Halloween candy has its own hierarchy. It's very simple. There's the chocolate...and then there's everything else.
You bring home your overflowing plastic jack-o-lantern bucket (assuming the made-in-China handle didn't break under the weight), dump it all out on the living room floor, and perform a quick, cursory scan of the haul. It's easy to key in on the most valuable commodities - members of the classic chocolate family - Hershey's miniatures, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Twix, KitKat, Rolo, and MnM's. Those babies have to be immediately corraled into a special pile, separate from all the rest, in case any siblings attempt quick, unsolicited switcheroos amidst the chaos. You seriously cannot afford to lose a smidgen of the chocolatey goodness.
Once that's done, you examine the leftovers with a jaundiced eye:
Crayons, Notepads, Fruit, and Pencils. Utter disappointments.
Dubble Bubble Gum. These enormous pink globs in the pink, blue, and yellow wrapper are equivalent to putting five sticks of gum in your mouth at one time. When you start chewing, you can actually feel the gritty sugar granules...and the beginning of cavity-formation. It stays sickly sweet for a total of 9 seconds, and then it turns to tire rubber. The first 9 seconds are pretty great, though.
Dum-Dum's. Pass. Your doctor gives you those after you've had a shot. So does the nice lady at the bank. They're too pedestrian. Moving on...
Smarties. For reasons unknown to man (since moms are the ones in charge of such things), Smarties are the candy-of-choice for birthday party favor bags the world over. They are cheap, easy, no mess, no fuss, but a bit redundant. Seen one Smarty (yes, that's the singular version), seen 'em all. It's dangerously easy to eat the whole pack before you can blink. And then you ask yourself...why did I do that? You didn't even want them to begin with.
Atomic Fire Balls. When your parents "checked" your Halloween candy, they were really checking for these atrocities. Because I am pretty sure they can kill you.
Pixie Stix. Whoever got rich of these had a brilliant idea. "Let's fill a tube of paper with dyed sugar! And then kids can dump it all out in their grubby little hands and lick it off!" If they don't do it that way, they suck the sugar from the paper tube, which turns the paper all wet and soggy. Pixie Stix are a dead end, I tell you.
Candy Corn. They say that writing about controversial subjects is a good way to attract readers. Let's try it out. I am going to make a provocative statement, and I shall then stand by it unfalteringly: Candy corn is unquestionably the worst candy known to man. I really don't think corn was ever meant to be candy. Squanto would agree.
Tootsie Rolls. When you think of a tootsie roll, what do you think of? Enough said.
Now...for the most sinister of all leftover candies. The ones that have no real name. The ones that you always see left in the bottom of the candy bucket when Thanksgiving rolls around. The ones that only mean people give out. You know them. I know them. They are...
The tan chewy things that come in either a solid black or orange wrapper. What ARE those? Why do they have no name? Where did they come from? Why do they mysteriously turn up every year? No one knows! Their sole purpose is to entice you into giving them "another chance" just before you gag and run for the trash can.
So the big take-away for today's survey of leftover Halloween candy is this: Once the chocolate is gone, no good thing dwelleth within your bucket. Adopt this as your mantra. And I assure you...it will never steer your wrong.
Until next time,