Holiday · Modern Nostalgia · Nostalgia

I Want Candy

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“Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!”

Do you remember your favorite Halloween candy when you were a kid? Was it Bazooka Gum? How about Dots? Necco Wafers? Ring Pops? Smarties? Jolly Ranchers? Nerds? Tootsie Pops? Warheads? Wax Lips?

Maybe you were partial to the chocolate candy? Hershey’s. Snickers. Milky Way. 100 Grand Bar. Milk Duds. Twix. Mr. Goodbar. Kit Kat. Baby Ruth.

Maybe you were a fan of Big Hunk.  Or Salted Nut Roll.

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Did your parents accompany you on your trick-or-treating adventures? Did they stand on the sidewalk and let you go up to the doors by yourself? Or did they walk you up to the porch, just to make sure you were safe? Maybe some of the closer neighbors would give a shot of schnapps to your dad as a special “treat”… Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker!

Did you use a pillowcase to collect your stash? Maybe a plastic pumpkin bucket?  Did you and your mom get crafty and decorate candy-collecting bags? Or perhaps your wise and dental-care conscious parents favored even smaller totes in an effort to circumvent the diabetic-inducing amount of sugar a pillowcase would hold?.

Folks in the south were usually treated to perfect weather on Halloween, making the trek around the neighborhood warm and easy-peasy. (Think of the Halloween scene from E.T.) Those in the north would walk around most years in costumes nobody could see because they were bundled up in coats and scarves and mittens because the temps were typically in the low teens with a windchill of minus thirty seven degrees and driving snow. Those northern kids would have a hard time saying “t-t-t-t-trick or t-t-t-t-t-treat” through their chattering teeth.

When you got back home, did you dump all your candy on the floor? The kitchen table? Separate it all out by brand? Color?  Size? Would you count how many pieces?  Would you trade with your brother or sister or friends?  Clearly someone else would appreciate that box of Raisinettes more than you.

No doubt your safety conscious parents would check for open or damaged candy wrappers or homemade baked goods, before you laid into the stash, certain that someone probably slipped a pin or a syringe or a razor blade into that Granny Smith caramel apple.

Once your folks signaled “all clear,” it was time to chow on Charleston Chews and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and waaaay too many Gummy Bears until you felt the canker sores develop on your gums and your heart raced and your stomach screamed.

But you would go to bed with a smile, knowing it was another perfect Halloween.

So why not relive those memories this year, fellow nostalgia seekers? Get out there with your kids. Dress up in costume. Engage your neighbors in conversation about the beautiful/awful Halloween weather. Maybe some good-hearted folks will give you a delicious liquid treat. Heck, maybe your kids will even share their candy with you.  Maybe you can trade them a few candy bars for a toothbrush.

And if you don’t have kids, just go buy your favorite candy from a local store (or remember to buy in bulk online for next year), dump it in a pillowcase, put on It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, grab some schnapps, and enjoy the simple nostalgia of Halloween!

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