Carob used as it should be: a punishment for the wicked

OH NOES TEH HEALTH FOOD!!!111Halloween last night was a lot of (gentle, toddler-friendly) fun. Little Lydia has an ear infection, though, so we kept it mellow so she could get some sleep. This time, I taped the EL wire to the candy bucket, which the kids liked and (like dim dining hall lighting on Parent’s Day), had the effect of obscuring the contents somewhat. Some of the older kids—not many, but a few—would hover over the bucket and cherrypick, even returning one item and taking another. So to leave a snare for the wicked I seeded the bucket with large, dense, and healthy protein bars. Okay, I only did it once, when I saw one 12-year-old ghoul bragging about the size of his pillowcase. Sure enough, he reached in, selected on size during a vigorous three-second grasping session, and dropped the malted carob-flavor Kashi protein bar into his bulging sack with a triumphant expression. Hey, it won’t hurt him none.

Unless he eats it without holding his nose; those things are nasty.

I looked through my blog for previous Halloween posts, and found the following:

  • 2004: First Halloween on Sharpless Street with lots of trick-or-treaters. Contains a detailed report of the costumes encountered, then I go all E.B. White and call rotting pumpkins “eloquent of summer’s decay.” Oy.
  • 2003: Report of the Haunted Hayride that I lied to my NYC friends about. I told them that it was staffed entirely by kids on Rumspringa, so they’d “drive hundreds of miles to see Amish teenagers in rubber masks, all shaky on Red Bull.” No mention of trick-or-treating that year, though. I was recovering from the fiasco mentioned below.
  • 2002: the infamous “Cubic foot of Butterfingers” year, which haunts me as a cautionary tale, now that I’m a Responsible Daddy. I don’t mean that to be sad, though: the Cubic Foot of Butterfingers sometimes appears to me like a spectral golem, reminding me that enthusiasm is wonderful, but unfocused, unreasoned enthusiasm doesn’t always bring light and life to the world. Like all God’s creatures, the CFOB did eventually serve a purpose.
  • 2001: I put up “The Best Haunted House in East Central Indiana”, a couple of pages about a haunted house I made at Earlham College ten years before, featuring a knife-wielding, spluttering Todd Pugsley bouncing up and down on room filled with bed springs. This still draws search engine hits on “haunted house,” “Tibetan Tantric Gyuto monks,” and “leaf fire basement.”

Like a mysterious, animated GIF batsignal, my story about the haunted house had the effect of summoning Todd from the ether; two weeks after posting about the haunted house, Todd showed up out of the blue and took me out to Vietnamese karaoke. Let’s hope my Roald Dahl tricks with the weight-loss bar doesn’t bring some kind of pale, carob-munching wheat-germ peddler around. Vade retro, Kashi!

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