Thursday, October 25, 2007

Trick or Treat

I haven’t bought any Halloween candy yet. Not because I’m behind. I’m just afraid to bring it into my house until the last minute because I cannot control myself around a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate. Or sour stuff. Or gummies. Or licorice. I love Halloween candy. As a kid there’s nothing better than extorting candy out of adults with a smile and a big, “Trick or Treat”. I don’t know who thought up that scam, but it’s a good one. I’d trick or treat today if I could get away with it. When I was a kid we lived so far out in the boondocks we had to drive into town to trick or treat. We had to interlope into strange neighborhoods. We were those kids who carpooled into the well heeled neighborhoods in hopes of snagging “the good stuff”. Good times. Of course, that was a time when you could turn your kids loose with a pillowcase and let them roam and knock on doors for hours without worrying about them. Before the movie Halloween came out and scared the bejesus out of us. Before To Catch A Predator showed us that the bogeyman really lives next door and likes to chat online with little girls.

That was also a time when costumes were homemade, and kids made them with stuff around the house. I remember when only losers bought a costume. When I was about ten, I turned myself into Dolly Parton with a tacky knit jumpsuit I found in my aunt’s yard sale box, a blonde wig and a couple of tube socks. Hmm. Maybe it was four tube socks. Another year I was a tissue box thanks to a cardboard box, some paint and some tissue paper. I won a prize for that one. Another year I was a clown with a little help from my dad’s size eleven shoes and some baggy pants. A classmate of mine had an artistic mom who was the queen of paper mache. She could turn him into anything he wanted with some chicken wire, glue and paper. Everyone in fifth grade was in awe of his koala bear costume. Everybody wore the same mask, those Lone Ranger looking things that came in about four colors: black, white, red and blue. I tried to avoid wearing them because they itched and suffocated me. I hated scratching and I liked breathing.

Halloween is different now in that it’s pretty commercial, and it’s controversial. I’m puzzled by the disdain some folks have for Halloween. I don’t think it’s a celebration of all things Satan. For kids, it’s still just a scam for candy. It’s the adults that make it into something more sinister. One thing that hasn’t changed is the candy. It’s still fattening, and it still rots your teeth. Kids still will eat too much of it on Halloween night, and they will still dump it on the floor and sort it out. Junk like pencils and pennies get tossed (for the love of Pete, if you are one of the folks who hands that stuff out…stop it). Everything else gets placed into one of three piles: favorites that are to be savored and eaten first, okay stuff that will help to make the favorites last and the leftovers to be eaten when everything else is gone. Personally, I will buy “the good stuff” and get extra so we can eat the leftovers until Thanksgiving. None of that crappy candy corn for the Hula’s thanks. Hershey’s miniatures all the way. I just won’t buy it until the last minute. What’s in your Halloween bowl? Can I peek? Please? Just one look? I just want one, something chocolate.

1 comment:

janjanmom said...

Mini candy bars all the way!!