The weeks following Halloween as a kid were probably the closest I'll ever come to knowing what it's like to live in the wake of a nuclear apocalypse.
I used the month of November to learn how to ration a finite supply of valuable resources while slowly training myself to resist the unshakable impulse to immediately devour the "good" candy bars I managed to acquire over the course of the night.
After a few years, I eventually amassed enough self-control to complement my slice(s) of Thanksgiving pie with a Kit Kat or a Butterfinger, but once those were gone, all I was left with was an empty bowl of sugar-filled disappointment.
Maybe I was just spoiled. Perhaps my palate just wasn't refined enough to appreciate the confectionery creations strangers graciously dumped into my pillowcase, but there were always a few treats I'd rather put in the trash instead of my mouth.
I would never be vindictive (or brave) enough to extract petty revenge on people because they're bad at Halloween, but I'd only suggest handing these out if you're looking for a way to score some free toilet paper.
I've spent a long time trying to figure out what kind of kid would admit to enjoying the taste of a Mounds bar, and I was only able to come up with a couple of possibilities after giving it a great deal of thought.
The first is an anemic kid with a bowl cut and a name like "Brayden" who only enjoys the taste of coconut because he was blessed with the parents who consider seaweed chips from Whole Foods a "special treat."
The second is a child who was born without a tongue.
Considering the relative scarcity of both of those types of children, it's better to leave Mounds where they belong -- unopened on the shelf -- forever.
History is filled with examples of society ignoring heinous acts until it's far too late, and I can't think of a better example than the time the candy industry convinced the world that shrinking candy bars to a quarter of their normal size somehow constitutes "fun."
This undoubtedly inspired the international pretzel conglomerate to make baked goods in the shape of ghosts and call them "scary," but the only scary thing here is the prospect of someone giving them out instead of candy on Halloween.
I might be interested in a pumpkin-shaped pretzel if it tasted like pumpkin (but based on every other pumpkin-flavored thing I've tried, I'd probably pass), but Halloween treats are called treats for a reason.
You know when else I can have pretzels? Literally every single day at school when I unpack my lunch.
Old People Candy
To paraphrase Potter Stewart's definition of obscenity (and make it slightly more obscene in the process): I might not be able to describe old people candy, but I know it when I put it in my mouth.
You don't eat it because you enjoy the taste, you only unwrap it because your mouth is bored and the only other available product with some semblance of sweetness is the bottle of caffeine free Diet Coke that's been in your grandmother's fridge for two months.
If you're giving out Mary Janes and peppermints on Halloween, I'm assuming you forgot about the holiday and in your panic murdered your elderly neighbor Fred for the bowl of candy sitting next to a pair of dentures on the table in front of his recliner.
According to popular culture, two types of people give out fruit on Halloween: those who want to offer a healthy alternative and those who want to fill that healthy alternative with razor blades and offer it to unsuspecting children.
They both hate fun with the same amount of passion, and it turns out they might also have a lot in common when it comes to caring about the health of America's youth.
Fruit might have things like "nutrients" and "vitamins" most candy bars are sorely lacking, but if you're trying to put a dent in the amount of sugar trick-or-treaters will consume, a piece of produce isn't doing them any favors.
An apple contains about 20 grams of sugar, which is twice the amount found in the "fun-size" versions of some of the most popular candies -- treats that also come with the added benefit of tasting like candy and not fruit.
Anything With Raisins
I'm not going to take the time to explain why handing out raisins is a slap in the face to trick-or-treaters.
My reasoning should be fairly obvious based on the previous entry, and I know it's useless to try and change the mind of people who think removing most of the moisture from a piece of fruit magically transforms it into candy.
Before anyone has the audacity to utter the words, "What about Raisinets?": Covering that dried fruit with a layer of underwhelming milk chocolate still doesn't count.
As you can probably guess, I wouldn't consider myself a fan of any of the items listed above, but I can certainly understand the mindsets of the people who give them out (even if they're horribly misguided).
However, there's a difference between offering a healthy alternative to trick-or-treaters and eagerly waiting at the door to provide the children of the neighborhood with a sobering reality check on one of the most magical nights of the year.
Giving out toothbrushes on Halloween is like taking a personal day to show up to a random funeral to remind the family members so many children in the Sub-Saharan region die from starvation every day.
There's a special spot in hell reserved for these people, and it involves a mouthful of cavities and a dentist who doesn't believe in anesthesia.