The love of candy was ingrained in me from a young age. My mom’s father owned and operated a coffee/candy business in Reykjavik so I guess it’s in my blood. He died before I was born, and while I never got to meet him I’ve always pictured him as an Icelandic Willy Wonka - purple velvet suits, imaginative new candy bars, the whole shebang. I’m not picky about my candy, I’m an equal opportunity candy lover.
Sure, I prefer sour/gummy candy, but you won’t see me turn down a Snickers any time soon.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Halloween was arguably the best night of the year for me as a child - a night where all my wildest dreams would come true. I couldn’t care less about the spooky shit, it
was all about the candy. I remember these evenings like they were yesterday… crisp autumn air, walking around my suburban neighborhood with the boys, pillow cases bursting at the seams with all sorts of delectable treasures. We took things seriously, planning our route days in advance to maximize our efficiency. It’s not rocket science - start early, hit the rich/generous folks first, speed through as many homes as possible and if possible, and hit the rich folks again before the night is over (by that point, they’ve seen hundreds of kids and won’t think twice about adding another king-size trophy to your inventory).
In honor of Halloween, I was going to rank Halloween candy, but that’s been done time and time again. Instead, I want to break down the tiers of trick-or-treat houses to help any young ones dominate All Hallow’s Eve.
KINGS AND QUEENS
It’s all in the name, this tier is reserved for houses that give out full size/king sized candy (bonus points if they also have big bags of gummy/sour candy along with the Snickers, Reece’s Cups, M&M’s etc). These houses are never forgotten, and are only identified by experience. You truly cannot judge a book by it’s cover. That is, some rich people don’t splurge on their treats, and some of the smallest houses are owned by the most generous people. One thing that’s unique about Kings and Queens is their consistency. In other words, if a household handed out the big-boys last year, you can count on them to keep it up year after year. We STAN Kings and Queens – try to hit them twice
The life-blood of a successful Halloween. These houses are defined by two key metrics: quality and quantity of candy.
Silver medalists typically have AT LEAST one (usually two) huge popcorn bowls full of a variety of goods - sweet tarts, sour patch kids, snickers, Reece’s cups, skittles, etc. They must have at least 5 “A-team” candies available and they can’t be stingy with it. These are the guys/gals that throw a huge handful in your bag or tell you to “take a bunch”. For those of you at home, there is no shame in a silver medal.
Nothing to write home about. This is where the majority of households fall. Limited variety, but they typically play the hits. You’ll walk away with 2-3 solid treats, perhaps a Reece’s Cup, Skittles and a two-pack of Starburst. They almost certainly have a bunch of tootsie rolls floating around as well, but ultimately not a bad score.
These people always annoyed me – they’d throw a bag of pretzels or chips into your bag which sucks for two reasons. First, this is Halloween – we want candy, not fuckin sun chips. Also, a bag of chips is filled with air, and it takes up precious real estate in your vessel. Even as a kid, I wondered about the motivation of these people. Was it a health thing? Were they simply ill prepared? Do they think kids prefer a stale bag of Halloween shaped pretzels over a Twix? Either way, you’re left shaking your head and moving on – it’s important not to get discouraged by this. Power through and persevere – greener pastures ahead.
We all know who I’m talking about. They give you a religious pamphlet, tooth brush, RAISINS or some other useless garbage. Imagine the balls is takes to hand out a book of scripture to a group of 9 year olds who are expecting sweets. I can’t fathom it. This is where it pays to be attentive - you can typically hear the kids before you complaining as you approach the house. Keep you rears peeled, and feel free to skip these assholes and move on to the next house. It might even be wise to pay them a visit on mischief night the following year.
There you have it – every single household falls into one of these categories on Halloween. People who leave a bowl of candy out front with a “TAKE ONE” sign? C’MON man! There’s no room for the honor system on Halloween – anything goes!
Home-made haunted house with a baggie of goodies at the end? Average Joes. I appreciate the effort, but I’m trying to hit as many house as possible. Your house smells weird, and seeing your middle aged husband laying on your dining room table pretending to be dead just feels like a waste of time.
The beauty of trick or treating is that it highlights the beauty of America. It’s a melting pot – if everyone gave out king sized candy, you wouldn’t feel the adrenaline rush when you feel that heavy ass item fall into your bag. If everyone gave you a bag of pretzels, Halloween would have become a thing of the past long ago. Regardless, do what you can to give the kids around you a great night and be generous… ‘tis the season!