Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trickin' Treats!

The highlight of the Halloween Holiday is, of course, the "Trick or Treating" ritual. Oh, how I loved this when I was a kid! I loved getting in my costume (My Ben Cooper™ Mickey Mouse costume was the best! I wore it three years in a row.) and wandering the neighborhood collecting candy from our neighbors. It was more fun when I was a kid than it is now. Since parents back then apparently were not concerned about the safety of  their children, you could roam the streets without adult supervision. Nowadays, thanks to overprotective parents and a nationwide surge in the kook/pervert/nutjob population, kids are forced to drag some lame grownup along for their "safety". What fun is that?

Now that I am an "adult" (Save the derisive comments), I still enjoy Trickin' and Treatin'. I love seeing the little kids in their cute little costumes, especially the ones who are too young to really understand what they are doing. "Why am I dressed like this?", they must wonder, "and why do Mom and Dad keep pushing me up to strange houses?" They are so innocent, it is adorable. It's such a nice contrast to the sullen teens who come to your door without a costume, and just thrust out a pillowcase without even  saying the obligatory "trick or treat". It feels like you are being robbed by a door-to-door candy burglar. Here's a note to these "kids": By age fourteen, you are too old for Tricks and/or Treats. Why aren't you out drinking and getting high behind the convenience store or something? 

Of course, the most important aspect to this ritual is the CANDY! At our house, we take pride  in offering something really good, that we ourselves would enjoy. This is because we care about the children. It has nothing to do with the fact that we always have a lot left over and end up eating it ourselves. Really.

There were a lot of candies I looked forward to getting. I loved Dots™, Twizzlers™ and Dum Dumlollipops. Also,  Reese's™ peanut butter cups, Hershey™ bars, Baby Ruth's... actually, anything with chocolate as a main ingredient was okay by me. Unless there was coconut in it. No Mounds™  or Almond Joy™ for me, thanks.

That brings me to things I didn't enjoy getting. A big no-no was anything homemade (A lady in our neighborhood used to make and distribute Rice Crispie Treats™. We avoided  her house on our  route). The fact of the matter is, if you pass out something homemade, kids will think you're a witch and  are trying to poison them. I know we did.

Also, no fruit please. Even if there isn't a razor blade in that apple, no kid wants something healthy on Halloween. Don't give out non-candy items either. No toothbrushes, crayons or stickers. These put a crimp on the fun, and there may be retaliation. 

Worse than all of that stuff, though, is the crummy kinds of candy. While I hate coconut, I recognise that there are some out there who enjoy it, so I can understand giving out candies containing it. Especially if you anticipate leftovers. No one, however, wants rubbish like Bit-O-Honey™, Ribbon Candy, Granola Bars, Paydays™, Mallowcups™ or, worst of all, MaryJanecandy bars! These are the  candies your Grandma serves, and you know the kind of crud Grandmas eat.

Of course, there is one other thing that is even worse than crummy candy, and that is no candy at all. As a child, and to this day, I HATE the childless neighbors who turn off their lights, and pretend they're not home so they won't have to be "bothered" giving out candy. Kids, if you encounter a grouch-house like this and suspect the occupants are hiding inside, don't let 'em off easy! Ring their doorbell hundreds of times, then knock continuously, for fifteen minutes or so. If they still don't surrender some candy, this means war! If you brought toilet paper and/or eggs with you, now's the time to use them. If you'd like to try something a bit unconventional, that will really teach them a lesson, I recommend pouring a chocolate milkshake on their windshield. As a finishing touch, write "Happy Halloween" in it with your finger. I can tell you from experience, this is a major pain-in-the-pumpkin to clean up, and it may teach those "Hallowscrooges" the error of their ways. 

Or you could get arrested.

Whatever you do, keep it happy, safe and fun!

...And stay away from witches with Rice Crispie™ Treats!

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4 Comments:

Blogger P.L. Frederick said...

Sniff. Sniff. This brings back so many memories that are dear only in retrospect: exhaustion from being driven about the neighborhoods, getting out of the car, running from house to house, getting back into the car; running away from older kids trying to steal hard-earned candy; overheating in a head-to-toe nylon zippered costume; the houses where they insisted on scaring us before I "earned" my candy; the "after party" at a foreign elementary school, at what seemed like midnight (how can it be only 7pm?!); hard plastic masks that obstructed breathing and sliced the lips; all that precious, precious candy which we weren't allowed to eat any other time of the year. Scratch that, those are excellent memories. Thanks, Bill!

Oh, and what's up with kids not visiting my house here in Massachusetts? Over ten years I've lived at two houses in Boston and two in the South Shore. I've had my doorbell rung three times. Once I even left a bowl of candy on the front steps. Good candy. No takers. So these days, sadly, we shut off all lights and go out for the evening. Sniff. Sniff.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

October 28, 2009 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Bill White said...

P.L.-

You're welcome. Things are always better in retrospect.

We too, don't have a big turn out of kids on Halloween (last year we had two). Like Linus in the pumpkin patch, though, we remain faithful, and stock up on plenty of goodies in anticipation of a big turn out. It never happens.

You "go out for the evening"?! Don't blame me if you end up with chocolate milkshake on your windshield!

October 28, 2009 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading your lastest post, I feel you must also recall the year that our Mother (always good in the Halloween Department) gave out small Milky Way bars with dollar bills wrapped around them, secured by a rubber band. I think some kids came to our house 3 or 4 times. Happy Halloween.

Sis

October 29, 2009 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger P.L. Frederick said...

I figure any kid wasting a sweet, sweet chocolate milkshake like that places mayhem above desserts and candy and any night's as good as another to milkshake my car. Is it as delicious as it sounds?

Keep the faith, man. I'm right behind you! But at a movie, play, restaurant, or bar.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

October 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM  

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