Halloween

on September 14, 2007

Candy

Tonight I went to Albertson’s to pick up, of all things, some sugar-free ice cream (to keep me on the straight and narrow.) As soon as I walked in I saw the Halloween aisle.

I love to go to the grocery store in September just as they are putting out the Halloween candy. My hips will testify that I have indulged in my fair share of Halloween candy over the years and you would think with my goals of fitness and weightloss, I’d skip the Halloween candy aisle and hang out in the Slimfast aisle. But I just can’t. I still love that aisle.

I love walking down it slowly and looking at all that candy that has been magically miniaturized. The smell of candy corn, pixi stix, and funsized snickers all fuzed together in an sweetly intoxicating aroma is pure pleasure, bordering on sinful.

Halloween candy is different than candy other times of the year. Of course there are the delicious standbys of miniature sized Snickers, Milky Ways, and M&M’s. But by their side is now Pixi Stix, cute little Gummy LifeSavers, SweeTarts in flat packages that only had 2 in them, Nerds in tiny boxes, Jolly Ranchers, Smarties, Dots, Tootsie Rolls, Sprees, Bottle Caps, Razzles, Life Savers, and let us not forget the “Mary Janes” (aka “the most disgusting candy ever invented trying to pass itself off as a Peanut Butter chew”.)

I read in the Prevention Magazine yesterday while riding the bike at the gym, some suggestions from mothers on what to do with all the excess candy that their children will bring home on Halloween. Here are a couple of suggestions they had:

  • Let the child pick out a few favorite pieces of candy and take the rest to a homeless shelter.
  • Let the child pick out one piece of candy each day to enjoy.
  • The day after the holiday take the rest of their candy to the office to share with your co-workers.

After I read this, I have to admit that my Inner-Child was seriously torked. Do these parents not understand the true meaning of Halloween? What kind of heathens are running around in this crazy world actually printing that kind of garbage? Halloween is meant for children to go out and get a pillow-case full of FREE candy! And if you are lucky — you’ll get a few more pieces than your brother.

As children, the rumor in the neighborhood was that the Bastows, and elderly couple who normally yelled at kids, were giving out full-sized candybars. Every year we’d go — and every year we got a small square caramel. Ohh the disappointment. Our goal was to start trick-or-treating as early as possible and go as long as we could so we could brag he next day at school how much candy we got. There was always some snotty girl who would brag that her mom took them to a rich neighborhood on the “east side” and they got like an entire semi-load of candy. What a liar! Well at least that’s what we said so we didn’t feel bad that we didn’t have cousins on the “east side”.

When we came home from trick-or-treating we’d dump out our bag of goods on our beige front-room carpet. Mom would get us each a big bowl from the cupboard and the sorting would begin. Dad would always come and “test” the candy to make sure it was okay. He always took a candy bar even though we really only wanted to share Smarties.

First we threw out the apples (you never know who might put a razor-blade in one.) I sorted all the chocolate into one pile. This was the “good stuff”. Next pile was stuff I liked but not as good as candy bars. This pile contained Tootsie Rolls, Rootbeer flavored DumDums, Pixi Stix, Smarties, and Dots. The last pile was things that would just have to be eaten last. This is where the SweeTarts, DumDums, Bazookas that lose their flavor in 3 seconds, and Mary Janes went. During this sorting procedure we would also commence with eating. First a couple of “good” pieces and then a few non-essential but well liked pieces like Smarties and Pixi Stix. My brother Darrell and I would then compare the loot – which was kind of dumb because we went to the same houses together. “I got 13 Pixi Stix, 7 Jolly Ranchers, 8 Candy Bars, 14 Smarties, 16 little square Bazooka Bubble gums, 35 Dum Dums, and a billion cheap SweeTarts.” He would counter “oh yeah, I got a BILLION AND ONE SweeTarts.”

I confess – my candy was gone within a week. Somehow I couldn’t understand my petite little friend in sixth grade who would open her drawer at Easter and say “Mercy me, I still have Halloween candy.” I bet 3 Mary Janes and 4 Smarties that she is one of those women who wrote in to the magazine.

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