out to actively approach strangers and ask for candy.

This despite “never take candy from strangers” being a universal and unbreakable rule for the young humans.  Every language, every culture, every race, every creed agrees on this (and perhaps only on this.)

And yet it all goes out the window on Halloween.

Perhaps because they are so embarrassed at gleefully breaking their unbreakable rule, the youngest humans wear complicated disguises on their journey to acquire bags of candy from strangers.

In the early days of the humans, they only dressed up as things that scared them—zombies, vampires, and witches.  These days they dress up mostly like their cartoon heroes—Spider Man, Bat Man, Iron Man, Ilsa, and Wonder Woman.

There’s also always a surprising number of young girls dressed up in ruby red shoes and blue gingham dresses, emulating Dorothy from Kansas, a girl who first came to life in 1939.

The human Halloween lifespan seems to progress through three stages—after the trick-or-treat stage, the human moves into the Halloween party stage.  In this stage, they continue to dress up, but instead of trick-or-treating, they go to parties and bars and drink alcohol.

Aliens view alcohol as adult candy—and just like candy, you’re never supposed to accept open containers of alcohol from strangers, especially if you’re a woman.

Unlike candy, this rule holds even on Halloween.

Eventually, the human grows older and moves into the third and final stage—the one who stays at home and gives out the candy to the young.

Even though all kids want candy, some of these adults persist in handing out boxed drinks, popcorn balls, McDonald’s gift certificates, and worst of all—apples and toothbrushes.

These people are the ones most likely to wake up with toilet paper strewn about their yard or eggs smashed on the side of their house.


How can aliens understand us when we barely understand ourselves?