Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Sundry 10-29-17

We didn't have many trick-or-treaters this evening, maybe only a couple dozen in total.  It was pretty cold, in the mid-40s, so that may have been a factor.

When I was a kid, I remember trick-or-treating in all sorts of weather.  The most extreme was during a sleet storm.  But no amount of stinging ice pellets was going to prevent me from crunching across the frozen lawns, half-suffocating behind a plastic princess mask, and opening the soggy maw of my pillowcase on the neighbors' porches.

Did you come home and sort your candy stash like we did?  Sweet-Tarts, Smarties and Pixie Stix in one pile, fake banana flavored chewies, Bit-O-Honey, Tootsie Rolls and Milk Duds in another.  Suckers, Tootsie Pops and Slo Pokes over here, gumballs and bubblegum cigars there.  Finally, closest to me—my precious—went the candy bars and M&Ms, to be hoarded and protected from my siblings at all costs.  Once in a while, a random apple made it home in the bag.  More often than not, though, they were employed as organic missiles along the route from house to house.

One year my mom had the idea of making popcorn balls for Halloween.  This sounded good, in theory, but you'd have to know my mom to appreciate the anxiety this triggered.  She was an inspired cook, yes, but also a master procrastinator with an internal clock seemingly set a couple time zones behind.  What could go wrong?

I remember the doorbell ringing with the first trick-or-treaters before her sugar syrup had even reached the soft-ball phase.  Then pandemonium ensued, and my dad was sharply commanded to assist as emergency sous-chef, all voices escalating to near-panic levels.
Meanwhile, knowing some of the kids on the porch were likely friends, I wanted nothing more than to melt straight into the floor.  Since that wasn't a viable option, the second best thing to do was don my mask and loot bag and skedaddle out the back door on my own personal candy quest.

Well after trick-or-treat hours, I returned home to a kitchen full of popcorn balls.  And I'm pretty sure that what I sensed in the air, aside from the lingering aroma of popped corn and sticky sugar, was the forswearing of any such artisanal creations ever again!


  1. Your post brought back so many good memories! I trick or treated during the 70’s and in a small town! We went no matter what the weather and from 4:30 until 9:00!!!! Yes we sorted our candy and swapped with my sisters!!!! Every year we went to the Moore family to get homemade popcorn balls!!!! We also went to the Miller house because they gave out full size candy bars!!!! We didn’t have to worry about our costumes offending anyone or someone giving us tainted candy!!! I feel sorry for kids today! All the innocence is gone!

  2. I think your mom and I might have a lot in common. We didn't sort our candy. We dumped it out so the grownups could "check for razors and needles" which is code for "taking candy from the children" and then we progressed directly to the barter stage of the evening.


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