Margaret Marigold is working a crowd of white supremacists in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, handing out candy and asking what everyone is – “Another Nazi? There sure are a lot of you. What happened, did they run out of Ironman?”
Many of the chanting groups of wraparound sunglasses aficionados, who have descended on small towns across the United States this weekend, have been celebrating Halloween since mid-January; parading in Nazi costumes and – when Walmart sold out of those – making do with biker jackets, baseball helmets, and shit goatees.
“I’m sorry but I’m going to have to take points off here,” says Maggie to one group of itinerant racists. “You’re just wearing khaki pants and white polos. And why do you look so angry? What happened, did your neighborhood Gap close down for good? Target run out of tikki torches and size 54 camo pants? No, no you’re right, not something to joke about. Here, have some tootsie rolls. You’re welcome.”
Blaming social media and a nationwide conflation of intolerance with lowering taxes, experts say that this Halloween has seen more trick-or-treaters dressed as total assholes than any previously on record, including 1974, when nearly three-quarters of all Americans went as Richard Nixon.
“And the average age of those taking to the streets this weekend in ridiculous get-ups has climbed well into adulthood,” says Jon Daily, a researcher at Northwestern University. “Many of those participating in this year’s festivities have access to a car, and are willing to drive vast distances to seemingly miss the entire point of Halloween, collecting very little candy, scaring no one, and generally not appearing to have a very good time at all.”
“It makes me wonder where their parents are,” says Ms. Marigold as she surveys a loose column of marching white men who are using their apparently abundant free time to promote oppression. “But sadly, I suspect the answer to that question goes a long ways towards explaining why these boys are here in the first place.”