The Candy Man

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 0 Comment(s)

Every parent steals their kid's Halloween candy.  I know, I know, it is shattering news.  As a Halloween baby, you can imagine the cracks in my mental well-being tumbling into a sea of disillusionment when I found this fact out for the first time.   I mean, when you are born on Halloween, candy is the birthday present that the whole neighborhood gives you.  Because I'm a beautiful special snowflake who everyone wants to celebrate.  At least thats how I saw it.  How else can one explain my sprinting from house the house that night, in a pre-mapped route, time tested for maximizing the amount of ground my tiny legs could carry me while wearing a cardboard box/robot costume. 

Of course, there were other ways I added to my candy count.  Since it was my birthday, when I encountered those magically lazy families who left a whole tray of candy out with a sign that said, "Only Take One Please," I wasn't bound by the same rules as the other children.  It was my friggin birthday, and kid justice deemed that I could tilt that tray at a 45-degree angle for just one dump of all the Kit Kat goodness. 

Back to the present, I'm not angry with my parents for stealing out of my Birthday Halloween Candy.   Wait, did I emphasize that too much for it to be believable?   I swear.  I'm not.  I'm like, 97% totally over it.  Now I feel like I'm protesting a little too much.  I best move on.   What most disappoints me now, is that their ill-gotten gains probably kept me from breaking the only world record I had a chance at. 

I am fairly certainly, had I been an orphan (well, an upper-middle class orphan with severely diabetic caregivers), I could have easily rationed my Halloween candy for a full year.   Which means that by Halloween Part Deux, I would finish my last box of, let's face it, probably DOTS (those things were horrible), in order to give me the sugary boost I needed in order to once again ransack the neighborhood of it's Hershey's products. 

We are talking about missing out on learning true self-sufficiency by the age 14 (is 14 too old to be competitively trick-or-treating? Let's say 10, just so I don't get any of those weird looks).  It could have been a game changer. 

"Matt, take out the garbage and do the yard work, and I'll give you 4 bucks."

"That's cool dad, I've got candy . . . so, I'm like . . . all good."

Game.  Changed. 

Of course, my parental units were on to my hoarding ways early.  They had seen how I could chew one piece of celery for hours (true story) and suck a lollipop all the way down to the nub (still true – I could have taught that Tootsie Pop Owl a thing or two about self-restraint).   Their whole parental power structure was effectively challenged come October 31rst. 

I like to think it was out of fear that my father (yes dad, I know you were the main culprit) raided that plastic cereal container full of tiny candy packets (and that was after he personally 'inspected' various pieces for 'safety reasons').  In my mind's eye, he struggles with the screw top as the guilt of his actions hold the cap in place.  It finally relents, his child defeated, as the melted chocolate mustache begins its stubbly growth.  

You don't understand.  I coulda had classic caramels.  I coulda had the whole container. I coulda been somebody, instead of just crums, which is what I had left.  Let's face it.  It was you, Daddy.

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