By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Halloween is upon us and I’m not even going to debate which treats to get. After being the hit of the neighbourhood for a few years because I was giving away full-size boxes of Smarties, I decided to switch things up last year and put more variety into my front-door offerings to the ghosts and goblins who came a-knockin’.
It was a colossal failure. The mixture of full-size treats I was giving out seemed to be about as popular as serving rat poison to Mickey Mouse. Sure, receiving a full-size Halloween treat at any house these days is a rarity, but the age bracket my particular choices of candy would have been popular with last year are people whose teeth soak in a glass on their nightstand overnight.
And despite my annual debate about handing out something that could potentially be remotely healthy, I’ll be giving out pure sugar again this year. Yup, sugar full of food colouring. Some advice to parents: don’t let your kids eat whatever they get from my house this year just before bedtime. The additive-filled sugar bombs that I’ll be handing out will most certainly cause a bit of hyperactivity. On the morning of Nov. 1, you’ll likely have to peel little Johnny and Suzie off the ceiling, their lips painted multiple colours from various food dyes and their eyes bugged out from way too much chocolate.
Hey, if you can’t give out healthy treats, give up and hand out the worst ones possible. If there’s a skull and crossbones on the packaging, go for it. ‘The contents of this package may cause instant diabetes, dizziness and heart palpitations.’ Yup, now there’s a real honest-to-goodness Halloween treat. If it doesn’t take two years off your life, it’s not a Halloween treat.
I’ve often wondered about handing out homemade treats on Halloween night, but I can’t imagine any parent actually allowing their child to eat it. Who hands out homemade Halloween treats anymore, anyway? It’s so much easier just going to the toxic waste section of the grocery store and looking for candy. ‘Here, this should kill a few brain cells in little Johnny and Suzie. It’ll take the edge off them for a couple of weeks. Mom and Dad will be able to sleep in.’
If I gave out homemade Halloween treats, it would not be fun because I’d be way too paranoid. Why waste my time if the treats are going to end up in the garbage anyway? ‘Where did you get this brownie, Johnny? What? You don’t know? Into the garbage it goes!’ I’d be more than happy to package up any homemade treats in plastic wrap or bags and put my name, address and telephone number on them – you know, for safety reasons – but what if they don’t like them? Then my house would get egged for sure.
I’d hate to be outside only to find cars slowing down in front of the house while the occupants point and laugh at me.‘Mommy, is that the man who made those disgusting homemade Halloween treats last year? Can we take a picture? We didn’t think he actually existed. Who would put their name, address and telephone number on treats that were so disgusting? Why didn’t he just hand out expired dog food?’ Apparently, kids can be a tough crowd.
I remember getting homemade treats as a kid and I’m pretty sure we threw them out unless we knew from which exact house we got them. It didn’t happen often, though. Pre-packaged commercial candy was all the rage. We thought peanuts in the shell were quite the treat, too, since they were not something we had in the house otherwise. Knowing how dirt cheap they are, it’s no wonder so many people handed them out on Halloween night. Can you imagine handing out peanuts in this day and age? With so many peanut allergies, I’d probably be charged with attempted murder.
So, I think I’ll just stick to the commercial treats again this year. No handmade decorated cookies or squares or other treats. The kids going through my neighbourhood will once again receive the old standby treat that has been such a hit for the past few years.
And to the one smartypants who comes around a second time for another full-size treat: Don’t try to outsmart the King of the Smartypants, kid. I’ve got more food colouring and sugar in me than a candy factory, which gives me keen sense of trick-or-treat fraud. The second time around, you’re getting a rice cake.