Healthy Halloween

This coming Halloween will be my first living in a trick-or-treat accessible building. I’m new in the neighbourhood and I want to impress the local kids (do kids still get impressed these days?).

When I was growing up, there was a house in our neighbourhood that gave out cans of pop and full-size chocolate bars. At the time I thought they must have been eccentric millionaires to display such reckless generosity. I would like children to think that I am a reckless and eccentric millionaire.

As a former Adbusters subscriber, I’m always wary of the commercialization of holidays. I’m not going to go into a rant about the “true meaning of Halloween” (though I can imagine such a rant being quite entertaining). Trick-or-treating is a cool idea. I love that I live in a part of the world where it is considered safe enough to send children door-to-door asking for candy from strangers. I want to do my part.

The trouble I’m having is that I don’t really want to encourage the nutritionally and environmentally unhealthy practice of gorging on individually packaged sugar products. At the same time, I don’t want to be a huge party pooper (perhaps I’m too late for that). I don’t want to be the hippie looser that gives kids apples and granola. Any ideas?

I would appreciate constructive suggestions on what I should give out to kids on Halloween? Unhelpful but amusing suggestions will also be entertained. Keep in mind:

  • I’m quite busy and lazy (these are not mutually exclusive conditions).
  • I only have 4 days.

Friends and family should consider this a warning: you’re all getting songs and hugs for Christmas.


39 thoughts on “Healthy Halloween

  1. Give out eggs. Ammo, or a nutritional breakfast for the next morning. It’s a win win situation (unless they use them against you of course…)

  2. Go to the local pool or gym, and get a bunch of dollar off the swim admission coupon. The kids will get some excercise and take their fat parents and friends too.

    Or give out pencil crayons or sidewalk chalk.
    Encourage creativity, not fat and sugar

  3. Eggs, eh?

    Bella: excellent suggestions – I think I’ll go with the sidewalk chalk. Maybe I’ll give out chocolate bars too – for the stupid kids.

  4. give out the eggs and watch them turn around and egg your house. I’m now picturing Steven passing out a big box of Special K’s for a nutritional breakfast. If that’s the case, I think your car is now going to get egged too.

    I like the sidewalk art idea. Paint the town red.

    The first think I thought about was the little coin Dairy Queen gives out for ice cream. Not sure if they still do that anymore or if they would sell them without the meal at a reasonable price. ($1 a kid would add up pretty quick)

  5. I am evading my essay on Greecian temples by amusing myself with radioactive pants responses.

    Funny, I found this site while searching for the Interac logo…it gave me the one-handed keyboard photo.
    [art student looking for ways to screw with peoples general unquestioning acceptance of corporate branding]

    As for Halloween,
    If only kids knew that sugar is just like any other white-powdered substance. Addictive and fun, leaving you to wonder how you got so messed up years later…..bwa ha ha ha

  6. I remember hearing years ago that a group of dentists and pediatricians came out and told parents to let their kids eat all the sweets they wanted in the days following Halloween. The theory was that the kids would be happy with all the candy and that the short-duration increase in sugar wouldn’t do any lasting harm.

    So go ahead and hand out full-size candy bars. I’d like to, but I get 400 kids at my door on Oct 31. I’d have to take out a loan.

  7. I have a great idea! (A serious one this time.) Give out cans of five-alive. You can get em for a good price in big cases, they seem kinda healthy, and I always loved getting a can of juice to fuel me up for some additional trick or treating as a kid.

  8. How about fezz dispensers and fezz candy? Are they too expensive? I don’t know.

    As a homeowner with a dozen + years experience in doling out treats to kids, here is some advice and a warning:

    advice: go with the sugar-based treat, or, at least, something that will be perceived as ‘treat-worthy’ as it goes into their bags.

    warning: anything that is not perceived as ‘treat-worthy’ will most likely be used against you and your home by the 14-(seemingly)20 year old punks who are out for kicks and candy, with emphasis on kicks. Chalk might be appreciated by the younger kids, but the juvies will probably just use it to write ‘cheap prick’ on the side of your building.

    But I may just be jaded. By the way, does anybody know an easy way to get sun-dried egg off of car and house paint?

  9. I kind of like the idea of a Cheap Prick neon pink chalk scrawl on Steve’s house. Its not like its tattoed on your forehead…

  10. I confess, I can only suggest chalk and pencil crayons because I don’t even give out candy. I don’t even participate.

    I live in an industrial neighbourhood where all the kids are mutated and none of them can walk far enough [without a leg falling off or an eye falling out] to trick or treat. They think this whole thing is a joke against them, cuz they can’t do it and it’s a treat for them if their lungs work.

    Hmmm….what about bottled water? Or chewy granola bars? Or those little packets of fruit roll ups or chewy sour dino sugar pellets?
    Even better, at Overwaitea, they have a Jewish section, you could make mozza balls or give out slices of Bible bread. And at the whole foods store, I found a huge bag of “Bowel Buddy” fibre pucks. That ought to unclog the sugar encrusted intestines of 3-23 year old bingers alike.

    I have to go write this essay now.

  11. I, of course, meant “Pezz dispenser and pezz candy”, not “fezz”.

    We’ll leave the fezz dispensers to the Shriners.

  12. I like Pez dispensers, except that they’re only fillable with mostly tasteless and stale-since-the-early-70’s Pez. Plus I lost my Obelix dispenser after only one day, and it hit me pretty hard – they only had Asterix dispensers left when I went back to Shoppers Drugmart. Fezz dispensers would be great, no question, though I can’t quite picture a convenient, portable machine for dispensing Turkish hats. I think that’s getting into vending machine territory.

    My candy recommendation: you can never go wrong with any candy sporting the “Gummi” prefix.

  13. five-alive is a cool idea. My parents have been giving out can drink for the past few years. (thats what, 30 cents a can or something?) We also don’t get too many people, 30 would be considered really high.

  14. As the age of Hallowe’en goblins gets older and older, you might find that giving street drugs out to older children is a popular choice. Of course you should be a responsible drug distributor and provide a safe an comfortable environment for consumption thereof.

    I would suggest against a “spooky” theme for this environment, as this may only lead to frightening first drug experiences for drug virgins, and this might unduly scare them straight.

    This page in the Netherlands says that the average price of a gram of Afghani hash is 4.76 Euros, which is about $7.30 Canadian. If you gave each kid a 1/10 gram of hash, that would be 73 cents/kid, which is probably less than a can of Five-Alive, and more than a large format candy bar purchased in bulk.

    I think you’d have no problems being pegged a “reckless and eccentric millionaire” if you go this route. I’m unfamiliar with the Charlottetown drug enforcement scene, but if distributors of small amounts of hash — and 1/10 of a gram seems like a small amount — are treated anything like bootleggers, you’ll probably be fine. There may be parents who put up a fuss, of course, and that might be a weak point of this plan; of course once the parents see their kids mellow out, they might thank you instead.

    In any case, it’s probably best that kids have their first drug experiences in ” Eccentric Steve’s Hash Den” than out behind Canadian Tire.

  15. Peter’s plan certainly should help you avoid the living hell of having cheap prick chalked onto your house. As a parent, I see that it would also cover that other problem – kids getting their drugs from strangers. Central location, ability to play guitar, freaky poster collection – Steve, this is it!

  16. On one hand I think that Steve should drop the healthy hippy thing for one night and give out good candy. Pop and chips and bars made Steve happy as a kid but apparently kids these days don’t need to be happy, they need to be taught a lesson…on the other hand, maybe Steve should give out crappy Halloween treats and should hook up a couple web cams at his front door and maybe a roof shot overlooking the yard so we can see the resulting madness…

  17. Wow, everyone has such great ideas! If we combine the efforts of Peter, Alan and Charlie…

    Peter: If you gave each kid a 1/10 gram of hash,…I think you’d have no problems being pegged a “reckless and eccentric millionaire” if you go this route…In any case, it’s probably best that kids have their first drug experiences in ” Eccentric Steve’s Hash Den” than out behind Canadian Tire.

    Alan: As a parent, I see that it would also cover that other problem – kids getting their drugs from strangers. Central location, ability to play guitar, freaky poster collection – Steve, this is it!

    Charlie: maybe Steve should give out crappy Halloween treats and should hook up a couple web cams at his front door and maybe a roof shot overlooking the yard so we can see the resulting madness…

    But change it around a little, Steve could make a really spooky music video about children in the militia that do drugs they get from people in their neighbourhood to mellow them out while they write “Cheap Prick” with sidewalk chalk and subsist on Five Alive and candy bars in Steve’s Hash Den decorated with a freaky poster collection! Oh joy!

  18. I’d read elsewhere on the net (another blog? who knows) where someone suggested Hot Wheels. They’ve got 20 car gift packs for ~$22, which is on the high-side per rugrat, but the cool factor is way higher than any sugar coated substance.
    The trouble is, what to give for the ladies who’ve outgrown smashing tiny metal cars together? Lipstick? I can picture many an angry scowl from the female chaparones (our neighborhood already thinks I’m a troll).

  19. I’m sure that Steve will be giving every lady who visits his place their very own yellow post it note with his phone number 😉

  20. Take a stroll through the dollar store (in the old By-Way beside the old Lonestar – very “Island” way of directions) can find mix toys packs, and cool treats, and oddly enough everything is actually a dollar! (when did dollar stores become $15.99 cheap home decoration stores?)

  21. What if you gave out goldfish? You can buy the little tiny ‘comets’ for a dime a piece and there can be nothing cooler than receiving a living organism on Hallowe’en. Fill a cooler with water by the door and have them pre-bagged. Get all the same color or you will have major conflicts. There may be some residual guilt if you find some fish corpses on your lawn the next day, but in consolation, the shelf life for those fish is quite short because most people don’t care for them properly anyhow.

  22. How about those little snap-pop fireworks? You could buy some in bulk and give every kid 10 or so. On such a scary night, an unexpected pop! on the ground could be a real fright. Also, I don’t think they can hurt you (well, I guess they could). You might make sure you aren’t breaking some kind of law.

  23. Yeah, I’ve got some road flair myself.

    No Halloween candy though. I forgot about it and there is no way I’m involving myself in the fist-fight that is Shoppers or London Drugs on the day of Halloween. I’m just going to leave the lights off and hope that this doesn’t invite a repeat of the stocking-full-of-nails-thorugh-the-window-at-Christmas trick which was visited on the previous tenants of this house.

  24. Update – live from the scene: I’m at my house right now – giving out cans of 5-Alive, and mini chocolate bars (no peanuts!). I would have gone for the sidewalk chalk, but I didn’t get a chance to buy any.

    Thanks for the suggestions (serious and otherwise).

  25. No peanuts… boo!

    It seems that if survival of the fittest among children is ever appropriate, it should be on Halloween.

  26. Final report from the front lines: I got about 40 kids – not as many as I had expected, but a lot of them passed over my little street.

    The 5-Alive was a big hit. The big kids seemed genuinely pleased; One girl actually said “You’re cool ’cause you’re not cheap.” – it’s not declaration of eccentric millionairism, but it’s a step in the right direction. The younger kids lit up when they saw it – excellent suggestion. It’s been a while since I’ve heard someone say “Yay!” without sarcasm – a definite highlight.

    On the down side, some $#@!ing punks nabbed a few handfuls of change intended for Unicef boxes. I felt very odd yelling that some kid in Africa would starve because of them while I stood next to a giant bowl full of Reese Peanut Butter Cups.

    I also overheard an angry child saying to a parent: “Hurry the hell up!”.

    Oh, and Nathan (and other immuno-genociders), I also had peanut chocotate. However, no one seemed to care.

    Since they were impressed with a can of 5-Alive, next year I’m gonna spend an extra $20 and blow their minds.

    As of 11PM, I have not been attacked by vandals. All-in-all, a fine first Halloween.

  27. It ain’t Halloween if some kid hasn’t exposed you, treating you like an old fool, causing you to act like Dennis the Menace’s neighbour shaking of your fist from your stoop at their retreating and giggling arses. Sounds like you and Rukavina lost your pagan celebration viginity on the same night. Welcome to the world of oldie olson.

  28. Halloween is over and we won. No candy was given out, and a 10ft double roll of Mad Dog firecrackers was confiscated from the street in front of our house, where it was dropped, and inexpertly lit, from a minivan of kids at 4:00am. Much respect to Bruyneel for acquiring 5 or 6 pounds of gunpowder in the form of a couple thousand firecrackers.

  29. Damn, I’m too late for the best suggestion of all.


    Hand ’em out individually, and maybe with a wooden strike-anywhere match. I’m shocked nobody else thought of this.

  30. Halloween !

    Trick or treet ?

    It seems to me this is a good way to get kids to assimilate.

    Take a very young mind and teach it that in order to get what it wants and likes it will have to extort and oppress.

    When they grow up they will not question George Bush, Saddam Hussain or Osama Bin Laden.

    Trick or treat

    ying yang

    Love your neighbour as yourself.

    The misled need to understand Christmas too.

    Maybe next time.

    Do people who have been misled know?


  31. Sweeping Declaration:

    The informed know that Christmas and especially Santa Claus are an insidious way to get parents to unwittingly teach their next generation that it’s really ok to lie.

    Imagine also if the Congregational Intelligence could be somehow instigated to reproach those who might chose to refrain from this perverted activity.



  32. I really liked Erin’s goldfish idea, but where
    I live in B.C. Canada, Halloween night is one
    of the coldest nights in the year. I could just see
    the looks on the little tricksters faces
    when they open their treat bags at the end of their
    LONG journey…all teary eyed blaming their
    parents because they should’ve known that this would happen
    Thus the term HELL-Oween for the parents. HAHA!!
    Poor frozen little fish with dumbfounded
    looks on their faces, thinking to themselves
    in the frozen state. Boy if nothing else
    I could now be saved and used in the
    punch bowl at Christmas time.

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