Trick and Treat

I live in a nice quite neighborhood near a prestigious university and home to many vice presidents and top engineers of the local search giant and many other high technology companies. According wikipedia, the city has a nice demographic with 95% of the population being white or Asian, 4% Hispanic, and everything else fall under 1%. The median home sale price in the area is $1.4 million. So generally speaking, this is a great opportunity for little ghouls and goblins trick and treating. We have been tricking and treating here for the past four years, but we grew up here, went to school here, and trick and treated here when we where kids.

With one kid under five, dressed as a ferocious lion we scored 7.5 pounds of candy in about 2.5 hours just from walking around the equivalent of 3-4 blocks in our neighborhood. We started off by driving 3 blocks down the street since we live across a park and a school and we wanted to position ourselves surrounded completely by homes. By driving just a few blocks down the street we where able to maximize the time we had trick and treating. Generally, the best trick and treating window is the three hours between 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

The best payoff was at a home of a pacific islander/Hispanic man that gave us four normal size snickers bars. This is huge because the average size of snicker bars used on Halloween are the fun size or minis. Each snicker bar costs about $0.75 to $1.00 so that is a retail value of $3-4.00. Even though we generally did well, we had a few bad payouts two from Asian and one from a Southeast Asian which gave the equivalent of a single mini size snicker. Some other notables treats are a toy car, a large box of goobers, oatmeal raisin breakfast cookies, and Dagoba organic chocolate.

Nice is a piece of advice when giving out candy for Halloween. Don’t give kids too much choice. We had one lady give us the choice between books, crayons, toy cars, candy, etc. That is to much choice. What helps keep the kids moving is to give them a handful of candies. Don’t give trick and treaters a single, mini size candy, that is just cheap and tacky. Give them four or five. If you are running short on candy and want kids to have just one, instead of giving them just one, give them a bowl and say ‘want to pick one.’ Small kids will usually pick just one candy, it is better to have them picking the one candy that they want instead of you seeming cheap and handing them a single one candy when you got a new BMW 3 series convertible in the drive way. The key of making the stream of kids flowing is to have a small number of treats that the kids can pick themselves.

Here are tips on choosing the best candy for Halloween. The best candy is those that are seal as opposed to wrapped. For example, Tootsie Roll and Smarties are wrapped at the ends, not sealed, and can be easily tampered. When inspecting the candies before they are consumed, I generally pass on any candy that has wrappers that are twisted instead of sealed shut. Candies like Starbursts and sealed with some amount of air so if you feel the pressure of the air, you can easily assume they have not been tampered with. Candies that are packed in little boxes, such as Junior Minds make it easy for parents inspect.

Here are some tips for trick and treaters, don’t run and step on people’s flowerbeds. Walk to and from people yards, preferably use the walkway when available. Don’t cross or zigzag the street, go down one side of the street and then at the crosswalk cross the street and then do the other side. Always be gracious, say thank you or Happy Halloween.

Halloween is a secular holiday that brings all the little ghouls and goblins from all ethnic backgrounds once a year to ransom the neighborhood for candy. It is a special event for kids who just love to dress up as their favorite comic book heroes and heroines. The most memorable homes are those whose residents have the Halloween spirit and put out decorations and are generally nice to the kids and are complimentary to them on their costumes.

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