Halloween is tomorrow. (We know, we thought it was this weekend too, but no, it's tomorrow.) Let's hope you've got your kids' costumes all set and your walking shoes and patience strapped on for security of those around you.
You see, the art of trick-or-treating is simple. Pick the best neighborhood in the best part of town and bring an extra-large pumpkin bucket -- that is, because people in those areas don't skimp on the full-size Snickers and Butterfinger bars.
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But every once in a while (yes, even in the nice neighborhoods), you run across the houses on the block where they hand out the worst candies. The stuff that stockpiles in your pantry's "Halloween candy bucket" because even the dog is uninterested.
Candy Corn Naturally, this is the first thought when we think of bad candy. Pasty, chalky, overly sweet, and gross candy does not appeal to the senses in the least. What's even worse than getting candy corn when you're trick-or-treating? Getting a bare handful's worth straight from a bag to your bucket. The kernels then fall to the bottom and collect any dirt from the neighboring candy. Gross is gross, and candy corn is just that. Good & Plenty Licorice is a toughie. You either love it or you hate it. Unfortunately, we hate it. As for Good & Plenties, licorice in pill-popper presentation doesn't make us hate it any less. The only thought that comes to mind when a neighbor goes out of their way to buy a bag of individually packaged Good & Plenties, is if they know no one eats them. Because we are 98 percent positive that children set them aside in the "bad" pile after they've returned home and sift for all the good stuff. Apples Nutrition is nice. But not on Halloween. We totally understand that some home owners simply want to offer an alternative to the terrors of sugar, fat content, and cavity probability associated with trick-or-treating. But then, that's the point of it. It's one night of the year to lose worry. A bad apple, though, is the worst. Pretzels The same goes for pretzels. In fact, we love pretzels -- we could literally eat a whole bag in one sitting given there be a glass of water nearby. But Halloween is for the children. And the children love sugar. And unless your pretzels are dipped in chocolate (which, you'd be surprised how many aren't on Halloween), kids are going to skip your house for the years to come. Coupons Trick-or-treaters are not on TLC. We are not middle-aged house wives on a neighborhood search for the best deal on laundry detergent. Children do not have stockpiles of toothpaste and Chek sodas in their basements. Coupons are not for trick-or-treaters. Plain and simple. Candy Canes CANDY CANES ARE WRONG. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The house that hands out candy canes for Halloween is the same house that puts the light-up Rudolf reindeer up on their roof the day after Halloween. Christmas people are nice -- during Christmas. But steer clear of their overly cheery personas while trick-or-treating. They will ruin the spook. Generic Hard Candies This goes, not only for the strawberry candies that have been around since the dawn of time, but also for the neon wrapper butterscotch candies that Gram keeps in her purse next to her used tissues, the twisty-wrapped peppermints they give at every restaurant's hostess table (net to the toothpicks), and any other plainly-wrapped "cherry" or "grape" candies (which sometimes fly out of bad piñatas). These are an insult to the good candy manufactured in recent times. Baked Goods Baked goods are only OK to accept from strangers during the day. There is a taboo with taking them at night. It's creepy. The Seran-wrapped brownies always look extra oily, anyway. Steer clear. Raisins The photo above looks like dried roaches. That is the mental image we get when we think of raisins. Grapes are awesome, raisins, not so much. An individually boxed package of Sun Maid raisins are a sure-fire way to keep the kids off your porch and out of your driveway next year. If that's what you were going for, have at it. Give them raisins galore! Flavored Tootsie Rolls Nothing on this god-given earth is worse than fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls. Whoever in their right might decided that these were a good idea to invent, manufacture, and sell in mass quantities was a sick, sick individual. They are the bane of any trick-or-treater's existence.
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.