A Halloween Without Candy Corn


Jack-o-lantern from Wikimedia, from Petar Milošević.

Jack-o-lantern from Wikimedia, from Petar Milošević.

Yeah, I know, I could just go to Target and get some. I don’t mean to complain my headline. In fact, I’ve had more than my fair share of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Sour Patch Kids and M&Ms in recent days. I’m definitely not sucrose starved this candy day.

Halloween was always a time that combined fun and angst when I was young. Fun because, well, it was full of candy. Angst because, well, I never planned a costume in advance, so I was usually was reduced to old clothing and smudgy makeup to make me into a “hobo.”

But, all in all, I liked Halloween. It marks a fun transition each year, from early, warm fall, to later, cool fall, and I’ve never been a person who objects to four seasons. This is the height of fall right now, and having beggar’s night fall right here seems OK to me.

There are lots of things to consider on Halloween. What are the best and worst of the Halloween seasons?

Candy:
Best: Candy corn. Yeah, it’s a bland sweet blob of corn syrup, and you wouldn’t want it most of the time, but because it’s seasonal and sweet, it’s just yummy. Any combination of chocolate with peanut butter is also up there.
Worst: I don’t know why I liked Tootsie Rolls when I was growing up. They don’t taste good, they take too long to chew and they look like something that came out of the wrong end of the dog.

Scary movies:
Best: “Shaun of the Dead.” By far. “Addams Family” can be fun to watch, as long as it’s only movie 1 or 2.
Worst: Any genuinely bloody or scary movie. I have never watched “The Shining” and I never will. I did watch “The Exorcist.” I still have not forgiven myself.

Costumes:

Granddaughter as Yoda, part of "Star Wars" group. Very cute, good job by my daughter creating outfit.

Granddaughter as Yoda, part of “Star Wars” group. Very cute, good job by my daughter creating outfit.

Best: Any small child dressed up according to a cute theme. Two of my grandsons, ages 2 and a bit over 1, went as George and the Man with the Yellow Hat. Four grandkids, and their father, dressed up according to Star Wars themes. These are the best, especially if they are hand-made and not bought.
Worst: Any costume that applies the word “sexy.” I am not a fan of the “infant-adult” craze—the turning of things that are child-friendly into playground for the sexually mature but emotionally immature. There’s nothing wrong with adults dressing up on Halloween. But there is something very wrong with “adult” costumes.

Halloween music:
Best: Werewolves of London. Aren’t you always a bit sad when you think it’s that song starting and it turns out it’s something by Kid Rock?
Worst: Monster Mash. Thriller. A tie.

Halloween decorations:
Best: Jack-o-lanterns that aren’t overdone.
Worst: When there is just way too much. It’s a one-day candy fest, folks, not a season like Christmas. I’m not offended by Halloween laws, I just think they can get a little weird.

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