Kids put a lot of effort into trick-or-treating. Jetting from door to door, trying not to trip over the too-long, hand-me-down witch dress can leave a little tyke feeling pretty tired. They deal with people opening the door and interrogating them before they finally fork over a treat (“Oh, what do we have here? A little lady bug? Are you getting lots of candy? Who are you with? Are you having fun? So do you have any tricks, or am I stuck giving you a treat?”) Some of these kids go to even greater lengths by wearing glow-in-the-dark teeth, limiting their ability to speak clearly. “Shrick-er-Shreet” these poor kids say, gums starting to hurt with each attempted word.
But their efforts are not in vain. Children from all over the world understand that Halloween is the one time they can earn their candy (for free!), which means it’s their own, and their parents shouldn’t have the right to take it away. This is a big deal.
Unfortunately, some of the folks giving out candy don’t realize this. It could be due to lack of time, taste, or normalcy, but for whatever reason, these people hand out some of the worst Halloween candies. Sure, it’s dark, and the kiddies don’t know who gave what, but Halloween only comes once a year, and if homeowners are kind enough to stick around home and answer the door, they should also be so kind as to have a nice treat to hand out for Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
When the kids make it home Halloween night and eagerly dump out their stash of candy onto their beds, here’s a list of things they could go without seeing.
1.) The orange and black wrapped stuff.
Nobody really knows what these are. When I was a kid, these were mysterious enough to be placed in the “unsafe” pile for mom and dad to inspect. These “treats” are a combination of something like old bubble gum, some kind of awful tootsie roll, stiff peanut butter or an interesting type of taffy. Regardless of what the black and orange wrapped goo actually consists of, most kids would probably prefer no treat at all.
Apples? Come on! Not only do these “treats” not fit into the candy realm, but they also weigh far too much. If everyone handed out apples, by the end of the night, even Superman wouldn’t be able to carry their bag around.
3.) Loose change
Okay, put your coin purse away. No 7-year-old is going to be excited about the 15 cents he or she collects. If you ran out of candy, don’t bother handing out your change. Just shut off your lights, blow out the jack-o-lantern and lock your door.
4.) Dum Dum Lollipops
While these are better than the orange and black wrapped goo, they still are far from being a good treat. They’ll do if you have nothing else (I mean absolutely nothing else) to snack on. Even then they’re not that great. Unfortunately, the kiddos end up carrying three pounds of Dum Dums around by the end of the night.
5.) Mounds and Almond Joy
It’s real simple, folks. Giving coconut to a child is cruel.
6.) Literature, Pencils, Toothbrushes or any other non-edible “candies”
This isn’t Christmas. Kids have a focus. They don’t want gifts. They’re driven. Help them fight their battle and win the mission to get as much candy as possible.
7.) Necco wafers
Perhaps these should have been categorized with #6, as they’re probably more of a chalk than a treat. These pastel-colored wafers taste like dust. I suppose you could compare it to getting your stockings filled with coal on Christmas.
These aren’t candies, they are mints! No kid cares about having bad breath when he or she is sitting in front of a bucket filled with delicious candy.
9.) Circus peanuts
I haven’t studied up on the ingredients included in these “treats” but I would describe them as some type of plastic-encased sugar flavored foam or cardboard. Gross.
10.) Root beer barrels
Root beer in a can is a treat. Root beer with ice cream is even better. A root beer flavored chunk of sugar in the shape of a barrel? This makes Dum Dums sound like a royal treat!
At any rate, kids should be grateful for any treats they receive, because they are a gift. Yeah, right. Try telling that to a 6-year-old cowboy who was just handed a popcorn ball.
Shootin’ the Wit is a weekly column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.