Last year I put my faith in you. A bowl of fun-size Butterfingers and a handcrafted sign, “Please take ONE” were placed lovingly on my porch. How did you repay my generosity? A Ring doorbell notification and a broken heart. I’m sure you can imagine my horror as I watched Mario and Luigi stuff their pockets without a moment’s thought for their fellow trick-or-treater.

So how do we repair our fractured relationship? I’ll tell you how. This year’s candy will only be redeemable on the completion of mandatory trust-building exercises.

Ice Breakers

Let’s kick off with a tried and tested classic: Ice Breakers. One of us asks a question, the other answers as honestly as they can.

For example, “What does your dream house look like?”

My dream house would be a charming little cottage in Aix-en-Provence, with a balcony overlooking the vast lavender fields and maybe a patio to entertain guests on a humid summer's night. My own little sanctuary, where I would return home with a warm baton under my arm, to find the plastic pumpkin of Mound Bars I'd left out earlier, still full to the brim.

Okay, now you go.

Trust Fall

We’ve all heard of the Trust Fall. A willing participant closes their eyes, and with nothing but sheer belief in the virtues of humanity, they fall backwards into the arms of their fellow neighbor. Now, I’m going to blindfold myself next to this unattended Kit Kat. You have two options:

  1. Catch me.
  2. Take the Kit Kat and run along to the next sucker’s cobwebbed casa.

I trust you’ll do the right thing and stop me from falling. That being said, our Scar and Mufasa costumes aren’t filling me with much hope.

Obstacle Course

Look, I know you think I live in “the rich part of town”. I’m actually flattered you think that. But would a rich guy really have so much crap lying all over his lawn? This crap isn’t completely useless, though. This crap builds bridges. In fact, there’s an old saying in HR, “The better the communication skills, the tastier the Sour Patch Kids.”

So mummify those eyes with extra toilet paper and let my words guide you through the maze of tricycles, empty doll prams, and half-inflated basketballs.

Egg Drop

If the real Iron Man, Captain America, and Hulk can defeat Thanos, then we can build a protective structure for this Cadbury Crème Egg. Last year this porch was a breeding ground for gluttony and greed. This year camaraderie will save a life with cardboard and pipe cleaners.

Back-to-Back Drawing

I know you’re used to stabbing a knife into my back, but how about a pen? It’s simple. Just grab a piece of paper and allow my nerve endings to guess whatever masterpiece you’re able to conjure on my vertebrae.

How about a volunteer? No, not you Edward Scissorhands.

Right, let’s see. Is it a pumpkin? Is it a ghost? Is it a man who put his heart and soul into providing the community with full-size bags of Tropical Skittles?

If so, you forgot to add the bucket of tears.

Two Truths and a Lie

A self-explanatory exercise. Though, if we need a catalyst I suppose I can get the ball rolling.

I’m a Sagittarius. I went to high school with Moze from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. I have a Costco receipt in my kitchen draw that could technically be described as a scroll, and which the checkout guy called “an extremely generous gesture for the neighborhood.”

Struggling? I’ll give you a hint. Yes, she dated Ned in real life.

You may think I’ve been hard on you tonight, but it was for your own good. And hey, I’m sure your parents would've been thrilled to see you return home with a trash bag full of sugary snacks. But returning home a more empathetic, conscientious, and well-rounded person? No amount of Snickers in the world could replace the lessons learned this October 31st.

Oh, by the way, there’s no Snickers.