where the writers are
Tricky Treats

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.