Recently, I learned something that changes the way I view my entire childhood. And, it actually happened quite innocently. I was reading one of those jokes that were a list of signs that you're from Detroit. I laughed at most of them, since they were so disturbingly true. Then, I came to the one that said, "You thought that Devil's Night was a national holiday."
All I could think was, "Um...it isn't?"
I tried to think back and remember if I've heard anyone from another state mention it. Actually, I couldn't think of anyone. But, somehow this was still hard to accept.
So, I did a google search. One listing came up for a book called "Devil's Night and Other True Tales of Detroit". WTF? Not only does the rest of the country not celebrate it, but they thought it was just some urban legend?
Now, for those of you who don't know, Devil's Night is the night before Halloween that's traditionally for criminal activity and destruction. In the suburbs, this meant that kids would do lame things like toilet paper houses. It was those cool inner-city kids that would burn down houses - just for fun! I used to watch the news in fascination.
But, I don't think it's such a big thing, anymore. Of course, people still talk about it, but I wasn't really worried that kids would annoy me this year.
I did find a few other facts while searching for this. It seems the tradition predates World War II. I wouldn't have expected that. And, it's tied to something similar in Germany, but the German holiday is a lot less sinister. And, as of 2006, the inner-city of Detroit is still the most dangerous place in North America. Oh, I love Wikipedia.