The Halloween Lie?

Now that it’s over, and my research has begun, I’m beginning to think that Halloween is just a lie. Okay, maybe not Halloween, but the idea that hundreds of cute, little kids will be showing up at your door, with their cute, little costumes, pronouncing “Trick or treat!”, and you will smile with glee, tell them how cute they are, give them some candy, and have their parents remind them to say “Thank you.” I think it’s a scam propagated by the candy companies to entice you to buy bags and bags of candy only to leave you waiting by the front door, peering out to see if the kiddies are coming, while you are chowing down on Reese’s Cup after Reese’s Cup only to be left with bags and bags of candy to eat because hey, who returns candy?

Sure, some of my Facebook friends professed their busloads of children arriving at their door, and a couple of people I talked to spoke of a couple of dozen kids showing up, but I think they are just plants for the candy companies, sustaining the stories, and I also think they are paid-off by the candy folk. I also think the companies hire a couple of hundred little kids, dress them up nicely, and ship them off to a few neighborhoods so that some pictures can be posted and the tall-tales of Halloween mayhem will continue.

Why do I feel that this entire trick-or-treating thing is a scam? It started when I lived in my townhouse. I remember the first Halloween. There were a lot of kids in the neighborhood, and in my head I thought a townhouse development would be a fantastic place to trick-or-treat so I loaded up on candy. I think that first year I had five kids show up. Year after year I would buy candy in the anticipation of kids, but there were years with no kids, some years I would have maybe five, but I think the best year was about ten and that was only because some high-schoolers were running from house to house, with their pillow cases, not really in costume, and I was able to unload a bag of candy on them.

A neighborhood anomaly I figured, so when we moved to our new house, a neighborhood with a lot of kids, hope for trick-or-treaters began anew. How many bags of candy would we need? Should we give out full-size bars? Should we decorate the house? The big night came, a howling night of cold with a winter wind that would leave the kiddies in their winter coats and the parents huddled at the end of the walk saying “Don’t forget to say ‘Thank you!'”, we expected it all. And expected. And expected.

Peering out the window and the door, the streets were barren. Leaves were blowing by, “Is that a group of kids?” “No, just the neighbor walking their dogs.”, but finally, success, our neighbors started their trick-or-treating, so here they came. The dog was dressed like The Lion King, the little girl was from Frosted, and the boy was adorable as he tried to jump up to ring the doorbell.

Two kids, a dog, and yes, parents reminding their children to say “Thank you.”, and that was it. The trick-or-treating was over. Left with bags of candy we blamed the weather, but I don’t think it was the weather, I think Halloween trick-or-treaters is a lie, and even though I probably won’t believe you if you answer anything higher than 25, I wonder: How many trick-or-treaters did you have for Halloween?

That’s it for this one! L8R!!

Do You Prefer Your Cereal Soggy or Crunchy?

Count Chocula at the local Meijer.As I poured the last of my stash of Count Chocula into the bowl, I was surprised to realize I didn’t stock up as much as I did in previous years, where I have been known to wipe out the shelves of my local store in order to be able to enjoy the chocolaty goodness for months and months. As much as I would say it’s probably better that I switch back to Cheerios (though only marginally, especially when it comes to Honey Nut Cheerios), or maybe even an egg and some grainy bread, there is something about eating what is supposed to be a children’s cereal that helps me continue to feel like I’m 12.

It’s kind of weird, though, how food preferences, or maybe I should say something like food preparation preferences can change, as I used to be a fan of the soggy cereal. I would soak it in a bath of milk, not be afraid to let it set on the counter or table and soak up the milky goodness, and then barely have to chew in order to swallow whatever sugary mix of “health” was now in my bowl. Oddly enough, as I’ve gotten older, my choice has changed, as this morning with my last bowl of The Count, I put barely a splash of milk in the bowl and did my best to eat my breakfast quickly so the bats and squishy marshmallows didn’t become a gooey mess. Somehow I’ve switched from a soggy to a crunchy cereal kind of guy.

And so, with my Halloween celebrating officially done (Okay, I might pick up another box or two of the Monster Cereal while they’re still available), I plight: Do you prefer your cereal soggy or crunchy?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Did You Eat Too Much Halloween Candy?

Halloween is over! Yay! Here at The Dude household we had a whopping goose egg number of kids coming to the door, and I have to say that I wasn’t totally disappointed especially as this year I opted not to go out and buy my normal two or three bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, instead opting to use some extra Rice Krispie treats we had lying around (and no, they weren’t expired) in case some little ones came a ringin’. The downside of this Halloween plan is that I don’t have my normal two or three bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups left over on which to overindulge for a few days. I suppose that’s okay, especially this year as I’m putting forth a greater effort to watch my girlish figure, but oh, how eating one always harkens me back to the commercials of old with “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!” and “You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!”, which of course just leaves to tasty goodness.

Myself not being able to overindulge, I’m sure there are a lot of stories of those of you who did, and so I plight: Did you eat too much Halloween candy?


Do You Decorate for Halloween Like You Do for Christmas?

A couple of my Facebook friends recently posted that they’ve already done their decorating for Halloween, and it made me reflect on a few things like “When was the last time I actually really decorated for Halloween?” (I believe the answer is “Never”), and “Isn’t it a little early to decorate for Halloween?” (At the time of the posting it was still a month away so I say “Yes.”). We all have seen the escalation in decorating for Halloween, a holiday that most decorations used to just be the occasional jack-o-lantern and construction paper cutouts we would make in grade school to now a full-blown decoration feast where Halloween Factory stores will pop up for a couple of months so you can buy the latest, giant, inflatable witch to put in your front yard, and it has now become a competition for one neighbor to out-decorate their other neighbor, much in the way Christmas used to be. Back in the day there was always the one house that was uber-decorated, usually by the handyman who will build some sort of scary, haunted house theme, but now anyone can buy a cheap-looking, five-foot tall, Chinese made, lighted pumpkin that has a good chance of blowing away before the holiday even get here.

Maybe I would get into the holiday a little more if I had kids, but for me it has turned into a holiday where I end up with too much leftover candy because I never learn that I will get five kids, at the most, coming to my door for candy, thus leaving me with a couple of bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe if I did decorate I would get a few more kids, but I also know that if I open that decorating door that suddenly my car will be packed with Halloween tchotchkes, my wife will wonder what is wrong with me, and my neighbors will be upset because now the “Halloween Decorating Competition” will be on and suddenly I’ll have to bust out the circular saw and build a haunted house. I believe it is that first piece of yard decoration that starts it all, but I also plight: Do you decorate for Halloween like you do for Christmas?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Joining the Occupy Movement, Not Joining the Illinois House, Joining Theater Goers, and Not Joining Fencebuilders.

By: The Dude on the Right

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As Halloween is here, with the help of an Occupy protester and Stu Gotz, I try to decide if I’m going to join the cause after this episode of our “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast. Maybe I should, especially since, as Stu says, I’ve joined the Pussification of America Army during my judging of a Halloween costume contest. To redeem myself I should have, at least, impersonated a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, but alas, I stuck to a bit of honesty when asked if I were Tom Cross. Stu, meanwhile, thinks he has found out how many workers it takes to put up a fence.

Neither of us saw the #1 movie at the box office, “Puss in Boots,” but Stu made it to the theater with Mama Gotz and thought “50/50” was a decent flick. Me, however, I preferred the safety and security of the Dude-Pad, really liking “Captain America.” We both are still fans of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Beavis and Butthead,” Stu is a new fan of “Grimm,” Stu is excited because the McRib is back (for a limited time), and we both recommend backing up important pictures and hope Apple’s iCloud will also do the job for us because sometimes we can’t remember crap.

Joining things, not joining things, and more!

Thanks for listening!

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!