On Sept. 1, at a grocery store in Indianapolis, I made a right turn coming out of the cereal aisle and ran smack into three guys hurriedly stocking shelves with Halloween candy.
Date of incident: Sept. 1.
Date of Halloween: Oct. 31.
Time between the two: plenty.
It seems someone is in a hurry.
Not that I have anything against Halloween, or anything against candy. I like them both and the fact that they are inextricably connected … well, that’s just a bonus. But I still think getting the candy out before Labor Day is rushing things a little.
I also think it’s just asking for trouble. It is in my case, anyway. Here’s what I mean:
I try to practice the Golden Rule of Halloween candy-giving. That is, I always give away candy that I would want to get, were I parading around in a costume extorting goodies from strangers. Anyway, the good stuff is my response to the disappointments of kidhood when you would go to someone’s house and wind up with a handful of war-surplus rock candy or a wrinkly apple. Call me a purist, but I don’t think Halloween should be the time when you give away something you found while re-organizing your refrigerator’s produce drawer.
So whoever comes to my house gets little candy bars of the type that I favored as a kid: Milky Way, primarily, but also Snickers, Three Musketeers, Mounds, Almond Joy, and of course good old Hershey Bars. It wouldn’t be Halloween without bite-size Hershey bars.
OK, yes it would. But I like Hershey bars so they’re staying.
There’s more to the story. There usually is.
Little candy bars, you see, are the great foolers of the confection industry. You see a bowl of fun-size Milky Ways and what you’re really looking at are dietary land mines. “Oh, they’re fun size,” you think. “One or two won’t hurt.” But one or two turns into six or seven or fifteen and before you know it, you’ve had so much fun size fun that you’ve gained three fun size pounds. And I’m talking in one evening.
Now, to get back to the grocery: Is anyone who buys Halloween candy in early September really going to leave it in the bag, unmolested, until the end of October? Highly doubtful. And so the old fun size conundrum begins and lasts for six weeks, which means by the time Halloween gets here you’ll be a blimp. If you’re me, I mean.
And all because we’re rushing the season. Halloween candy before Labor Day, indeed. And that’s not the worst of it.
On Aug. 31, I got a Christmas catalog.