Flashback: Leashed cats, giant pretzels and a legend of horror
Halloween has faced adjustments before, way before a pandemic made us think about our Oct. 31 plans
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An adjusted Halloween
Halloween, like so many things in 2020, might look a little different this year.
It was also a little different in 1982, as a result of a daylight time-related inconvenience that made Saskatoon, Toronto and Halifax change the date for trick-or-treating from Oct. 31 to Oct. 30.
The hot costumes this year? "Frontline workers ... doctors, nurses, police ... a lot of zombies and plague doctors," a retailer in B.C. told CBC last week.
So, not a lot of Gremlins, Ghostbusters or Mr. T costumes, by the sounds of it.
Not boos, but hisses
Wolfville, N.S,. wanted to address the problem of cats roaming free in 1992. One proposal? That dogs and cats alike be leashed when off their owners' property.
A local resident was willing to demonstrate the challenge of placing a harness and leash on her cat, even if the cat itself was less amenable. Another local said leashing one's cat seemed "ridiculous."
Equally ridiculous was the 1987 story of a giant 35-pound cat named Fluffy — a story that CBC's Midday somehow stretched into a seven-minute segment.
Unleashing the kids
The work began before the sun came up and that was fine. It's not as if the kids picking potatoes were going to school.
No, they had a "potato break" each fall, so they could step out of the classroom and into potato fields in New Brunswick.
But by 1991, just a few parts of the province were keeping up that tradition — a shift that caught the eye of CBC's Midday that fall.
Shopping by TV in '85...
A touch-tone phone and a TV were all you needed to skip the mall, using a system developed by London, Ont.,'s Cableshare, in partnership with U.S. retail giant J.C. Penney.
... and by internet in '96
The IGA chain in Quebec was the first in North America to offer groceries by internet, as the CBC's Mark Kelley reported in 1996. The downside: no smelling the produce.
Photobombing a future PM
Beer, giant pretzels and a mascot named Onkel Hans are all part of the Oktoberfest experience, as Brian Mulroney discovered when visiting the famed Kitchener, Ont., festival in 1983.
No trick, just a treat
Imagine going trick-or-treating and meeting Vincent Price at the door. It was possible, as the horror legend told CBC in 1963 that he handed out candy on Halloween. Nothing scary about that.