I love Halloween. When my kids were younger, I could barely wait to take them trick-or-treating. Later, when they had fallen into deep sugar comas, I’d sneak into their rooms and rifle through their bags of candy. Too often, I would discover that some houses had violated the primary rules of treat-giving:
Halloween means candy. Keep the pennies to yourself, gramps. The same goes for your toothbrushes, Mr. Dentist down the block; nobody appreciates you passing out stuff you took from work. You don’t see me handing out paper clips and inkjet paper. And if you’re playing off the name of your profession, just drill down into your wallet and buy me something filling.
Anything unwrapped or homemade is well-intentioned, Ms. Candy Apple, but worthless. If you’ve run out of treats, don’t start popping popcorn; just turn out the porch light.
You’ve still got time — Halloween’s not ’til Saturday. Chuck those orange- and black-wrapped peanut butter taffy chews into the garbage and go get the good stuff! Just remember, all candy is not created equal. Here are some “treats” I was always afraid to find contaminating my children’s haul:
Raisinets. Umm, I think I smell something healthy inside of this chocolate. Knock it off.
Raisins. You’re not even trying.
Good & Plenty. Once upon a time, there was an engineer. Choo Choo Charlie was his name, we hear. He ran the locomotive off the tracks and crashed it into a car dealership while he was distractedly trying to bite the tolerable candy shell off of the icky, black licorice hidden inside.
Strips of Candy Dots. Teach your kids to develop a healthy appetite for paper!
Dum Dums. This is the rare candy named for the very people who enjoy it. How many licks does it take to get to the center of one of these microscopic treats? Three. And that’s without even biting it, wise old owl. They’re that tiny. This lollipop will be gone before you have time to pinpoint the questionable, elusive flavor.
Sixlets. Wait — there are 10 pieces in this tiny, plastic sleeve. Why aren’t they named Tenlets? Math is hard enough for kids; let’s not make it worse.
Peppermints. Have you heard of Christmas? Of course, you have — this is candy you had leftover from that holiday, and you’re not fooling anybody.
Candy Circus Peanuts. A candy circus elephant wouldn’t touch these dense, vaguely marshmallow-esque nightmare nuggets. Why do they look like peanuts, but taste like overripe bananas? Here’s another question: Do you want trick-or-treaters next year? Because never mind elephants — it’s kids who never forget.
Now and Laters. These deceptively hard chews should be called “Now, In a Minute, and Laters” — eat them now, break a tooth in a minute, and see the dentist later.
Jawbreakers. It’s right there in the name. I hope you have a good lawyer.