See how your contribution to trick-or-treaters stacks up on the black market.
NOTE: Graphic to the left is low-rez - click on the "PDF File" link (and follow a link in that story) to get the high-rez version.
Oct. 31 is quickly approaching, and excitement is nearing the breaking point. Carving pumpkins, decorating the house and picking out costumes are all fun, but if the holiday is about one thing, it’s candy. And lots of it.
To mark the occasion, we’ve put together a completely unscientific chart to see how different kinds of candy stack up.
Here are all the names you know and love in miniature: 3 Musketeers, Snickers, Butterfinger, Milky Way, Kit Kat, Nerds, SweeTarts, Skittles and, of course, the grammatically challenged, Whatchamacallit. A bold marketing move eliminated the apt term “bite-sized,” replacing it with the dubious title of “fun-sized.” But on Halloween, these petite treats are a big hit with parents and children alike. As far as suckers go, the debate rages on between Blow Pops and Tootsie Pops, but it all depends on whether you hanker for a center made of soggy gum or one of artificial chocolate.
What your sweets say: You make it easy on yourself, pushing the cart down the grocery store aisle to eye the big bags and make your selections. There’s a little something for everyone.
Orange and black market value: One 100 Grand = 20 rolls of Smarties
Quite possibly the most polarizing of all candy are the treats, popular but once a year. October marks a time when candy bins are filled to the brim with candy corn, triangular striped pieces that in no way resemble corn since it is, by nature, neither triangular nor striped. Other common autumn visitors to the candy aisle are chocolate packaged in foil and emblazoned with pictures of Frankenstein and black cats. The hard taffy-like candies, stuck tight to their orange and black wax paper wrappers, are the most loathed by trick-or-treaters. Unceremoniously dropped into sacks where they take up residence with tastier brand name candy, these peanut butter-flavored offenders are always the last to be eaten.
What your sweets say: You like to get into the holiday spirit and nothing says Halloween better than sucrose dyed orange.
Orange and black market value: One zillion peanut butter taffies = bupkis.
On Christmas Eve, young children lie awake, imagining Santa Claus and his eight reindeer settling on rooftops and bestowing all of them with the toy of their dreams. On the night before Halloween, children are also restless but they fantasize not about a jolly North Poler but of a house where candy bars, big candy bars, are given out to eager, pint-sized visitors. A house like this is the jackpot, a literal sweet spot, and tales of such a place where the candy is full-sized and plentiful circulates among groups of costumed youngsters faster than chicken pox in the second grade.
What your sweets say: Perhaps you have something to prove or a past incident to make up for. Was it you who called the cops on the loud party down the street? It could be a powerful sweet tooth that motivates you or simply the look on a child’s face when you hand over such a coveted treat.
Orange and black market value: Negotiations can get heated when a full-sized candy bar is in the mix. Accept nothing less than five miniature bars in return or a starting pitcher spot on the Little League team.
Rare though they might be, non-edible goodies have been known to fall in alongside treats composed of nuts and nougat. Popular items include temporary tattoos, stickers, small tubs of play-dough and bouncy balls. While not typical Halloween fare, these small playthings are still around long after the last wrapper has been torn and the final morsel swallowed.
What your sweets say: Maybe the memory of trick-or-treating with braces, the knowledge that the apparatus would never fall for candy’s charms, haunts you still. It could be that you’ve never been one for the stuff or that you experience waves of guilt every time you give out a treat having seen the devastating effects of sugar shock firsthand. Whatever the reason, you are a hero to dentists everywhere.
Orange and black market value: Plastic vampire teeth = 50 pieces of candy corn
Raisins, baby carrots, granola bars; these things can all contribute to a balanced diet, but good treats they are not. A campaign about the importance of wholesome foods would be better suited for any other day. Handing out healthy “treats” will only disappoint children, not to mention, it’s just so un-Halloweeny.
What your sweets say: More than likely you have the best of intentions. You’ve seen countless news reports about the epidemic that is child obesity and, honestly, we’re right there with you. Just not on Halloween. Because no child visits a house hoping they’re in for celery. Instead stock up on little toys.
Orange and black market value: One apple = post-Halloween gift for teacher