Time for straight talk now, people.
Halloween is wonderful. It’s fun. It’s all about the kids (no it isn’t). We let them decide what they want to be, and then we don’t stress at all about how magnificent each costume is for our toddlers who would almost certainly prefer a store-bought piece of crap over the endless fittings and pins in the thigh that they’ve had to endure since the Fourth of July, all in the name of Pinterest exposure/exploitation.
We need to talk about the candy, y’all.
There’s too much of it. Gone are the days of the ’70s, you see. Gone are the days when kids like me came home from trick-or-treating with the bottom end of a pillowcase lined with full-sized Hershey bars and homemade popcorn balls that looked a lot like the gnarled elderly hand down the block that had dropped it in my pillowcase.
Everything is different now. There’s Halloween school parties. There’s local community Halloween parties. There’s Halloween parties to celebrate OTHER Halloween parties. There’s treat bags from the bus driver and the soccer coach. And God forbid you have a grandma who lives in another state. Fuhgeddaboudit. Those ladies send Halloween care packages that could sink a battleship. You open a cardboard box and out pours three tons of Dollar Store pumpkin confetti that you will never EVER vacuum up completely. And underneath all that: 250,000 pieces of candy corn and at least 1,000 tiny Snickers and Three Musketeers.
Halloween is now an 8 billion dollar business. I heard that on the radio the other day. EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS. And a lot of that money is going toward flooding your damn house with Sweet Tarts and Blow-Pops and you know it.
So what now?
I let the kids attack their candy pile on Halloween night just like my mom let me do when I was their age. They plow through a bunch of crap and give themselves temporary diabetes for the night and it is what it is. They dream of flying snakes shooting out of their mouths, probably. They eat until they hallucinate. Fine. It’s part of the charm of the season.
But then, whereas I used to wake up on November 1st and walk downstairs to maybe a few Chunky Bars leftover from the haul that I obliterated at the kitchen table, nowadays everything is all wrong. I come downstairs the morning after Halloween, while my kids are still all wrapped up tight in their Starburst comas, and I can’t even believe my eyes.
They ate SO much candy last night. Yet, there’s still massive hoarder piles of it all over the place! Too much candy. It has to go. It HAS TO GO.
INTO THE TRASH.
These are modern times. And modern parents don’t hand their kids handfuls of tiny Twix bars to snack on anymore. Oh, some do, I suppose, but most of us don’t. So this nuclear-powered windfall of Child Crack needs to be gone before they start thinking it’s a part of their regular life. I keep a few extras for today and tomorrow. But the other 789 pounds of candy has to go.
Next reason candy goes in the trash?
There are no charities or well-meaning organizations who want your truckload of Walmart lollipops and gummy ghosts. Why? Because people helping other people don’t give the ones they’re helping High Fructose Neon Blood Poison that makes them go insane and gain weight rapidly, that’s why. Trust me, I’ve checked. I had a period a few years ago when I felt guilty about just tossing candy in the wastebasket. But then I realized that there was nowhere else in the world that would take it. Which, when you think about it, totally justified my initial notion of binning most of the leftovers.
Which leads us to the last reason why I’m telling you that it is entirely socially acceptable to dump perfectly good candy down the proverbial drain, my parenting friend.
If you don’t, you’re gonna eat that sh*t.
You know you are. Because I know I am, too. And that’s no good. I will eat the bottom out of a big old salad bowl of Reese’s Cups and baby Kit-Kats like nobody’s business. I can’t help it. There it is. Sitting right over there in that big bowl. The kids’ Halloween candy. Enough to ruin my life. Enough to cancel out an entire year’s worth of reasonable exercise and improved diet in one 20-minute binge of total and complete reckless adult abandon.
I know this because it has happened to me.
Last year, okay?! There are you happy now?
I said it.
I’m new to this self-control thing.
But I’m never going back to where I’ve been, to that … that DARKNESS that is a grown man in his 40s sitting on a scuzzy kitchen floor and tearing one wrapper after another off of 2,247 pieces of individually wrapped slivers/slices/and slabs of Human Pain and Regret just to shove them down my pie hole as if I was the last man on Earth seconds before the comet blew it all away.
To hell with that.
I was twitching for weeks. I gained 19 pounds in a half hour. I was a child again. It was wonderful.
But no more.
Throw it away. November 1st, 2016. Chuck it all.
Except the Reese’s Cups.
That would be an abomination.More On