I was never a Halloween guy. Not even as a kid. It was at an early age — maybe in the womb — that I decided I was not going to do costumes, not even for free and ostensibly untainted candy. I’ve never been one to diverge from a simple uniform — I was wearing t-shirts and jeans and Converse Chuck Taylor All Star hi-tops when I was six years old and I still dress like that today, and I am decidedly not six years old now. Dressing in costumes? Why? I preferred to hand the candy out, because I could personally benefit from that: one for you, two for me. One for you, three for me. One house-brand, undesirable-flavor candy for you, four Snickers for me. That served me well for years. I still do that.
Buying candy for Halloween is an annual ritual of confusion for us, because we live in a relatively remote neighborhood and we don’t know how many trick-or-treating kids we’re going to get. Some years, we get a lot. Others, the doorbell rings three or four times and that’s it, leaving us with a LOT of leftover candy. Because of that, we have to develop strategies for candy buying. We’ll go to Target or Walmart and buy two bags of Sour Whatever — the kids, they like the sour — and one of something chocolate. The chocolate goes at the bottom of the bowl. The kids grab the Sour Whatever, and the leftovers stay where they belong. It’s an effective system, especially as fewer and fewer trick-or-treaters show up.
There’s also the matter of size. Size matters to some folks. They like ‘em big, big and long and no, I’m not going to continue with this line of discussion. I know people who insist on giving out only full-sized candy bars because, after all, there is no fun in “Fun Size.” Little tiny quarter-sized portions of Three Musketeers bars make nobody all that happy. But we go with Fun Size anyway, because full-sized bars run into real money. Besides, they’re not MY kids, and I don’t much care about nabbing the reputation of being The House That Gives Out Full Sized Snickers. I prefer our current status as That Weird Couple Where The Husband Doesn’t Ever Seem To Go To Work.
Anyway, here’s my personal ranking:
Category 1: Snickers. You got your nougat, your peanuts, your caramel, your chocolate. YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING ELSE. Unless you got M&Ms, especially peanut. (Honorable mention: what used to be called Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews. Fake chocolate covering peanuts suspended in a gooey amber mess that would cleanly remove your fillings? Candy bliss)
Category 2: Kit-Kat and Three Musketeers. For the light touch. Twix only if you must.
Category 3: Pay Day, Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll, Stuckey’s Pecan Rolls. The kids don’t like these. I do. Any other chocolate-type bars go on this level, too.
Category 4: Bottle Caps, except for the root beer ones. SweeTarts. NOT NECCO WAFERS. They are vile.
Category 5: Red Dye Number Whatever. Specifically, the pink and red Starbursts, Twizzlers, anything red. Flavor doesn’t matter.
Category 6: Skittles and Sour Patch Kids. The choices of those under 18. One or two are fine. After that, the pleasure falls off a cliff.
Category 7: Most everything else. Laffy Taffy? Air Heads? Not worth the trouble. Buy them if you REALLY don’t want to take anything from your own candy stash.
And you? What were your favorites as a kid? How about now? Use the comments below to state your preference.
Oh, right, the week in review thing. Well, here’s the list:
1. We got a facelift. We feel years younger.
2. Jake ruminated about the perfect romantic comedy. Some of you think there have been perfect romantic comedies made. The Human Centipede is not a romantic comedy, by the way.
3. Kyle brought the Occupy protests to the Disney World with a screed about Scrooge McDuck, the 1%. Actually, the .000000001%.
4. Another Giant Lego Man washed ashore, this one near Sarasota. It’s art!
5. Arnie had another load of rebooted DC Comics reviews. Handy for those of us (that means ALL of us) who don’t have the time to read all of them.
6. Anjeanette returned from her honeymoon to suggest themed weddings. A Hello Kitty wedding? Well, people would not forget that. They’d want to, but they wouldn’t.
7. Steve Buscemi’s good at dying.
8. The amazingly talented Kiala, assisted by her amazingly talented friend Carolyn, told us what to expect from a Nerdist Podcast Live show. There are rules to follow, you know.
9. Kyle suggested the World’s Most Esoteric Halloween Costumes. If you have to tell people who you’re supposed to be, THAT’S THE POINT.
10. We tested the new site’s video posting with a video of smashing pumpkins. Not Billy Corgan’s.
11. One more Muppets parody trailer for the road. It parodies a lot of movies.
12. And because we now have a page for all the podcasts, we can now just send you there to see the embarrassment of riches of the Nerdist Podcast Network. Our latest additions are there, too, You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes and The Mutant Season with Gil, who’s nine years old. Go, listen, enjoy.
Remember, THE BOOK COMES OUT TUESDAY. PRE-ORDER IT NOW. Or go down to the Apple Store on Stockton Street in San Francisco on Tuesday, or to Powell’s Books in Portland on November 9th, and meet Chris in person and buy several copies. Tell your friends. BUY THE BOOK. BUY THE BOOK. I can’t stress this enough. EYB, which can stand for Enjoy Your Burrito or Enjoy Your Book. Or Eat Your Book. As long as you pay for it.