February 27, 2024

Happy Halloween!

Well, how was your last Halloween? Did you go trick-or-treating? What!? You say you’re too old for that sort of thing?


Remember the saying, “You’re as old as you feel”?

For some reason, last Halloween I felt about 10 or 12, so I decided to dress up, go around the neighborhood and gather me a stash of sweets.

The first challenge was to come up with a costume. This had to be something unique, not just some store-bought standard thing anyone would put on. I investigated many avenues and tried many things before deciding what to wear. My first attempt was to dress up as a furnace. This looked pretty impressive, but keeping the fire going proved to be a pain and it got too hot inside the sheet metal costume.

Then I tried dressing like a cloud of steam. Again, great idea but impractical. It took too much energy to hover in the air without being able to touch the ground, and the slightest breeze drove me off course. The kangaroo costume was pretty neat, but I got tired of jumping all the time. After only 10 minutes in the giraffe costume my neck hurt. The oak tree outfit was very convincing, but it was hard to make the roots walk down the street (trees like to stay in one place). When I tried on the outhouse costume, nobody wanted to stand downwind of me. The snake was pretty scary, but I got tired of crawling around on my belly.

Finally, I hit upon a winner. I dressed as a largemouth bass and let my wife carry me around while I dangled my mouth from her fishing rod. This was cool. She did all the work. All I had to do was wiggle my tail and wet myself down with a bucket of water every once in a while so my scales wouldn’t dry out. As she puffed and panted her way around the neighborhood, I was so proud of her I resolved to give her some of my trick-or-treat goodies.

We were out for about four hours on Halloween night. My brother followed us in his truck so I could dump my bag of candy in a while to relieve the burden on my wife. The only bad time we had was the house we stopped at where the guy took one look at me then ran to heat up the frying pan and sharpen his fillet knife. He must have been really disappointed when he came back to the front door to discover we had beat feet (or fins) down the street.

We arrived home tired but happy, looking forward to sorting through the stash of candy and settling down to enjoy a good old honest sugar high. The final tally was impressive. I’ve never paid much attention to what’s available in today’s world of Halloween treats. When I was a kid, we had pretty much standard candy like Hershey bars, Milky Ways, candy corn, peppermint sticks, M&Ms, Milk Duds, and all the regulars.

Well, has the world of treats ever changed! I guess you could say things have gotten more exotic and upscale, not to mention creepier. Just check out this list of stuff I came home with:

  • Orange-flavored bat ears
  • Ginger-flavored spiders
  • Milk chocolate slugs
  • Cotton candy spider webs
  • Godiva aardvark-shaped truffles
  • Worm syrup
  • Ant leg taffy
  • Ghoul globs
  • Ghost chips
  • Sugar-coated mouse skeletons
  • Pickled fly wings
  • Condensed sweetened snake milk
  • Spooky Slime
  • Cream of witches’ broom soup
  • Toadstool tea
  • Swamp gas extract
  • Gnarled oak tree bark
  • Jack o’lantern broth
  • Pig eyes in lemon syrup
  • Brandied candied rats’ tails
  • Werewolf tonic
  • Mummy Munchies
  • Frankenstein Flakes
  • Freeze-dried lizard skins
  • Essence of rabid wolf
  • Zombie Drops

Clearly trick-or-treating ain’t what it used to be. I don’t know what today’s kids see in dressing up and going out to collect stuff like this. From now on, I’m staying at home on Halloween so I can pass out good old-fashioned candy bars. There’s something to be said for tradition.

As for this year’s haul, I haven’t forgotten my pledge to share with my wife. I get everything chocolate. She can have the rest.

See ya around,


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