Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bob Dunning: Scary Halloween advice from Dr. Bob


From page A2 | October 31, 2012 |

* Editor’s note: Due to overwhelming reader response and personal requests from all five members of the Davis City Council, The Enterprise has again called on the services of Dr. Bob, a board-certified psychiatrist with a Halloween-specific practice in West Davis.
While some of Dr. Bob’s timeless advice to Davis parents and children has appeared in this space previously, it is continuously updated to deal with our changing and challenging times.

Asks Sally on B Street: Dear Dr. Bob — There’s a huge, scary monster of some sort on my front porch. I’ve never seen anything so big and it appears to just keep growing and growing even as I try to shoo it away. I’m on a fixed income and I didn’t buy much candy to give away this year, but I’m afraid this monster is going to take everything I have.

That’s the California budget deficit, Sally. You’re right, it grows bigger every year. Just tell it it’s much too old to still be trick-or-treating, then close the door and run for your life. 

Asks Hank in West Village: Dear Dr. Bob — There are nine guys dressed up as baseball players on my porch, but they look like death warmed over. Actually, they’re not very scary, but who could they possibly be?

Those would be the Detroit Tigers, Hank. Just grab a great big broom and sweep them off the porch.

Asks Tommy on the Bird Streets: Dear Dr. Bob — What can I do with this Grim Reaper at my door who is foretelling gloom and doom if I don’t give him $446 worth of candy?

You’re looking at Measure E, my friend. It’s actually Measure eeeeeeeeeeee, which is the sound Davis school kids will make if this thing doesn’t pass.

Asks Tess in Old East Davis: Dear Dr. Bob — My family and I moved to East Davis six months ago from Piedmont and I’d like to take the kids to a truly scary local attraction for Halloween. Any suggestions?

Just let them walk around your new neighborhood, Tess. That should be scary enough for any kid from Piedmont.

Asks Rochelle on Russell: Dear Dr. Bob — There’s a guy on my doorstep wearing a big hat and boots and riding a horse. He says he wants me to send him to Washington, D.C. Should I call the police?

That’s just John Garamendi, Rochelle. He wants everyone to think he’s a cowboy. He’s harmless.

Asks Linda in College Park: Dear Dr. Bob — Can you get AIDS from bobbing for apples?

No, silly. That’s an old wives’ tale. The biggest concern with bobbing for apples is you might accidentally swallow Davis water.

Asks Sarah on Clara: Dear Dr. Bob — There is a giant 6-foot-long salmon flopping all over our front lawn. I’d like to barbecue it, but is Davis a catch-and-release town?

Good grief, Sarah, that’s just Mitt Romney doing usual his flip-flop routine. Ask him to donate 14 percent of his loot to UNICEF.

Asks Kay on K: Dear Dr. Bob — I swear, George Bush himself is standing on my front porch. Should I invite him in for hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate is for carolers, Kay. This is Halloween. And that’s actually Barack Obama on your front porch. He just wants to remind you that everything that’s wrong with his administration is George Bush’s fault. 

Asks Ashley on the Presidential Streets: Dear Dr. Bob — Who is the scariest character you can imagine coming to your doorstep trick-or-treating tonight?

Jose Granda. He’s against everything.

Asks Mike in North Davis: Dear Dr. Bob — I’m trying to raise my kids to be aware of the world around them. I want their Halloween costumes to reflect a current person or idea. What should I do?

Give them an infrared smoke detector and a fire extinguisher and dress them as members of the Davis Fireplace Force. When a homeowner opens the door to hand them candy, have them rush into the house and dismantle the fireplace. 

Asks Josh in Stonegate: Dear Dr. Bob — I want to dress as a member of the Sac State football team for Halloween, but my dad says that won’t scare anyone. What do you think?

Your dad’s right, Josh, but you should wear the uniform anyway. When you dress as a member of the Hornets, people will feel so sorry for you they’ll give you way more candy than the other kids get.

Asks Joe in Wildhorse: Dear Dr. Bob — We’re new to town and we know you have a lot of rules in Davis that we didn’t have back home in Minnesota. Is it illegal to trick-or-treat in Davis without a permit?

No, it’s not illegal to trick-or-treat in Davis, Joe. But it is illegal to move here from Minnesota without a permit.

Asks Jerry on the Private University Streets: Dear Dr. Bob — Is it true kids from Woodland trick-or-treat in Davis because they think they’ll get higher-quality treats?


Ask Tom on Tamarack: Dear Dr. Bob — I want a costume that will make the average Davisite shudder when they see me. Who should I dress as?

A Republican.

Asks Wendy in Wildhorse: Dear Dr. Bob — There’s a guy dressed up as a school board candidate on my doorstep. He’s young, good-looking, full of bright ideas and seems to genuinely care about our schools. I don’t get it. Aren’t Halloween costumes supposed to be scary?

That’s not a costume, silly. That’s Alan Fernandes, out walking precincts. Maybe he doesn’t realize it’s Halloween. The guy’s the real deal. Might be worth listening to what he has to say. When he’s done, give him a Hershey’s Kiss and send him on his way.

Asks Holly on Oeste: Dear Dr. Bob — Is Halloween a religious holiday that may adversely affect public school children concerned with the separation of church and state? After that flap over “A Christmas Carol” at Emerson, I don’t want my kids doing anything that will land them in the principal’s office.

No, Holly, Halloween is OK. The holiday actually was invented at the 1903 San Francisco World’s Fair when a hot dog salesman attempted to hollow out his frankfurters and fill them with chocolate to appeal to the children of the day. He was unable to sell them, however, and instead passed them out that night to trick-or-treaters, who took to calling them “hollow-weenies.” 

— Reach Dr. Bob with your questions at



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