I remember one Halloween when I was 7 or 8, walking around the mall. My parents always took me to the stupid mall because they thought I’d get kidnapped walking around a street. Only a handful of stores had anything good.
So I come up on this vitamin store and say “Trick or treat.” The guy gives me a little paper cup with a pill.
“What’s this? Where’s the candy?”
“Oh, that’s a vitamin pill. It’s much better for you than candy, take it.”
Well, there was no way I was going to do that.
So then my dad was like, “It’s okay, you can take it,” because apparently he didn’t think the vitamin store people were trying to poison the little kids at the mall. Also, back in the nineties, there was no Facebook and none of those dumb memes suggesting drug dealers are going to give away hundreds of dollars in drugs that look like candy to random brats on the street.
I still refused to take the pill. For one thing, who knew how clean the vitamin store guy’s hands were. (I’ve always been a slight germaphobe. When I was six, I started turning off the sink with a paper towel because I reasoned that if your hands were dirty when you turned the faucet on, you were just picking up all those germs you just washed away turning it back off. My mom was horrified and thought I was going crazy. But, like many geniuses, I wasn’t crazy—I was just ahead of my time. Today the CDC recommends that exact method to stop the spread of illness.)
But more importantly, I wanted candy, not a fucking pill. I told the guy no and walked on to the next store. My big regret is that I didn’t go back and play a trick on those vitamin store assholes, because the social contract says, “trick OR treat,” and they sure as shit didn’t provide me with a treat. Seriously, if you give out vitamins instead of candy, you deserve to have your house egged and toilet papered.
I did, however, tell every little kid I passed going the other way to avoid the vitamin store because they didn’t have any candy.
I also hated the places that gave out stickers or cheap toys that weren’t even as good as a Happy Meal toy. Like, what am I going to do with a plastic ring shaped like a spider or a pumpkin the day after Halloween? That Milky Way or Reese’s peanut butter cup would still taste good tomorrow. And if I wanted a fucking sticker, I’d go to the doctor’s office. Kids want candy, not cheap junk.
And if you’re passing out those cheap-ass Starlight Mints for Halloween, just turn your damn lights off and don’t bother. No one wants those things, either. Ditto for the Dum-Dum Pops.
Then there was the year that they had some fake psychic in the mall giving ” palm readings.” I assume they were free because my parents never had any money to pay for anything. I remember the woman asked me how old I was, and I told her 12. She then looked at my palm, traced a few lines, and rattled off something that sounded like every horoscope ever written. I let her finish, then I said, “You’re just making stuff up. I’m 10, not 12. If you were a real psychic, you’d know that.”
I wish I had a picture of her face, but sadly back then no one had cell phones with cameras on them. So you’ll just have to take my word for it, it was epic. I mean, how embarrassed would you be if you got outsmarted by a ten-year-old?
What are some of your Halloween memories? Did you call bullshit on anyone? What treats did you hate?