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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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These Treats Are Tricky

As we have on many previous Halloweens, the wife and I completely horked up our plans for giving out candy this year.

It’s not our fault, entirely — we’re a very busy couple. My wife works and studies hard, driving to better herself and forge a long and rewarding career, and to have a real impact on society.

And I play pool and softball and sit around afterward eating chicken wings and watching football. Also, there’s beer.

(Okay, so maybe it doesn’t sound quite so impressive when I put it that way. That’s not the point.

No, you shut up.)

“I thought of the little whippersnappers ringing the doorbell and finding no candy, then egging the living bejesus out of the house, the porch, the lawn, and — if their aim is good enough — the dog. “

Anyway, let’s just agree that we’re often both out of the house until ten or later at night, for reasons more or less equally important. And that Halloween is no exception. So, with the neighborhood kidlets scheduled to doll up in their sheets and capes and princess dresses before dusk this evening, we had a problem. Neither I nor the wife had any whisper of a chance of getting home by dark to dole out the Tootsie rolls.

On the other hand, we didn’t want to leave the rascally little rugrats in the lurch. As the saying goes, ‘Won’t somebody please think of the children?!

So, we thought of the children. My wife thought of them returning home with empty candy bags, a single tear rolling down each eye behind their Darth Vader helmet or Wonder Woman mask. And it broke my wife’s heart. She’s sweet that way.

Me, I thought of the children, too. I thought of the little whippersnappers ringing the doorbell and finding no candy, then egging the living bejesus out of the house, the porch, the lawn, and — if their aim is good enough — the dog. And cleaning that mess up would break my little heart. I don’t care how shiny and healthy the mutt’s coat would look.

So we decided to compromise, as we’ve done for the past few ‘hectic schedule’ years. The missus bought a bag of candy, and we designated a bowl that we could probably live without. The plan was to put the candy in the bowl, put the bowl on the porch, turn the porch light on, and fashion a sign reading:

HALLOWEEN CANDY — PLEASE TAKE ONE

This is what’s known in the business as a ‘good-faith effort’. We’re willing to go the extra mile on our end, and to rely on the inherent good nature and intentions of others to make the system work.

And yes, we both know what would really happen. The first punk to climb the stairs would stuff all the candy in his bag, hide the sign, and fling the bowl into the bushes.

Then he’d think better of it, retrieve the bowl, and replace the sign. Just so he could cram the bowl and a few candies down his pants, swish them around a while, and put the candy back in the bowl for the next unsuspecting schlub to schlep up the stairs. I know how smartasses work, dammit. I’ve been one for years.

Anyway, it’s all academic because we forgot to set the candy out. We got home late in the evening, well after dark, and found the bag of candy and the empty bowl still sitting in the kitchen, right where we’d left them when we each left the house that morning. At least the porch light wasn’t on, so there probably were no fresh-faced hopeful youngsters standing candyless and crying on our porch. If there had been, my wife would’ve been inconsolable. So that’s a plus.

On the other hand, now we’ve got an even worse reputation in the neighborhood, and a whole bag of nasty fattening candy to eat. And it’ll take me weeks to get all the egg stains off the damned dog. Whose idea was this ‘Halloween’ bullshit, anyway?

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2 Responses to “These Treats Are Tricky”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Well 10 points at least for using the term “whippersnappers” – which is one of my all-time favorite old-school words.

    About half the houses on our block this year were dark, so you were in good company. I have no idea why, because usually we are the “crazy-go-nuts they drive all the way from Wisconsin to hit our block”.. er… block.

    Must have been a group brain fog :)

  2. kerry says:

    we were home and had two bags of candy. not one kid showed up. not one. same thing happened last year. i actually wish we’d had some trick or treaters, now the kids know there’s candy in the house. hell, i know there’s candy in the house. not a good thing.

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