Mary Jane in Mary Janes?

Readers — I’m not just writing this post because I desperately wanted to use that headline. I’m writing because at the end of this news segment about testing for pot in candy using a handy-dandy new THC detector, the anchor utters those classic words, “Isn’t it too bad Halloween has come down to this?”

Down to what, sir? Down to your news program and the police both somehow believing (or pretending to believe) that anyone spending $5 apiece for a pot-laced lollipop is going to give it to a kid, just for the fun of wasting marijuana? I mean, if you’re  a psychopathic killer* and you want to poison kids, why just get them high? And if you’re not a psychopath, but for some reason relish the idea of temporarily addling a tot, wouldn’t you want to enjoy the effect? But you won’t! The kid will be far away, at home, gobbling candy. Same as he or she’d be doing WITHOUT your cannabis treat.

But go ahead, media. Enjoy the fun of Halloween just like the rest of us. Except instead of trying to scare people with your costume, you do it with “journalism.” – L.

*Remember: No child has ever died from poison candy from a stranger.

Toke or treat!

Toke or treat?

71 Responses to Mary Jane in Mary Janes?

  1. Lance Mitaro October 25, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    We’re in the midst of child “safety” revolution in America. AKA: “all it takes is a second..”

  2. Wendy W October 26, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    It’s $15 for a kit that does 3 tests. At that price I would trash the whole bag the kids just collected and hit Walmart to restock after they go to bed.

    Connecting this to Halloween is dumb. However, if I feel the need to find out exactly what my teens are munching on with their friends it might be a good thing.

  3. MichaelF October 26, 2014 at 1:25 am #

    Sorry, I have no idea what drugs these days cost but if I actually had that sort of disposable income I’d not be wasting it for one night of random pranks on children I would never see again but rather on myself when I can enjoy the benefits.

  4. Dhewco October 26, 2014 at 6:47 am #

    I could see someone doing this, if they’re twisted enough. Sometimes just thinking about those poor parents dealing with the problem is enough to get someone off. It can happen. I don’t think it does….you’d have to be pretty high (and twisted, I did mention twisted) yourself to actually attempt this.

    I live in a state where mj is still illegal (I think, I don’t really keep up with the mj laws…Georgia) and I have only a very limited idea of where to get it illegally. The joys of living in a town of 10k, I guess. Plus, I’m so square my corners hurt. Anyway, the point is I don’t think we have to worry about this in my area.

  5. Dhewco October 26, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    Hmmm, my post isn’t showing but it’s telling me it’s a duplicate…

  6. BL October 26, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    Maybe this will start a trend of kids dressing up as hippies for Halloween.

    Look at my retro threads, man. Far out.

  7. Jill October 26, 2014 at 8:09 am #

    Whatever happened to the rampant panic that Halloween candy could be laced with LSD? Acid is far scarier than marijuana!
    Methinks the idea of legalized marijuana is churning in people’s brains, making them fear that cannabis candy is casually lying around all over the place, and THE CHILDREN will be given some when they go trick or treating.
    BTW, am I the only one who despises the new thing called “Trunk or Treat?” Walking around in a parking lot in full daylight, accompanied by one’s parents as you’re handed candy out of car trunks isn’t nearly as much fun as good, old-fashioned trick or treating.

  8. Ben October 26, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Either the people in this news segment choose to ignore Snopes.com or they are completely oblivious to the facts. Neither is a very good reflection on their character — especially for the journalists…

  9. Warren October 26, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Jill,
    I am 100% with you on the trunk or treat crap. Same with going to rec centers or church basements and going table to table. It takes all the fun, exercise and festiveness (if that is an actual word) out of it.

    These trunk or treat things are made up of two types of parents. Half are paranoid of letting their kids have fun, and the others are just too lazy to answer the door.

    We need a take back Halloween movement.

  10. Ravana October 26, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    Apples have razor blades in them, popcorn balls have rat poison, chocolate bars have needles covered in diseased blood, candy dots (or temporary tattoos) are laced with LSD. It is just the evolution of the poisoned treat legend which is most likely the descendent of stories of small girls with strange fashion sense talking to wolves in the woods. Human fears don’t change, they just morph to suit the era.

  11. M October 26, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Anyone who thinks this has a chance of happening hasn’t looked at the price of pot today.

  12. Gina October 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Where exactly can I trick-or-treat to partake of these lollipops?

    Jill and Warren: Agreed..Trunk or Treat is beyond ridiculous.

  13. CrazyCatLady October 26, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    I live in WA, where possession and use by adults is legal. And I am MUCH more worried about the kids getting hit by a car speeding down the crowded street than I am of them accidentally getting a pot laced item.

    They don’t actually eat the lollypops anyhow. Those will be thrown the next week at the Veteran Day Parade. Chocolate is what my kids are after…and I doubt that Hershey’s will be selling pot laced bars.

  14. Puzzled October 26, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Well, the kids may be gobbling the candy a bit more than usual…

    Anyway, go talk to a 5 year old. Then tell me you’d be able to tell the difference if he was high…

    This story, though, has nothing to do with Halloween scare tactics. It’s part of an organized campaign to reverse the recent legalization. It’s just a modern version of Reefer Madness.

  15. Amy October 26, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Ha ha ha! Sweet irony! If you saw how a couple of my kids react to eating food dye! At least marijuana might mellow them out. (Note: if your child flips out regularly and for no apparent reason, it’s probably not because of evil people adding illegal substances to their candy. It could be the crap they legally put in our food.)

  16. Michelle October 26, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Trunk or Treat can be awesome. The one we go to every year is the weekend *before* Halloween, so it’s not taking the place of real trick or treating. It’s another fun activity in our Halloween line up, like Zoo Boo and the library Halloween party. Secondly, it’s part of a full-on carnival with games and a bouncy house. Third, the trunks are decorated with festive, scary goodness.

    We’ll still be trick or treating with everyone else on Halloween night, but the kids would be disappointed if we didn’t Trunk or Treat, too.

  17. Stafir October 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Honestly Trunk or Treat dosn’t annoy me as much as it does some others. But that is because I grew up in a church environment, and I chose to stop trick or treating myself (apparently at an early age, or earlier than my parents wanted me to anyway) because the pastor at one church I went to decided to lay out the non-Christian symbology behind much of Halloween, and then he ended it with ‘this does not mean it’s a sin to participate in Halloween, I just felt it was best to let you know the meaning of everything being done, and let you chose on your own if you are comfortable with it’.

    He then further said that if you choose to make your kids stop doing Halloween, do not take away the fun of the night itself. To that degree he started basically a church get together and party for those who felt uncomfortable trick or treating, or letting their kids trick or treat. Basically a regular Halloween party without a lot of the non-Christian Halloween flavor to it. And it included trunk or treat (or I think in their case, going from door to door down a hallway…the church having been decently big, and having a hallway for study time).

    So to that degree I don’t really hate Trunk or Treat…as some see it as an alternative to symbolisms they are uncomfortable with. But they still want to let kids still have a bit of fun.

    For the record..having grown up since then…I honestly still enjoy spending the night passing out candy to trick or treaters, as I never was one for parties really.

  18. Emily October 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    >>We need a take back Halloween movement.<<

    We really do. It's so funny, Take Back The Night was just a few weeks ago, and it's supposed to be for the benefit of women AND children, but people treat it like it's an isolated event to be checked off on the calendar, and then forgotten. So, they'll march in TBTN, but then continue to either helicopter their kids while trick-or-treating, or take them to some bastardized "alternative," like Malloween, Trunk or Treat, or a community or private home party, touting "safe" fun and "healthy" treats. Actually, let's think bigger–as long as we're Taking Back The Night, and Taking Back Halloween, why don't we Take Back The 1980's?

  19. EricS October 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    What, what?? “Trunk or Treat”?? This is a real thing? Wow! I will official say now, some parents are dumb, paranoid, and lazy. And should not be having children in the first place. Truly, a selfish “me, me, me” mentality. Whether they realize it or not. EVERYTHING they do, they say they do for their children. But if you strip away all the smoke, and get rid of the mirrors, it just boils down to mostly how they can feel better about themselves. What makes THEM feel better. Cuz if you ask the kids, they couldn’t care less. Unless they have been conditioned to.

    The only rule for me for Halloween, is if it’s not wrapped or boxed (as in sealed), it gets chucked. And I’ve let mine go TorT, with his 12 and 13 year old cousins. And no, there is no adults with them. They know how to traverse the neighborhood, and watch out for each other. They also have a cellphone should they need to call. The parents…well, we are at home enjoying some adult time. Which many parents here can attest that comes far and few between. lol Take advantage of kids being gone. Even for a little while. 😉

  20. Jenny Islander October 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    @Amy: I know, right? I seriously worried that my middle child was psychotic or had a brain tumor or something, and then on the advice of parents who’d BTDT I tried cutting the “healthy” zero-calorie fruit punch out of her diet before signing up for the tests. Within about a week the 45-minute rages went away.

    As did her asthma.

    If you need to flavor the drinking water, check out TrueLemon’s lemonade and raspberry lemonade. 100 percent plant based, even the coloring–I called and checked.

  21. JJ October 26, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    If anyone does actually put marijuana in Mary Janes for trick-or-treating no one will ever know (unless (unles someone’s Pop Pop gets hold of it) since no actual kid has actually eaten a Mary Jane since the 40’s!

  22. Matt in GA October 26, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    Count me in on the Take Back Hallowe’en movement! It’s time to put the trick back in trick or treat!

    What do you think the trunk or treat crowd would do if a man showed up at their event in a white, windowless van?

  23. Emily Morris October 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

    I too am for Take Back Halloween!

    That said, I have no problem with the basic concept of Trunk or Treat. Mostly because I’ve only seen it as part of some pre-Halloween party at church. You know, have a chili cook-off, a costume contest, head outside to give the kids candy… then go properly Trick-or-Treating come Halloween.

    My husband grew up in the Middle of Nowhere, Utah, and his family, including his brother and his wife, still live there. Because the walking distance between farms and ranches isn’t economical to candy reception, the town alternates every other year with a Trunk-or-Treat. It’s not a safety thing, just a more effective way of getting the 10 kids in town candy. The other years… well, the kids just have to manage walking.

    But it breaks my heart to see fewer and fewer young kids Trick-or-Treating each year.

  24. lollipoplover October 26, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Dang! I guess I won’t be making my *special* brownies to give out to neighborhood hooligans this year.

    And check their candy? Not a chance!
    After trick or treating (without adults-we have our own happy hour party while the kids are gone) my kids and all of their friends have intense candy trading that rivals United Nation negotiations. Our dining room table has sorted candy for trading and I think this is the favorite part for a lot of the kids around here. Full size Snickers, Twix, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and Skittles have high trade value. Crappy candy (dollar store brands, weird organic types, candy corn, Almond Joy-seriously, stop handing them out) have zero trade value and go into the pile with the other crappy things like stickers and toothbrushes that folks give out. Negotiations are fierce but any potential Pot candy would go into the crappy pile, honestly. Maybe mom should check that pile…

    And they may not even get candy! Because candy is dangerous.
    Now we have the TEAL pumpkin:
    http://www.foodallergy.org/teal-pumpkin-project#.VE17jiLF_To
    So suck on the Made In China vampire teeth that are likely made entirely of BPA…but at least not deadly peanuts. Because trick or treating for stickers and crappy Made in China prizes is sooo much fun.

  25. Suzanne October 26, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    I love the way you worded this post. Every point you made is great but I especially wanted to let you know how enjoyable it was to read.

  26. Emily October 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

    Okay, I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with the Teal Pumpkin Project (except that teal paint is going to be harder to find than a basic primary colour, and a painted pumpkin probably can’t be baked into a pie later), because it doesn’t preclude giving out candy altogether–they have two different downloadable posters; one that says “Non-food treats here,” and one that says, “We have candy and non-food treats.” That way, the child with the food allergy can join in on trick-or-treating, and just take the treats that are safe for them (whether that’s a trinket, or candy without their specific allergen), at the houses with the teal pumpkins, and/or posters in the windows. Think about it–trick-or-treating is free-range, right? Most parents are reluctant to allow their kids to trick-or-treat without an adult, even eliminating food allergies from the equation. So, for a child with food allergies, that freedom is going to come later, or even never. These kids do learn that the world isn’t going to accommodate them, because even “peanut-free” or “peanut-aware” schools sometimes don’t solve the problem completely (say Johnny ate peanut butter toast for breakfast before school, then didn’t wash his hands well enough, and then transferred peanut residue to Anaphylactic Annie during Red Rover–bam, normal school day becomes a trip to the ER for poor Annie). Also, there’s tons of infrastructure in place for kids with peanut and tree nut allergies, but relatively little for kids with other allergies, like eggs, milk, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy, which are the other common allergies. So, these kids know they’re different, they spend their lives washing their hands, turning down food, and bringing their own cupcakes to birthday parties, and missing out on things like Halloween. Sure, some parents might do the Switch Witch thing (kids cash in their candy for a book, toy, DVD, or something bigger), but not everyone has the funds or the inclination to do that, especially if there’s more than one kid. So, if anything, the Teal Pumpkin Project builds community, because inevitably, EVERYONE knows which kid is The Kid With The Food Allergy. Good, compassionate people want That Kid to get to participate in life, without having to feel like That Kid. So, I’m not going to bash the Teal Pumpkin Project, because for some kids, somewhere, it just might be the difference between a “normal” Halloween, and a crummy one.

  27. Emily October 26, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    P.S., I forgot to mention kids with allergies that aren’t on the “Big Eight” list, like red food dye, corn, chocolate, and other things you don’t even think of–for example, I knew a girl in Bronze Cross years ago who was allergic to strawberries as a child. I think she outgrew it later, but not everyone does. So anyway, the parents who send their kid to school with a strawberry jam sandwich to accommodate the peanut-allergic child, are potentially making the strawberry-allergic child ill, but nobody even thinks of that, because of the misconception that peanut allergies are the be all end all of food allergies. That’s why I think it’s a nice idea (not mandatory, but still nice) to provide non-food treats along with the candy, so that you don’t just substitute one allergen with another (for example, peanut-free chocolate bars that are all made with milk chocolate). I think “both, and” is important too, because that way, the child who’s allergic to peanuts can take the crayons instead of the Reese cups at one house, but enjoy a Mars Bar or a packet of Skittles at the next, and so the non-allergic kids don’t feel like “We can’t have candy on Halloween anymore, all because of Anaphylactic Annie.” Also, if an entire neighbourhood decides to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project, isn’t that building community in a small way, by getting everyone to agree on something that’ll make someone happy? I guess what I’m trying to say is, not every “politically correct” initiative is automatically bad, or coddling, or anti-Free-Range. There’s no need to start a witch hunt against every group that tries to make childhood experiences more inclusive, until they start diluting those experiences for EVERY kid. I really don’t see how putting out a basket of glow sticks next to the bowl of candy, falls into that category.

  28. Emily Morris October 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

    I agree, I think this TEAL Pumpkin Project sounds like a decent idea. As long as one is passing out cool toys, hey, no problem.

    I passed out pencils one year (not planning to, just sort of happened) and it was apparently a big hit with information that spread (they were pretty cool pencils).

  29. Emily Morris October 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    I suppose I see giving kids with allergies a fun option is a different mindset than “candy is evil!”

  30. J.T. Wenting October 27, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    “Either the people in this news segment choose to ignore Snopes.com or they are completely oblivious to the facts. Neither is a very good reflection on their character — especially for the journalists…”

    Or more likely they’re paid by the manufacturers of that “test kit” to stir up a craze.
    Advertorials are all over the place, pretty much any “news item” that’s about a specific product is paid for by its manufacturer (unless it’s about a recall of course).

  31. J.T. Wenting October 27, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    “I suppose I see giving kids with allergies a fun option is a different mindset than “candy is evil!””

    was wondering about that.
    What about diabetic kids, kids with nut allergies, apple allergies, allergies to artificial sweeteners and colouring agents?

    Can’t be too careful handing out candy or you may get sued, so best keep your doors locked and don’t give out any at all.

  32. Emily Morris October 27, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    “”What about diabetic kids, kids with nut allergies, apple allergies, allergies to artificial sweeteners and colouring agents?

    Can’t be too careful handing out candy or you may get sued, so best keep your doors locked and don’t give out any at all.
    “”

    I think you’re stretching a bit far here. No one is going to sue you for Halloween candy. Being Free -Range is putting more faith in your community than that. No one is forcing you to not pass out candy. If you want to sue those who pass out toys, fine, destroy the neighborhood.

  33. Emily Morris October 27, 2014 at 4:04 am #

    “”What about diabetic kids, kids with nut allergies, apple allergies, allergies to artificial sweeteners and colouring agents?

    Can’t be too careful handing out candy or you may get sued, so best keep your doors locked and don’t give out any at all.
    “”

    I think you are taking it a bit far. Being Free-range is showing a bit more faith in your community. No one is going to sue you for passing out candy. The ones who are that concerned aren’t sending their kids out Trick-or-treating. We are talking providing glow sticks, not a war on candy.

  34. Nadine October 27, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    They seem to be worrying about the wrong ingredient. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/is-sugar-worse-than-marijuana

  35. Beth October 27, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Regarding kids with nut allergies, haven’t you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Initiative? Apparently we’re supposed to put a teal (yes, the second most popular pumpkin color!)pumpkin on our porches if we are giving out non-food items to trick-or-treaters. That way the parents with allergic kids will know where to take them.

    Because, according to the article in my local paper, even touching the wrapper of a candy containing nuts will bring on instant anaphylaxis.

  36. Donna October 27, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    I don’t have a problem with Trunk or Treat. It is not generally done for safety reasons. In my area, it is done by exclusively by churches and is predominantly meant to be a religiously-safe alternative to Halloween. It also gives kids in the many rural areas around here something to do as traditional trick or treat is not possible. Often it is even on a different day and kids can do both if their parents choose.

    I don’t have a problem with the Teal Pumpkin either. I wish my kid would get far more non-candy treats. 95% of what she collects goes elsewhere because it is way too much any way.

    But mall trick or treating is several steps over the line. It is the stupidest thing ever invented.

  37. Buffy October 27, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    I guess this is the first I’ve heard that a peanut-allergic kid can’t touch the wrapper of a candy bar. Is this true or an overreaction?

  38. Emily October 27, 2014 at 9:15 am #

    @Buffy–It depends on the kid. Some kids (and some adults) have to actually consume their allergen to have a reaction, while others are contact or even aerosol sensitive. There are also variables in how strongly they react, from itching to full-on anaphylaxis. Kimberley knows more about this than I do, but I’ve been around a fair number of kids and adults with peanut allergies, and sometimes we just have to make adjustments–for example, one guy in my program in Australia was allergic to peanuts, and one night, we were carpooling home after an orchestra rehearsal, and a someone else in the car suggested getting ice cream at a Marble Slab/Cold Stone Creamery type place where they mix the ice cream on the cold marble table, but we couldn’t do it, because obviously those places are dangerous for people with allergies. However, he was really low-key about the whole thing, and I think this was the first he’d even mentioned it–speaking up out of necessity to avoid being taken to a place that could kill him. If he’d been more severely allergic, he probably would have had to have been more vocal about his allergy. As it was, he didn’t say anything when other people ate peanut-containing foods around him, because he didn’t have to. Meanwhile, I knew a girl from summer camp, years ago, who was so allergic that the camp had to go peanut-free because of her. Believe it or not, she told us that her mother still brought peanut products (chocolates with peanuts in them, etc.), into the house, but she had to leave the room when her mom was eating these foods, because the mere smell of peanuts made her ill, and could even potentially set off a reaction. She was a really nice girl, so we didn’t mind, and camp that summer was probably a rare occasion when she got to be “normal” (although, she couldn’t hide her allergy, because she had to wear an Epi-Pen and a Medic-Alert bracelet), so the rest of us just didn’t eat peanuts for two weeks. That said, it’s still impossible to eliminate every allergen, and I don’t think I could go two weeks without peanuts now, because I’m vegan, and peanut butter is a major source of cheap protein for me that doesn’t scream “VEGAN!!!” like tofu and other things, so again, I think the Teal Pumpkin Project is a great idea. Making the alternative treats non-edible eliminates the scenario of having “a nut-free bowl, a gluten-free bowl, a vegan bowl, an organic bowl,” and so on, and so forth, as a previous poster said, because, as far as I know, nobody ever went into anaphylactic shock from a glow stick.

  39. MCummings October 27, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    Must have been a slow media day if all they can think to do is come up with new ways that people “are out to get your kid.”
    Growing up, my mother was an X-Ray tech during the whole “razor blades in apples and candy” scare and I remember the hospital REQUIRING it’s X-Ray tech’s to come in on Halloween so parents could bring their kid’s bags of candy to the hospital to be…..wait for it X-Ray’d! Talk about more damage than good and as she pointed out and they never found a single thing to be concerned about!
    And to be honest some of the best Halloween candy I ever got growing up was from my older neighbors who still made their own caramel apples, popcorn balls, fudge and other treats!

  40. Emily October 27, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    @Buffy–It depends on the kid. Some kids (and some adults) are merely ingestion sensitive, while some are contact or even aerosol sensitive, to their respective allergens. Also, some people are anaphylactic, while others just get a bit itchy. Some people outgrow their allergies, and others don’t. I don’t know everything about this; Kimberley knows much more than me, but I’ve known peanut-allergic people who were all over the board, from feeling perfectly fine if someone ate a PBJ sitting next to them (guy in my program in Australia), to having to leave the room if someone opened a box of peanut chocolates (girl I met at summer camp when I was eleven or so–the camp went peanut-free that summer because of her), and everything in between. So, I suppose that, in some rare cases, touching the wrapper of a Reese Cup or a packet of Peanut M&M’s could set someone off, but that definitely doesn’t apply to every peanut (or whatever)-allergic person to walk the face of the Earth. In any case, I think the Teal Pumpkin Project is a good idea, because, as people said, it’s impossible to plan for every special dietary need for something like Halloween, so this eliminates the issue of having “a nut-free bowl, a gluten free bowl, a vegan bowl,” and so on, and so forth. I don’t think anyone ever went into anaphylaxis from touching a glow stick, unless that glow stick was tainted with their allergen.

  41. Jill October 27, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Painting a pumpkin teal, and putting it on my porch to signal that I’m giving out non-food items seems like a lot of trouble to go to. I generally just give kids whatever non-food items are lying around the house: old keys, the tennis ball that the dog no longer wants, singed oven mitts, and so on. It’s a great way to clean up clutter!
    (N.B.: I only give this stuff to the trick or treaters who can’t be bothered to dress in costume, and just stand there looking sullen and holding their bags out when I come to the door.)

  42. lollipoplover October 27, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    @Emily and Emily-
    I don’t mean to bash the teal pumpkin. But we already deal with our allergy trick-or-treaters and have for years without another “Be safe on Halloween” campaign. We give out full size Skittles (Taste the Rainbow!) as it’s what all of the kids want and is safe for the neighborhood allergy kids (1 peanut, 2 treenut, 1 gluten). I’m sure there’s some really cool pencils you can give out as a non-food alternative, but kids around here expect candy. Even the allergic ones. They trade off all the stuff they can’t eat and handle their allergies remarkably well. They don’t want a bag full of toxic-leaky glow sticks and plastic spider rings. But maybe kids are different in your area.

    But hey, it’s Halloween, give out anything you want. I just don’t understand why we over-complicate a night of kids dress in costume and knock on doors for candy. Or toys. Or rocks like Charlie Brown got.
    (My kids have pointed out that if a kid received a rock trick-or-treating in this generation, Child Protective Services would likely be called. And Lucy would be expelled under current anti-bullying campaigns…though she was a total b@tch)

  43. Thea October 27, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Don’t knock the church “fall festival”/trunk or treat thing too quickly. This is the first year I’m not putting it on for my church. Last year was a Narnia themed event. You had to walk through wardrobe doors and then a “forest” to get inside. While the theme music from the movie was playing. There were guessing games, face painting, lots of games to win candy, the movie screening in one room and a cake walk. If you’ve never heard of a cake walk you A)aren’t from the south and B)have lived a sad, sad life. 🙂 A cake walk is like musical chairs for baked goods.

    The neighborhood around my church isn’t the best for walking, so we wanted to provide a way for kids to get candy that didn’t involve mostly unlit streets beside a very busy road. Plus the past couple years it’s been raining or way too cold and this is indoors.

    This year I’m looking forward to taking my 11th month old out. He will be the cutest Ewok ever.

  44. pentamom October 27, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Emily, the kids who are so nut-allergic that they are aerosol sensitive (and I know someone like this) just aren’t going to trick or treat anyway. Their parents generally have to find an alternative, fun way to spend Halloween — they’re not going to make/buy costumes and plan trick-or-treating on the slim hope that their neighbors are going to put out teal pumpkins and signs informing them it’s safe — and then rely on the fact that those neighbors are actually doing things safely enough to protect them, instead of putting out a bowl of “safe” stuff that was sitting around in the kitchen when they were baking peanut butter cookies last week.

    The ones who aren’t that sensitive can trick-or-treat under supervision when they’re too young to be safe, and trade-off or throw out the stuff that isn’t safe when they’re older. The whole teal pumpkin thing sounds like a nice *attempt* at giving sensitive/allergic kids a break, but in practical reality, it’s not that workable.

  45. lollipoplover October 27, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    “I don’t think anyone ever went into anaphylaxis from touching a glow stick, unless that glow stick was tainted with their allergen.”

    http://safety.lovetoknow.com/Glow_Bracelet_Toxic_Liquid_Danger

    NOTHING is completely safe.
    Nothing.

  46. Ellery October 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    I do have to say that I don’t like the packaging of candy pot though. It’s like those laundry packets that look like candy and sent poisonings skyrocketing. If you want to use pot, use it like a grownup and leave the suckers for the sucrose-only crowd.

  47. Warren October 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Trunk or Treat is fine as a party or church thing. But it is absolutely not fine as a replacement for actual trick or treating.

    The farm/rural kid thing is just an excuse. All the rural kids would be shuttled into town, mom or dad would go for a coffee. And noone we know of ever complained about kids coming into town for trick or treating, because it is supposed to be about the kids. A lot of the people that would shuttle in kids would hand out treats from their vehicles while waiting for their hooligans.

  48. Donna October 27, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    Warren – Apparently you didn’t read the latest Dear Prudence with a letter writer complaining about having to buy candy for kids coming from outside her neighborhood. That is not an uncommon opinion in my experience. It is becoming more common in my neighborhood where $100 worth of candy is gone in an hour or so due to all the kids from outside coming in.

    Further, getting into town would be a 30-60 minute drive for many of our local rural areas, at least to get anywhere worth trick or treating. Church is usually much closer. Kids are either not doing anything or will do Trunk and Treat since spending over an hour driving for candy isn’t happening.

    And frankly, why the heck do you care how other people choose to celebrate a holiday?

  49. Papilio October 27, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    Speaking of journalism in the US… you guys have probably seen this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAz-F1QnyCk

  50. Emily October 27, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    @Pentamom–It’s just the first year of the Teal Pumpkin Project. I’d give it time to catch on before saying it’s not going to work. Right now, you can buy artificial pumpkins (my family has one–it has a witch face carved on it, and it lights up), so manufacturers might catch on and make some teal pumpkins along with the traditional ones. It might even expand to other holidays as well, like Valentine’s Day and Easter, and even Christmas, although Christmas isn’t entirely focused on food treats. Maybe kids with severe food allergies can’t trick-or-treat now, but if the Teal Pumpkin Project catches on, they might be able to do so in a few years. Also, this is just a small thing, but a lot of people have been lumping diabetic kids in with food-allergic kids. I’ve known a few people with Type 1 Diabetes over the years, including my friend’s daughter who got diagnosed this past April. The idea that diabetics can’t eat sugar is a really dated notion–they can have sugar, as long as they balance it out with insulin.

  51. Jill October 27, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    @stafir: I don’t suppose your childhood pastor told you about the non-Christian symbolism behind Christianity, did he? It’s no accident that Jesus has a lot in common with the Egyptian god Osiris, and the Roman deity Mithras.

  52. Warren October 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Donna,
    I really don’t give a rat’s ass about some whining witch righting to an advice column. If she is complaining about it, well sucks to be an uptight bitch.

    Anyone that whines about kids trick or treating, that are not from their area, need a slap upside the head.

    And yes so what a drive to get them into town, where they can usually go around with friends from school, since school is normally in town.

    And if you are spending that much on candy, you are buying the wrong stuff or at the wrong place.

    Sheesh, Halloween used to be about fun and scaring the crap outta each other. Now its about ease and tightwads.

  53. Donna October 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    Warren – I find it interesting that so many people here so often proclaim that doing things for our (parent’s) convenience is just fine … but only when it serves their purpose. After all, that is the only reason to ever leave a baby/young child in a vehicle while you run a quick errand. The baby/young child gets nothing from it. We leave them there because it is more convenient for us to not take a baby out of the car to pay for gas.

    But, god forbid, someone says that the last thing they really want to do at the end of a full day of work is drive an hour to town, wait around for kids to trick or treat and then drive an hour home. In that case, we MUST prostrate ourselves to the idol of the child no matter how miserable it makes us parents and how little the kids really care about where their Halloween swag comes from because they have a perfectly good time either way.

    Contrary to your assertion that long-haul trick or treating was so common in our childhood, I know many people who have never done it. It was almost unheard of for the rural kids where I’m from to get schlepped into town to trick or treat. Some of the rural kids got to go home from school with townie friends or relatives, but many did nothing because parents didn’t cater to their children’s every whim in the 70s.

    “And if you are spending that much on candy, you are buying the wrong stuff or at the wrong place.”

    I don’t spend anything on candy because I’ve always been out with the kid. But, yes, that is the normal amount spent by those who do good candy (aka chocolate bars and skittles as opposed to smarties and dum dums) and they still run out by 6:30. There are really that many kids who trick or treat here. During peak time, you can barely move on the sidewalks. And the majority don’t live within walking distance. It is starting to take the fun out of Halloween for the kids who do.

  54. pentamom October 27, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    “It’s just the first year of the Teal Pumpkin Project. I’d give it time to catch on before saying it’s not going to work.”

    Emily, I could give it a hundred years and sensible parents whose kids are aerosol sensitive to deadly allergens STILL aren’t going to send their kids out trick-or-treating. It’s simply not worth the risk to depend that your neighbor with the teal pumpkin really knows what he’s doing. If you have a neighbor you know well enough to be sure he knows what’s really safe for your kid, you don’t need a pumpkin on the porch to tell you. If you don’t know that neighbor that well, you’d be crazy to trust to the fact that there’s a teal pumpkin on the porch.

    I don’t necessarily mean no one will do it, I mean it will serve no real purpose — kids who absolutely can’t even get close to certain stuff aren’t going to be out in the neighborhood because there will be too few places that will be safe for them to (and I really hope that the teal pumpkin thing doesn’t catch on ENOUGH so that hardly any people are actually giving out candy!), and kids who are less sensitive can go home and sort it out like they always did. It won’t work *to serve its intended purpose,* is what I meant, not that it won’t be done.

  55. Emily October 28, 2014 at 12:15 am #

    @Pentamom–Maybe the Teal Pumpkin Project isn’t an adequate precaution for kids who are aerosol sensitive–maybe they’ll always need their own Halloween parties or whatever instead of trick-or-treating. However, kids who are “only” ingestion or contact sensitive might appreciate it, because the houses with teal pumpkins, and/or posters, will guarantee them something they can have. Yes, they can swap out their unsafe candy for safe candy, and the contact sensitive kids could incorporate gloves or Hulk Hands or whatever into their costumes if they wanted to be extra safe, but the teal pumpkins would save them some time. As for the hassle of painting a pumpkin teal in the first place, I think a construction paper or poster board cutout in the window would work just as well.

  56. Laura October 28, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    My local urgent care facility is Xraying all candy free of charge. I gave the doctor who told me about this a Look, and said, you know, no child has ever been poisoned by candy on Halloween. He grinned sheepishly and said, “I know, I know. It’s silly. But I bet it would be fun for your kids to see their candy xrayed!” Which is probably true.

  57. hineata October 28, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    I wish we could get rid of Halloween altogether…..but before I get stoned (and not with Mary Jane, sadly 🙂 ), I just mean down here in NZ. The festival has zero meaning here – it just seems to have been imported in the last twenty years as a concept by a certain collection of Large Red Sheds to make money. We do run a church party as an alternative, and have a lot of fun doing it.

    Personally I can’t see the beauty of wandering around the neighbourhood begging for lollies – but then that’s the joy of a free world :-). Y’all enjoy yourselves…. :-).

  58. Flurry October 28, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    I’ve never handed candy directly to a child on Halloween; I throw it in their bag, which is what they’re holding out and what they’re expecting me to do. Is a kid going to go into anaphylaxis because of wrapped candy in their bag?

    I guess I don’t know what allergic kids did all these years before everything they are allergic to was banned in school and society at large.

  59. Donna October 28, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    Emily –

    First off, ALL allergic reactions are contact reactions. You have to come in contact with the allergen in some ways. It is biologically impossible to genuinely react to smelling or seeing an allergen. I suppose a psychosomatic reaction could be possible, but that is a psychological issue, not a medical one. A very rare number of kids are so sensitive that particles in the air breathed in through the nose can cause a reaction. This is most likely to happen in enclosed areas, like planes and classrooms, and not in wide open spaces, but I suppose it could possibly happen if a child that allergic happened to be right next someone opening a package of peanut M&Ms. Since you can’t control the opening of M&Ms by others on the street no matter how many teal pumpkins you put out, kids this allergic will not be out.

    Further, this seems like a lot of pushing inclusiveness regardless of enjoyment and at the expense of exploring actual fun options. Candy has always been king at Halloween and will likely remain so. Non-candy options are not going to show up at every house. I can’t imagine that it is really very much fun for a kid so allergic that all candy is off-limits to wander around only to be able to stop at a handful of houses. I imagine that alternative activities – like a Halloween party – would be a whole lot more fun for them than half-assed trick or treating.

  60. Warren October 28, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Donna,
    Whine, bitch and complain. WOW.

    You cannot compare leaving a kid in a car to get the pizza, to a once a year event. They are not even close to the same thing.

    Next, if you cannot be bothered to get off your ass on special days, then that tells me a lot about you. And if the kids from out of town, had the option of being in town, then they would be more excited about it.

    And finally, get all the parents off the street, and there would be plenty of room.

    Take back Halloween, and do not let Halloween Gringes like Donna ruin it for further generations.

  61. Donna October 28, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Warren – You really do have reading comprehension issues, don’t you? That is really the only response that I have to your comment since none of it remotely related to anything I said.

  62. Donna October 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    The point is Warren, I know many people who do trunk or treat for various reasons. Their kids are perfectly happy. None feel deprived. None are begging to go trick or treating instead. They like their Halloween as it is.

    Insisting that parents inconvenience themselves for no reason other than to meet Warren’s idea of what Halloween should be is no more ridiculous than me having to inconvenience myself to meet some worrywart’s idea of good parenting. The level of inconvenience is irrelevant. Having to do something that you don’t want to do for even a second to please people outside of your family is unacceptable.

    And the fact is, if you are truly in life like you post, you would never agree to do anything just to please someone else. You’d tell them to bite you. But, god forbid, someone wants to do something different than the almighty Warren does it. Then everyone MUST.CONFORM.OR.ELSE.

  63. Emily Morris October 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Good grief, Warren. The kids in my husband’s hometown would have to drive a good three hours to reach civilization. I don’t think it’s any of your business to tell a community what to do.

  64. Warren October 28, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Emily,
    Your comments in here are as stupid as the ones on facebook. You go looking for an arguement with no idea of how to do it. Why leave one town for another? We are talking about farm kids going into the nearest town, moron.

    Donna,
    I do not insist other conform. But I do have the right to the opinion that you are wrong. And ya are, Happy Halloween!

  65. pentamom October 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    “the teal pumpkins would save them some time. ”

    Kids don’t want to go to as FEW houses and get as LITTLE candy as possible, so again, this is a solution in search of a problem, but it’s not finding the right ones.

  66. pentamom October 28, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    “I can’t imagine that it is really very much fun for a kid so allergic that all candy is off-limits to wander around only to be able to stop at a handful of houses. I imagine that alternative activities – like a Halloween party – would be a whole lot more fun for them than half-assed trick or treating.”

    This. And as I said, if it ever became different from this, if MOST houses actually had no candy or only “safe” candy, that would be a BAD thing, too, as it would diminish what typical kids want for Halloween.

    Severely allergic kids are just not going to be able to participate in Halloween as though they are typical, no many how many great ideas people have to “let” them. They can, as Donna suggests, engage in other fun activities that night. And less allergic kids always have and always will learn to cope, and would probably not appreciate the whole Halloween experience becoming more narrow and less fun for everybody just to save them the “trouble” of going to houses where they get candy they can’t eat, and the “time” it takes to trade their candy with other kids.

  67. MP October 30, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    I’ve got to stick up for Trunk or Treat. This is not a replacement for trick or treating for us, it happens the Sunday night prior to Halloween, annually at my church. The kids and adults love it! We all dress up and decorate our trunks. We start with a potluck, going from car to car to fill our plates with awesome dishes people bring from home. While we eat, several “judges” walk around to decide who wins the truck decorating and pumpkin decorating contests. After we eat, the kids get candy from all of the cars, making the loop repeatedly until all of the candy is gone. During this time, people sit by their cars in lawn chairs, visiting. There is a fire barrel to warm by if it’s cold out, and a table with coffee, cider, and hot chocolate. After the candy gathering, we project a kids movie onto the side on the building and have a “drive in” movie. We even pop popcorn for it. This is one of the most fun events we do every year, and my family–kids an adults–wouldn’t miss it! While I agree that the paranoid parents who replace real trick or treating with something “safe” are robbing their kids of one of the best childhood experiences, not all trunk or treat events are for this purpose.

  68. Papilio October 30, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    @hineata: “I wish we could get rid of Halloween altogether… […] The festival has zero meaning here – it just seems to have been imported in the last twenty years”
    I partly agree (am okay with the theme parties), but for a completely different reason: I don’t want the older tradition of Sint-Maarten to die out because of the newer American merging of Halloween, St Martin’s day, Carnival and some other holidays.

  69. Emily October 31, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    @Warren–I agreed with you that real trick-or-treating is better than Trunk or Treat. As for farm kids going into the nearest town (for either version of trick-or-treating), I didn’t mention anything about that; other people brought it up after I posted.

  70. Xena November 3, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    I’m from Denver, where this report was made. It is now after Halloween, and I have not seen word one about pot-laced goodies and stoned hordes of kids.