Candy Corn — I may look like I’m relatively young, but I’m actually a centenarian trapped inside a younger body. I ate these candies during the Dust Bowl era because they were the only candy available at the time. Yes, I could have bought much better candies to hand out, but if I had to eat these kernels then you can choke them down too.

Box of Raisins — I don’t like children or Halloween. This is your punishment for bringing both of those things to my front door.

Popeye Cigarettes — You’re never too young to pick up a bad habit. Is it a coincidence that I work for one of the largest tobacco companies in the state? No. Pop one of these chalk-like cigarettes in your mouth hole and tell me you don’t feel like the coolest kid on the block. If you want to get creative, you can place one vertically between your top and bottom teeth and then break it like you’re Jabba the Hutt’s Rancor.

A Toothbrush — Haha, trick’s on you! You were expecting something good to eat, but you got a toothbrush. That’s right, a lousy toothbrush. You can’t eat a toothbrush. It’s just a subliminal reminder of how terrible Halloween is for your teeth. I’m either a dentist or a sadist, possibly both.

Tootsie Rolls — Remember the person who handed out the Candy Corn? We’re related! Enjoy this old-fashioned treat that’s not quite a taffy and not quite a caramel. To make matters worse, it’s got an unnatural chocolate flavor. It will be well into November, after all of your other candy has been consumed, before you get desperate enough to eat one.

Kerr’s Molasses Kisses — Like a Candy Corn had disgusting, filthy sex with a Tootsie Roll. All night, sweaty, breaking bedsprings, bumping uglies sex. The molasses kiss is their vile progeny. I know they’re the least popular Halloween candy in the world, but I bought them anyway. It’s no coincidence that outside of its wrapper this gnarled lump looks like the fake dog poo that they sell in novelty shops. I’m thinking of eventually not participating in Halloween, so handing these out is the first step in ensuring no one misses my contributions when I stop.

Full-Sized Chocolate Bars — I’m a goddamn baller and I want everyone to know it. I’m like the fucking Oprah of Halloween, “You get a chocolate bar! And you get a chocolate bar!” I make it rain on October 31st. Not actual precipitation rain. That ruins Halloween. I mean it in the cool way that rappers use that expression.

A Can of Pop — I take the path less traveled (and my rich neighbor is handing out full chocolate bars, so I had to do something different). Why is Halloween always about treats that you eat? Somebody needs to slake your thirst for sugar. Here, take this beautiful can of pop. Crack it open now and wet your whistle, giving yourself that jolt of sugar and caffeine to continue trick or treating well into the night. If you’re saving it until you get home, relish the weight it adds to your bag and let it be a constant reminder of what’s waiting for you.

A Bag of Regular Potato Chips — I lead an extremely plain and boring life. I’m aware that chips come in a variety of flavors, but I purposefully bought regular. Not ruffled or kettle-cooked. Just a processed piece of potato. The plant that you see in my foyer is fake. The pictures on the wall are the ones that came with the frames when I bought them. I am utterly alone.

Candy Rockets — I’m a minimalist. Who needs fancy gelatin-based gummy candies when all you’re really after is a dose of sugar? Get your quick fix by popping these tiny tablets of condensed dextrose. Sure, all of the different colors taste exactly the same, but you won’t be complaining when I reach into my 20-quart bowl and give you a fistful of rockets.

An Apple — I believe in “nature’s candy” and I’m not afraid to disappoint children. Despite all of the negative associations with apples (Adam and Eve, Snow White, and sharp objects hidden in apples), I still insist on handing them out. I suppose I’m an eternal optimist because no child has ever chosen to eat an apple when they have an entire bag of candy at their disposal. Have you ever heard a trick or treater excitedly announce, “I hope I get at least one apple this year!”? It could happen. Someday.

Bubble Gum — I believe we’re here for a good time, not a long time. This gum, like life, is ephemeral. It makes you wonder how something that starts out so tender and buoyant could be rendered stale and devoid of pleasure within mere moments.

Mini Chocolate Bars — I’m fun and good-natured, but I also believe in moderation. I know kids want brand name treats, so I buy the good stuff. If I’m feeling generous, you’ll get 3-4 pieces. If I don’t like your costume, feel my disappointment as I drop a solitary bar into your bag.

A Bowl of Mixed Candy Sitting Unattended — I have trust issues. Not in the sense that I have a hard time trusting others, but in the sense that my therapist tells me I trust people too easily. I’ve left a note asking you to, “Please take one.” Regardless of your age, I’m sure that you, a candy-crazed trick or treater whose blood is already surging with insane amounts of sugar and whose sole purpose is to obtain as much candy as possible, will do the right thing. It’s not like, if there was no one else around, you’d be tempted to dump the entire bowl into your bag. That would be a pretty big score for you, wouldn’t it? The equivalent of at least 30 houses, I bet. But I trust you’ll do the honorable thing and just take one treat. The bowl is always empty every year when I check in the morning, so I must be doing something right.


And now a quick joke...

Heard someone say that everyone picks their nose but I don’t remember getting to choose mine.