The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday October 26th

Limiting Fun, Frolicking On Franklin Street

Now is the time of year to sit back and reflect, to give thanks for the cornucopia of blessings, time to sit around the table and think of Squanto and the Pilgrims as they ate their first feast.

Oh, wait.

As carols echo through halls decked in yuletide splendor with warm hearts and hearths, we snuggle in our beds, ready to celebrate the birthday of the once-begotten son.

Oops. Wrong again.

With souls swelling with pride and gratitude, we come together and show appreciation for our hard-working secretaries; let's all thank them for the kitten posters, the Family Circus cartoons, and all those "Good mornings."

Oh, wait, that's not it either.

Which reminds me -- I've heard a bit an inkling, a smattering, a barely discernable whisper, if you will, about a holiday today? No? You either? Hmmm.

I've heard it boasts a proud stamp of approval from the Prince of Darkness himself, or at least that's the word on the street from the Baptists.

No, I'm not talking about Coach Krzyzewski or that guy in your Lit class who reads Doestoyevsky to cheer himself up -- I'm thinking more along the lines of a Lucifer, a brimstone type of figure. (I was going to make some mention here about what having a team called the Blue Devils must symbolize, but I'm not going to because I am a better person than that.)

Halloween always has been a holiday with edge. Halloween, or "Hallowe'en" as they refer to it in the academic journals (apparently the apostrophe makes it more distinguished or at least that's how it se'ems to me'e) is a fairly random holiday on which to throw the biggest street party of the year.

Then again, I doubt there would be a turnout of 50,000 folks to a May Day celebration. I can just see it: "Come on and raise up! Time for the May pole dance, guys! Grab your ribbons and weave!" And when was the last time we had a University-wide throwdown for Arbor Day?

The Chapel Hill Police Department would probably love an Arbor Day bash.

Seems to me this year it has blown the Halloween gathering a little out of proportion. Sure, it is a school night, and while I genuinely appreciate their concern for my grade point average (which, right now, is probably scarier than any costume), a little mid-week debauching never hurt anybody. Well, not too much anyway. The crackdowns of good-intentioned Chapel Hill festivities are what mini raisin boxes are to Halloween candy stashes. In other words, they're a bit of a bummer.

Now I can understand the desire to keep Franklin Street from turning into a den of iniquity, and I think that all those guys who walk around with giant foam genitalia forfeit all rights to civil liberties. But there is no need to lay a Brent Road-style smackdown and positively suspend the writ of habeas corpus.

We're civilized members of the University community! Give us some credit. True, a huge number of people show up for Halloween in Chapel Hill every year. But to enlist the help of over 300 police officers and 100 plus firefighters?

Couldn't that manpower be better spent fighting injustice? For example, you know those stores that sell Christmas stuff all year round? How could they be anything else but fronts for some sort of money laundering operation? We all know they can't make any money legitimately! I say it's time we take a stand! Policemen, you are our foot soldiers of justice.

Protect me from the Stadium Drive mugger or the lewd guy in Davis. Protect me from the embittered employees at Kinko's (job interview question: "So, you think everything sucks too? You do? You're hired!") or the treacherous falling acorns on the quad.

But the frolicking, costumed masses? Don't get me wrong -- I do appreciate it. Just seems a bit much. We might have a tad excess of the party spirit, but we're not out to hurt anyone. Can you really punish people just for having too much mirth? That could cause folks to develop unhealthy mentalities. And we all know it's not good to have a poor sense of self-mirth! (Rimshot. Ladies and gentlemen, she's here all week!) Oh, yeah -- Happy Halloween.

Erin Fornoff will be dressed as the Scary Sleepless Monster. Contact her at or just follow the cries of "My God! Look at those eye bags!"

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