I recall those innocent days of youth, when Halloween meant dressing up in nothing too fancy and going door to door with a paper bag. I'd get home with a pile of tooth-rotting confectionary and Mom would put most of it away "for later". Since I wasn't a big candy eater, this mostly meant "into the trash in about a week".
Times, though, they have changed. And not for the better.
It seems that no Halloween in recent memory has gone by without a story of some sick individual putting something in the treats they hand out. In some places, hospitals even took to offering free x-rays of kids candy. It just seemed to me like there was nothing a parent could do about it, short of stopping the kids from trick-or-treating, or simply tossing all the candy at the end of the night. Sure, it makes the next dentist visit cheaper, but not a lot of fun for the kids!
Being an engineer, everything is a problem to be solved. And solve it I did!
Last Halloween, I sat a large jar of quarters next to the door, and waited. Soon enough, there was the expected knock.
"Trick or treeaatttt!" A small group of three kids, one ghost, one witch, and one traffic accident victim. Kids have such vivid imaginations, I swear.
"Well, I've got a treat for you. Hang on!"
I grabbed a pile of quarters out of the jar. "I have no idea what kind of candy you like, so here - a dollar for each of you - go buy what you like."
I counted out 4 quarters into each bag. The kids yelled "Thanks", then ran up to their parents yelling "Mom, Mom, he's giving out money!!"
Well, Mom came up and said "What a good idea! That makes my life easier, thanks!"
I was a pretty popular stop that night, but I had loaded up on quarters and managed not to run out.
Sure, times have changed. It's not the old Halloween, but you can still put a smile on a kids face and make someones parents happy, too.