Fredericton — In light of recent clown-sightings and other unsettling scares, New Brunswick retails stores have collectively decided to pull Halloween decorations and costumes from their shelves to avoid upsetting more sensitive customers.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Value Village cashier Meagan Howe. “For the past few years we’ve had complaints that the masks looked like actual scary New Brunswickers, that the fake blood looked too much like real blood, that the costumes are somehow racist. It sucks though, because we just got the Halloween display all set up, and now we’re packing it away and hauling it to the dump. Seems wasteful, but whatever.”
Smythe Street Canadian Tire manager Reid Manning said he has had several complaints about various decorations.
“One customer tweeted at us saying not only that we should remove our ‘scary’ items, but should apologize for subjecting her to the mental anguish of entering a store where she was exposed to a plastic skeleton hand that ruined her entire week,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I guess someone once grabbed her arm, and we should have known that and foreseen the ensuing trauma on her delicate psyche.”
Walmart shelf-stocker Bert Nugent shared similar stories.
“This group of girls approached me the other day and said, ‘Um, sir, but like, you can’t just put out Halloween decorations showing creepy clowns when we know someone who actually saw a real creepy clown. And by the way that ‘barmaid’ costume is sexist — so, what, men can’t work in bars?’ and so on. I laughed it off, but then the next day management told me I had to undo all my hard work and create a more ‘safe’ display. The victim is always right, it seems.”
“It’s only right that stores get rid of costumes and decorations that could trigger someone who has had a negative experience at some point in their life and does not care to revisit that event or occurrence,” said local social justice warrior Brenda Matthews. “We all know someone who has had something bad happen to them, or who has had a bad dream about a clown. How dare we upset these valuable consumers! Personally, I’m thankful that stores are finally gaining some sensitivity and realizing that Halloween isn’t about frights and scares, but about inclusion.”
Premier Brian Gallant is thrilled that New Brunswick is leading the country in sensitivity.
“People are scared enough living here, knowing they have no job prospects, high taxes, corrupt politicians, an alarmingly low literacy rate, and a winter season that seems to stretch to eternity,” said Gallant. “The least we can do is remove other stressors for residents’ lives, including all the frights associated with Halloween.”
Gallant added that while it is not in his power to cancel Halloween altogether, he hopes residents will rethink dressing up as a goblin or ghoul, and instead stick to “safe” costumes such as a sexy cat, or a cute koala.
“Why? Because it’s 2016.”