Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Trick or Treat

Oh Candy... I love you.  You are so sweet to me.  But dear, delicious Candy... I also hate you.  You allegedly rot my teeth and definitely force me to do more squats, burpees and sprints than I ever really want to do.  I blame our sick love affair on the fact that my first real job* was in a candy store called Mr. Bulky's.  If you are surrounded by candy 4-5 days a week, how can you not become infatuated?  Chocolate-Covered Gummy Bears, Sour Patch Kids, Candy Buttons**, Chewy Gobstoppers... Sigh.

Anyways, Halloween is coming up.  Of course, the superstars of this holiday are Dracula, Frankenstein and all their buddies but let us not forget the pounds and pounds of sugary goodness that will exchange hands on October 31st.  I lived in a pretty excellent trick-or-treating neighborhood when I was growing up.  It was a nice suburban area with lots of families and nice older people.  My mom would usually stay at home to hand out candy and my dad (whose attempt at a costume was to put on the same frog mask every year) would take us out for hours to bring in enough candy to feed a small, hyper army of children.

So let's chit chat about this candy.  If the best part of trick-or-treating is the actual gathering of junk food, the second best is coming home and making trades. My siblings and I would dump all of our candy out and trade a Snickers for M&Ms or a pack of Starburst for a bag of Skittles.  The key is to know the value of the goods.  For instance, when I was a small, ignorant child, I thought that I hated peanut butter.  WTF was I thinking?  But I digress.  However, my older brother LOVED Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and I knew this.  So one peanut butter cup to him had the value of a bag of Skittles plus a Tootsie Roll Pop.  Things like Tootsie Rolls, Jolly Ranchers and Smarties were like added bonuses to sweeten up the pot.  These bartering skills would have really come in handy if I had grown up to be a hostage negotiator.

The following candy items were persona non grata in my book:

Almond Joys and Mounds - I always gave these to my Mom.
Necco Wafers - I always gave these to the trash can.
Milk Duds - I'm sorry but anything with the word "dud" in the name is bound to be self-fulfilling on some level.
Boxes of raisins - Are you kidding me?
Dots - If all the sugar doesn't rot your teeth out, trying to chew one of these should take care of those pesky chompers.
Good & Plenty - Seriously?  I'm a small child, not a 94 year old man.

The last candy item up for discussion is of the corn variety.  As a kiddo, I hated candy corn.  As a semi-adult, I still don't love it but it's tolerable if it's mixed into a bowl with peanuts.  But my real problem is the pumpkins that are like candy corn but are so much more adorable.  Something about those pumpkins makes me want to try them every year.  Every year, I am disappointed when I remember that I am chewing something that I really don't want to be chewing.  Why are you so deceptive, miniature gross pumpkins?  Why?

This year, I've managed to curb my sugar addiction (or at least funneled it into an addiction to Frankenberry, Boo Berry and Count Chocula cereal) so I intend to avoid all of these fun size delicacies like the plague, lest I go on a binge, which would lead to a sugar coma that I may or may not ever wake up from.  But that being said, if you go out trick or treating this year and you get any of those flavored tootsie rolls, swing by my apartment.  I'll trade you a protein bar for them or something.

Peas and Love KitKats,


* Technically, my first job was at McDonald's but I only took that job b/c my Mom forced me to apply and accept when I was hired on the spot, approximately 4 minutes after turning in the application.  I don't consider it a real job though b/c when I took my break two hours into my first shift, I left and never went back.  Who wants to smell like french fries all the time?

** Does anyone actually like candy buttons?  I mean, it's impossible to not eat a fair amount of paper along with the small dot of sugar.

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