Ahh, the simple pleasures of being a parent on Halloween– at the end of the evening, we get all the candy rejects our kids don’t want. This year, out of Emmie’s massive collection of 130 pieces of candy, I was given 1 mini Almond Joy, 4 mini boxes of Milk Duds, 2 pieces of banana Laffy Taffy (NOT the strawberry, of course, which I really would have enjoyed), 4 packs of Whoppers malted milk balls, 1 butterscotch candy, 1 peppermint, 1 Rolo, and a mini Heath bar. Not a whole lot to get excited about, but it made me laugh on the inside—this “reject pile” not only looks the same every year for both of my children, it contains the same stuff I rejected when I was a kid. The same stuff about which I always think, “The adult who bought this doesn’t have a clue what most kids like.” For example, most kids don’t like coconut– so Mounds is a perennial reject as well. Ditto for “Dots”, Good ‘N Plenty, “Chick O Stix”, any Tootsie Rolls other than the original flavor, red hot Jawbreakers, and black licorice. While I’ve grown to like most of it, I still scratch my head about some of it, like the Milk Duds.
I asked Emmie why she didn’t like Milk Duds.
“I don’t know, “ she replied. “I’ve never tried them.”
“Huh?” I responded. “Then why are they in the reject pile?”
“The name just makes them sound bad,” she said. “Milk DUDS.”
She decided to try one for the first time, and I hadn’t had one in years, so we opened the tiny box and shared this momentous occasion. It was not a good experience. My jaw hurt trying to maneuver to get the sticky mass of caramel off my teeth.
“I can’t get it off,” I said. “I think we’re supposed to suck on them.”
“I’m already trying that,” said Emmie. That didn’t help her enjoy them much more. The rest of the Milk Duds boxes remained in the reject pile.
Sifting through said pile some more, I wondered if stuff I’d given out to Trick-or-Treaters over the years ever ended up among their rejects. No “Now and Laters” or imitation Sweet Tarts come from my hands—I usually try to do something different and maybe even (horrors!) healthier, like mini bags of pretzels or Goldfish crackers, mini packages of unpopped microwave popcorn, even one year, much to my older daughter’s dislike, 4-packs of “Halloween crayons” in colors like Ghoul Green, Black Cat and Ghostly White. She put her foot down when I thought up the idea of giving away old McDonald’s Happy Meal toys. “We will be the laughing stock of the neighborhood,” she said. “No kid wants to get a Happy Meal toy in their sack for Halloween!”
Okay, okay!! But I still think it would’ve ranked higher than the Bit-O-Honeys. ###