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Sudie Crouch: All the good Halloween candy always disappeared
Paige Cody, unsplash

Halloween, the day we honor and celebrate bite-sized candies in all of their true glory, is my favorite holiday. A day we go around asking strangers for candy and they oblige, filling our sacks, plastic jack-o-lanterns, and pillowcases with all the yummy goodness to keep dentists booked for months to come. 

A magical time during my childhood, October officially kicked off the holiday season because this month held my grandfather’s birthday and he fully believed in celebrating all month, and that included buying bags and bags of

Sudie Crouch
candy in case we ever had a trick or treater. 

We never did. Not one. 

November 1 often meant the leftovers were marked half off and we enjoyed Halloween candy until Thanksgiving, as my Uncle Bobby would try to buy out the stores so Pop and I could have our favorites. 

Of course, others caught on and we eventually were left with those chocolates that weren’t quite as good — you know the ones I’m talking about — but it was sugar and chocolate nonetheless and my grandfather believed bad candy was better than no candy. 

It may seem a bit silly to get so much candy, but where I lived growing up, there weren’t a lot of places to go trick-or-treating. My Halloween haul wasn’t as impressive as compared to my friends who lived in neighborhoods and could hit 20 or more houses in one evening of trick-or-treating. 

In fact, I can count on one hand how many houses I went to each year and there was no deviation from the plan. 

I’d beg her to take me into town to trick-or-treat, but she refused, saying we didn’t live there and needed to stick to the people we knew. She did not care how her restrictions impacted my candy bounty. 

Since Mama was working nights, it was usually Granny who took me, and the old gal liked to load me in the car around 4 p.m. — not exactly the ideal time to be looking like you were scaring off spirits or pulling any tricks, and maybe that was her whole logic. But she’d shove me in the same little witch costume I wore every year and then strapped my coat on over it, rendering me utterly unmagical and unbewitching.

I’d get in her old Oldsmobile and off we’d go. Our Halloween route meant taking a right out of our driveway and heading to the homes of people Granny had known forever and thus trusted with giving me candy. 

The first stop was Aunt Winnie’s for popcorn balls, which lined her dining room table. Granny would tell me to get just one but Aunt Winnie always let me get two, and I sit and eat one while Granny visited with her.

Then, we’d hit Mama’s best friend’s house. Aunt Connie, as I called her, always had some candy waiting and the trick or treating involved a quick visit for Granny to catch up and insinuate herself in Connie’s business. Then we’d go to Connie’s sister’s house. 

Lo and behold, one year, Slyvia had not been feeling well — I think she had actually had surgery — and she was not expecting anyone to show up for candy. When you live on a rural road surrounded by pastures and most of your family, you don’t exactly expect to see a Cutlass pull up at 4:30 with a chubby kid demanding candy. 

But there we were. 

“Trick or treat,” I said. 

“Oh, gosh, I don’t have any candy, sugar,” she said. 

Granny frowned. “It’s Halloween, she said trick-or-treat. You gotta give her something.” 

Have I ever mentioned how Granny sometimes lacked a lot of empathy or compassion? Especially on the one night we could go begging for candy and someone was coming up short. 

With a sigh, Slyvia went back inside her house and came back with some Oatmeal Creme Pies and dropped them in my pillowcase. “Are these OK, sugar?” she asked. I’ve never turned down a snack cake.

We stopped at the neighbors right before our house and were home by 5 p.m., with my uncle and grandfather waiting to see what loot I had collected. 

“You don’t like these,” Bobby would say, picking a tiny box of Junior Mints out of my haul. 

“Who gave you Little Debbies?” my grandfather declared. “This needs to be the standard!”

I sighed. It wasn’t a big Halloween haul by any means, but it was pretty decent. But I was going to be left with just Smarties and SweetTarts by the time they were done.

“Can I at least have a Milk Dud?” I asked. 

One bite-sized chocolate caramel shouldn’t be too much to ask for. 

Part of being a parent means you have to eat some of their goodies. Pop and Bobby always told me it was out of an abundance of safety and precaution, but I also think it was to get the good stuff first --the Milk Duds, those smaller Reese’s that taste better than the regular peanut butter cups, and the bite-sized Snickers and Milky Ways.

“I’m not going to have anything left,” I’d sigh simply, trying to grab a box of Lemonheads. 

“Don’t worry, baby,” Bobby would tell me. “I’m gonna get you some more candy tomorrow.”

“It’s not the same,” I said. “It’s not my trick or treating candy.”

Bobby unwrapped a small sized Hershey bar. “No, but you know what? The Christmas candy will be out soon and that’s just as good.”

So for all of you who may not get the Halloween haul you’d hoped for, the bite-sized Christmas candy is truly just around the corner. 

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist residing in the North Georgia Mountains among the bears, deer, and possibly Sasquatch. You can connect with her on Facebook at Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Humor, and Deep-Fried Wisdom. Her recently published book, ‘Mama Said: A Collection of Wit, Wisdom, and Deep-Fried Humor’ is available in paperback and Kindle download on Amazon.