Metatalktail Hour: It ain't easy being a Halloweenie October 15, 2022 2:06 AM   Subscribe

Happy two-weeks-ish 'til Halloween, dear fiends! For today's topic, please be advised that candy corn is the best Halloween treat. Thank you so much for your grave consideration and support in this matter. We will be staking no questions at this time.👹

BUT you can share your costume details, fave Halloween traditions, your kids' Halloween costumes, your pets' Halloween costumes, your spooky decor and various gourd design tips, your haunted Halloween memories, your favorite treats that aren't the Number 1 Halloween candy, Candy Corn, and any and all punishing puns. (Just no Really Scary Stuff, please!)

Or just tell us what's up with you, what's on your mind, and why you think candy corn is best!
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 2:06 AM (68 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Have told this story before, am telling it again: it starts on Halloween, it ends on another day.

So: Halloween 1994. For whatever reason, New York's Halloween Parade is marching down 4th Avenue, in the East Village, instead of on its regular route on 6th Avenue in the West Village. My then-boyfriend and I are at the parade with two of our friends, in makeshift costumes we've thrown together at the last minute, all of us mixed in with the crowd on a corner on like 11th Street or something.

At some point I glanced over my shoulder - just in time to see someone pushing his way through the crowd behind me. And he is dressed in a homemade costume himself - he is dressed as the figure in Maigritte's painting The Son Of Man. He has a black suit, a red tie, and a bowler hat with a small fake apple dangling from the brim on a couple inches of fishing line. It's a fantastic costume and my glance turns into a stare - I watch him bump into someone, tip his hat in apology and mutter "Enchante," and then push through the crowd towards the corner. I recover enough to nudge my friends and point - "hey, check out that guy!" as he crosses 11th and walks away from us.

Months pass. Then years. I break up with that boyfriend, I find another one and we break up as well. I go through a couple jobs, life goes on. Now and then, during that time, I will sometimes mention in conversation "oh, hey, lemme tell you about the best Halloween costume I've ever seen, it was the year that the Halloween Parade went down 4th Avenue..."

In early 1996 I am single again and try a personal ad in one of New York's free weekly papers. One guy completely sweeps me off my feet on our first date, and then he handles a medical emergency on our second date with extreme grace and it cements us as A Couple. We are completely over the moon with each other - we have the same quirky sense of humor, he is erudite, witty, kind and compassionate, insanely gregarious. He is smitten with me, and I am with him.

Some months into our relationship we are talking about art, comparing notes about artists we enjoy. Maigritte comes up. "Oh, yeah, I love his work," my guy says.

"Me too!" I said. "Did you see a few years back when there was that big exhibit at MOMA?"

"I did!" He said. "In fact, it gave me this great idea for a Halloween Costume that year, when I was out at the Halloween Parade - I think it was down 4th Avenue that year, and I was hanging out with friends on 11th Street....Hang on, why are you looking at me like that?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:08 AM on October 15, 2022 [60 favorites]

I went to a garden centre last week where the letter colouring on the halloween bunting was super unfortunate.
posted by terretu at 4:29 AM on October 15, 2022 [14 favorites]

Meh, I told the story of a favorite Halloween costume a couple of weeks ago and it got deleted. A few people caught it, evidently a few liked it and a few didn't.

My second favorite was a couple of years later. When I went to toss trash into the bin and put by lunch tray on the lid to be picked up later.... sitting on the top of the bin was sitting an actual little monkey skull. Yoinked it! I already had a little jar with a cat's brain floating in formaldehyde. So I cut up some brown sheets to make a monk's costume and walked around in a hood with a staff that had a brain topped with a skull. The other hand carried a bottle of sake. I was so wasted by the end of the night that I was green the next day, sake is dangerous.

That jar with the cat's brain and monkey skull graced my apartment right beside the Dr. Frankenstein box with the two wires that shoot lightning between them. I had lots of weird stuff. The cat's brain came from high school biology and disection, teacher let me keep it.

I don't really do Halloween anymore because Every Day Is Halloween.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:06 AM on October 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

Halloween is BIG on my street. We learned early to stock up on treats (food and non-food items, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of parents who thanked us for having non-food stuffs) because a good year will bring several hundred trick or treaters to our door. We get super creative and we get phone-it-in and I love every minute of it.

We always hold back a couple of "prizes" for really good costumes. This year we have some Halloween-themed rubber ducks.

In our old neighborhood, our all-time favorite treater was a kid dressed in a severe black suit, severe black tie. starched white shirt and ultra-shiny black dress shoes. Severe hairstyle. Think old school southern circuit preacher, come to spread hellfire and damnation.

"Halloween is of the Devil" he intoned as we opened the front door. "Trick or Treat" he followed up as he presented his bag, with the most judgmental expression I've ever seen on a kid's face.

We CRIED we laughed so hard. The kid got extra candy. He never once broke character the entire time he was at our door. It was magnificent.

As a kid, my favorite treats were Butterfingers and York Peppermint Patties. I've lost my taste for Butterfinger, but kiddo always gives me one or two minis of the patties from his haul.

And Reeses pumpkins.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:46 AM on October 15, 2022 [18 favorites]

We have a box of fake crows in our front room, because my boyfriend has decided this is the year he wants to decorate the porch. Caw caw!

I love trick or treaters. Last year we got the best snail, she'd turned a cardboard box into the shell and it was so well done. I have been slowly acquiring candy - I need to survey our stash and figure out if we need more. I make the same black bean and butternut squash chili every year for Halloween and have a big cozy bowl of that and hope for lots of trick or treaters. No age limit grumpiness, free candy (and/or glow sticks/stickers/etc) for all is a civic duty I enjoy.

My dog has a cow print coat and I desperately want to get him a snood so he can be a cow for Halloween, but I suspect he'd hate it. But maybe he would like something cozy on his floppy ears? If you have a dog who loves or hates their snood, please advise.
posted by the primroses were over at 5:54 AM on October 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

Almond Joy is my personal favorite candy bar, followed by Heath/Skor and then Nut Goodie. I don't get the hate for candy corn - it is made from honey. Now if you want to protest Raisinets being classified as candy, I will be right there with you.

One of my better costumes was Medusa because I had found a headpiece made of snakes. I lucked into a Grecian style gown that same year, painted my face green and drew a bloody line on my neck. One of the best costumes I've seen at work was a werewolf head, flannel shirt and jeans. I am still not sure who it was as they refused to talk, but I think it was a guy who's last name was Wolfe.
posted by soelo at 7:12 AM on October 15, 2022 [5 favorites]

I adore Halloween mostly for the weirdness factor. Lots of shit that might get a glance askance most of the time gets a smirk instead. I’m a “veils growing thin” kind of Halloween person. Would that we could live this way forever.

Having said that, I don’t have a particularly strong taste for the macabre in an of itself. I kinda like things spoopy. I do, however, have a strong taste for people who have a taste for the macabre, because it’s a great chance for weirdness to enter my life.

Maybe I’ll just reserve my strongly-held candy opinions for when I start milling around babbling at the bottom of the thread like I do, but, uh, taz? Quick reminder that Mellocreme Pumpkins exist, look into it, do your research, kthx.
posted by majick at 7:55 AM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

OK it is is time for me to tell the story about last year's Halloween costume.

In late October 2021 I went to Las Vegas to see a four night run of concerts, one of which would take place on Halloween and for which many fans (and the band) traditionally dress up in costume. Since I was flying there I obviously couldn't bring too elaborate a costume. I had to keep it small and easy.

In the months before the show, this photo of Ben Affleck had been circulating on-line.

It was the perfect costume! All I needed was a "Believe in Boston" t-shirt and some Dunkin Donuts trash. It was also, of course, during COVID so that would actually be a plus! A found someone on Etsy to make me a custom mask of a photo I found of Mr. Affleck's face.

This costume would be a hit! Me and by brilliance would surely be the talk of Las Vegas.

I don't really consume Dunkin Donuts products so I asked around on a local Free Facebook group and acquired the items I needed. A few cups, a Munchkin box, and a drink holder. I found the t-shirt I needed on Amazon.

I flew to Vegas with my trash, along with a hot glue gun. The day of the show I excitedly assembled my costume.

Seriously, folks, you could not tell that I was not actually an angry Ben Affleck. Spitting. Image.

It was time for the show.

I walked from my room, down the elevator. A couple people gave me a look.

I walked through the lobby of the Tropicana, where I was staying. (note: do not stay at the Tropicana) A couple people gave me a look.

I carried my tray of Dunkin Donuts products across the bridge to the MGM Grand.

A couple people gave me a look.

I walked through the lobby and casino at the MGM Grand. If you've ever been to Vegas, you know this is a long journey.

A couple people gave me a look.

Maybe not as many people as I expected had seen the Ben Affleck photo? Could it have been too far in the past that people had forgotten it? Could my costume not be as brilliant as I had thought? No... it is the children who are wrong.

I went through the security line. One person gave me a slight chuckle.

A bunch of people gave me a look.

I walked through the lobby of the MGM Grand Arena. I bought a beer. I found my seat.

A few people, etc etc.

The whole way over, and the whole show, literally NOBODY knew who or what I was supposed to be. As far as anybody knew I was just some asshole from Boston.

Four people asked me where I found a Dunkin Donuts in the MGM Grand.

It was either my biggest disaster or my proudest moment. I still don't know.
posted by bondcliff at 8:27 AM on October 15, 2022 [20 favorites]

2 years ago I had an appointment on halloween. due to covid I had to wait outside until I was called in. so I sat, in my standard witch outfit, waiting. a woman walked by with her young son and he asked her, sorta sotto voce, "mom, is that a costume or is she a real witch?"
so before mom had a second to respond I yelled "I'm a real witch!"
this is the sort of halloween I live for! dressed as my true self, scaring children, annoying adults!!
posted by supermedusa at 9:11 AM on October 15, 2022 [15 favorites]

A few years ago I was volunteering on Halloween, which was a Friday or Saturday. My partner and I were driving up Pike street in Seattle, which (where we were) is basically a 10-block hill with mixed-use buildings. Traffic is really heavy, and the significant number of pedestrians are keeping pace with the cars.

Anyway we hear this blood-curdling scream, which kind of activates us, and we start looking around for someone is crisis.

What we see, instead, is someone in a second floor apartment dropping a huge rubber spider (on a string) on the people walking underneath their balcony, and the group that just walked by laughing in terror.
posted by Gorgik at 9:39 AM on October 15, 2022 [7 favorites]

The Halloween season has been kind of depressing this year for me. I’ve spent the last month and a half too sick to make any holiday preparations. The day is probably going to just come and go, with maybe a movie marathon watched from bed.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:42 AM on October 15, 2022 [5 favorites]

supermedusa, I saw a comic earlier and now can't find it again 🙁, but it was cute, and went like this:

(two people talking)

Person 1: Only one thing scares me at Halloween

Person 2: Which is?

Person 1: Exactly
posted by taz (staff) at 10:43 AM on October 15, 2022 [18 favorites]

My son has been a llama for the last three years (ages 2, 3, and 4). His choice. I would have bought or made another costume for him, but he just wanted to be a llama. He is not really into llamas or anything. Halloween is the only time they come up.

After Halloween last year it was clear that it was the last year the llama costume would fit, so just before Christmas, Santa took the costume away and turned into a giant stuffy which now lives in his room. So now we need a costume for this year and I've been asking him since August and he says he doesn't know and I make suggestions and he turns them all down. Then a week ago he told me what his idea: He wants to be a llama.

Well...ok, I guess....except I can't source a costume that will fit him. I think he will deign to go as a dinosaur, but we haven't bought a costume yet.

And the best part of this is that I went on his school's field trip to a pumpkin patch yesterday. I sat on the bus school bus next to his friend's mom who told me that apparently the friend is really stressed out about my son not having chosen a costume yet and it is a frequent topic of conversation at their dinner table.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:12 AM on October 15, 2022 [14 favorites]

If I had a little dog I would totally make him come to the door dressed as a spider.
posted by BibiRose at 11:20 AM on October 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

I am so nervous to post this when I’ve been a bit of a sore thumb around here lately, and it’s really hard for me to sound respectful-small right now because of life stuff, but periodt is AAVE and it’s good practice for non-Black folks to avoid using AAVE due to the impact of cultural appropriation. (I am going on best recollections here, and I am truly sorry if I’ve misconstrued anyones identity!)
posted by The Last Sockpuppet at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2022 [5 favorites]

Sorry about that; I just see it on twitter a lot, and thought it was funny. I've removed it, thank you!
posted by taz (staff) at 2:01 PM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

I put a few decorations up but I'm going to be out of town and am not sure yet whether someone will be around to hand out candy on the big day.
I'm going to be in Brooklyn because of a lengthy saga in which Current 93 were originally going to perform there in March of 2020 and kept having to postpone the show and finally had to say sorry, we tried but it's not on, here's your refund and our profound apologies.
But looks like there's plenty to do in Brooklyn and of course if anyone reading this thread has suggestions I'm very much open to them.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 2:10 PM on October 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm sorta-dressing-up for the first time in.. 20+ years. I've got a gala-thing to go to on the 29th, the theme is "goth glam" and I've decided on a variation of Gideon the Ninth. Ordered custom yellow contacts, buying face paint tomorrow, trying to figure out the best way to dye my hair. Was going to get a rapier to go with it but I don't want to buy a plastic one and don't know how the org would feel about an actual sword coming in the doors so I'll probably skip that... this time.
posted by curious nu at 3:01 PM on October 15, 2022 [6 favorites]

Ardship: On the Saturday before Halloween, my neighborhood (Fort Greene) does a Dog Halloween Costume Contest called the "Great Pupkin", which is worth it because people are NEXT LEVEL with their costumes. I'm volunteering as one of their official photographers for the second time now.

Family groupings are encouraged; one year we had a family who said their costume was "Thanksgiving Dinner". First Mom walked out dressed as a chef, followed by Dad who had a cardboard shipping box on him designed to look like an oven. Five-year-old child dressed as a box of stuffing, four-year-old child dressed as an ear of corn. When they were all assembled on stage, Mom opened the front door of the "oven" - and out jumped a pug dressed as a Butterball Turkey.

Another year the first costume out of the gate won; the pet parents came on stage with this motorized contraption, with a T-shape pole connected to a box that made it rotate; dangling from one arm of the T was a small red biplane, and on the other arm was a small red "doghouse". There was a seat cut into the biplane, and another seat carved into the roof of the doghouse. They wheeled this thing onto the stage, dropped a Yorkie into each seat, and turned the contraption on - making the thing rotate and the plane and doghouse chase each other in a circle. They then announced that their dogs were "Snoopy and The Red Baron."

(That photo is part of my own album for the event in 2019; my favorite photo is actually this one, of a guy who was part of a David Bowie-themed group costume and looking like he is NOT very happy to be a Spider From Mars, thank you.)

There's also a musician in the hood who sometimes dresses up like zombies with her band and they set up outside her building to do a concert on Halloween proper.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:13 PM on October 15, 2022 [5 favorites]

I think this Is my this year.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:58 PM on October 15, 2022 [5 favorites]

Mr. eirias tried to convince Little eirias to dress as something boring on the outside, and then at a choice moment at school, rip that outer costume off to reveal an undercostume of Rick Astley. Sadly, she didn't think this was as funny as we did. Maybe the second life that the rickroll has had among grade school kids is over now.
posted by eirias at 4:37 PM on October 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

We’re supposedly on team candy-corn-mixed-with-nuts over here, but we know we’re wrong because we keep ending up with bowls of nuts.
posted by michaelh at 5:16 PM on October 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

I am housesitting on Halloween night, anyway you look at it. My daughter and son-in-law, in the past have put up a scary cartoon show on the back of a sheet, hanging in the front window, with a microphone, sound effects, a skeleton out front at a table, and about 1,500 candies go out. Covid ended it, for now, and I can't help but think I will be there with the lights off. So, on that note I already bought and shared a huge pumpkin pie, and so Halloween will be quiet.
posted by Oyéah at 5:21 PM on October 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Was going to get a rapier to go with it but I don't want to buy a plastic one

Maybe you can substitute a rapier wit instead!
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:42 PM on October 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

My favorite part of Halloween these days is the Great Pumpkin Waltz.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:48 PM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

My favorite part of Halloween these days is the Great Pumpkin Waltz.

That was the first dance at our wedding.
posted by bondcliff at 6:58 PM on October 15, 2022 [6 favorites]

the Number 1 Halloween candy, Candy Corn

Mini Halloween Coffee Crisps have entered the chat.

Or my face, rather. I was waiting around in the drugstore for a prescription on Friday and bought a big box of them.

Shoutout to the lady on the street I lived on when I was kid who gave out FULL-SIZED Coffee Crisps.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

I have two Halloween memories from my 1950s small town Idaho childhood which I will never forget.

One was this elderly couple in a tiny house.who always demanded we sign our names on a sheet of lined paper on a clipboard before receiving our treats..And what were the treats? Popcorn balls, fucking popcorn balls. And shitty fucking popcorn balls at that.

Another involved Heber Moss, the crazy uncle scion of one of the town's OG pioneer families. He walked about year round in a flap down hunters cap, filthy black jeans, a shabby red and black houndstooth Pendleton jacket.and shod a pair of unsnapped black rubber boots just like we wore to grade school when it rained or snowed.

He lived with.some sort of manservant in a Victorian mansion with all the paint.fallen off just a block from Main Street -- out of which he would burst out screaming GET OFF MY LAWN! if we ever touched even a toe to his foot high unmowed yellow grass when we walked by on his crumbling sidewalk.

On Halloween, we would double dare each other to knock on his back door. He would let us into his filthy kitchen which was lit only by an upended flashlight with dying batteries standing on his greasy kitchen table. Where he sat with his pal and let us choose between a bowl of red jelly beans or a bowl of black jelly beans -- one year he even had a third bowl of candy corn! -- two or three each of one color only per kid.

He was the other town stinge but what production values he had -- his Halloween was spookier than shit. The first perfomance artist of my life he was. Man, if only I had a time machine, a smartphone and a clone on ice of my six year old body. I would be king of Tik Tok trick-or-treat forever.
posted by y2karl at 7:42 PM on October 15, 2022 [11 favorites]

Oh.and also, courtesy of Pee Wee Herman, a hand crocheted Xenomorph Alien turned out freehand in 45 hours using no pattern whatsoever upon her son's request by a loving and extremely skilled mom
posted by y2karl at 8:14 PM on October 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

This is technically my son’s second Halloween, but he was two days old and still in the hospital for his first Halloween last year so this is his real first Halloween! He will have no idea what’s going on but I think I’m going to order him a dinosaur costume (with a tail! Ahh so cute) and we’re going to do some fun Halloween things!
posted by MadamM at 11:57 PM on October 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

It's me, the candy corn liker. The one person. In fact I have been mainlining candy corn at night for two weeks. I tell myself it's technically okay because I am "intermittent fasting," which I put in quotes because although I am doing it I don't think it's working as a fast, just by keeping me from eating in the evenings. But what I've been doing for dessert is just eating candy corn, the only candy I've been eating lately, and the sweetness and honey flavor is really there to me for some reason -- probably because I have only recently gained back my sense of taste after a full year. It's addictive. But I've gotta stop.

Incidentally, I am also available for the disposal of your circus peanuts, black jellybeans, licorice, and other unpopular sweets.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:02 AM on October 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

Last night I bagged up another hundred fifty little treat bags, each has 3 things in it-- a chocolate and two candies. Last year we had about three hundred; this year I succumbed to the link re: Economy Candy, so I'm making as many bags as possible, everyone can have a couple. Although it's anyone's guess if we'll actually have many Jolly Rancher candies left in two weeks....
I've really enjoyed building a themed treat slide for the last two years, so we can stand at the top of our porch and hurl bagged candies down the slide to the little ones. I had grand ambitions for a moving and sound effect display this year, but I'll probably just make some kind of slide, spooky this or that decorations, and keep bagging up treats. Oh but this year I also got stamps and stickers and spider rings and green orange purple fangs for non-candy bags, they're great!
posted by winesong at 9:34 AM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

No to candy corn, sorry. My favorites were and are still the mini M&M'S and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. My mother always liked the licorice and the stuff with almonds, so I always happily gave her that part of my gatherings.

My mother in law lived in a small Vermont town for a while and used to serve the kids hot chocolate at Halloween and call it "hot blood". Used to really freak some of the kids out.

We are in garden apartments and our entrance has 4 apartments upstairs and 4 down. One of our downstairs neighbors leaves out a bucket of Halloween candy near our mailboxes inside the building entrance for anyone to grab some for several weeks ahead of Halloween. It is very hard to resist taking something when I walk by.

A few years ago, my old boss at a Natural History museum had her office in one of the attics of the museum (museum dates to the early 20th century; so not super old, but old enough to have a resident ghost or two). The other adjacent part of the attic has storage cabinets and crates. Halloween is her favorite holiday and she always decorates her desk/environs. A few years ago I happened to be at her office around Halloween and she and her coworkers had really gone all out with the decorating. I took a few photos. This one is a favorite (kneeling figure is an old museum mannequin).

I grew up in a town where the night before Halloween is Mischief Night. It was a tamer time, by and large, so the pranks were usually fairly restrained - eggs and toilet paper being the main thing, though it is semi-country-like and so cherry bombs in roadside mailboxes were a thing for some kids. My town has a yearly festival in the high summer that is a big deal - the major thing for this town - the whole town participates in one way or another, and they actually get tourists coming for it. During that festival people turn on Christmas lights on their houses. A lot of houses have fairly deep eaves so a lot of people just leave a string of Christmas lights up year around, so they are available to turn on as needed. Being a girl and with law abiding parents, I did not usually participate in Mischief Night, however one year in middle school I somehow managed to go out with my male friend Jerry. The town is basically suburban but is designed to feel really more rural than it actually is, with small lakes/ponds scattered around, and winding wooded roads with no sidewalks, and not a lot of street lights or traffic lights. I still remember wandering around in the dark and frosty air, the only sounds our feet shuffling through the dry fallen leaves, and unscrewing light bulbs from people's Christmas light strings. We were pretty tame about it and did not smash the bulbs like the "big kids", but just left them on the porches to be found the next day - so not much of a crime spree really, but we felt very daring (LOL).
posted by gudrun at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

We will be staking no questions at this time.

'We' may not be staking questions, but when it comes to candy corn (and you can have mine -‌- please!) what about stacking them, to make a cob?
posted by Rash at 11:31 AM on October 16, 2022

As a Type 2 diabetic who cannot indulge in the unrestrained candy feeding frenzy that is the True Meaning of Halloween, I want to thank you for mentioning candy corn, which is one Halloween treat I have no nostalgia for whatsoever. You are also welcome to my share of Now-N-Laters, Laffy Taffy, Boston Baked Beans, Mary Janes, and Bazooka gum.

I will be carrying myself through the fall season on the memory of visiting New Hampshire last week, where I had the best cider donut I have ever tasted, at Moulton Farm in Meredith, NH. Even good fresh cider donuts are often heavy, with a thick crust and stodgy interior; this one had just the thinnest exterior crunch, with an inside that was almost souffle-like, it was so light and airy, and blistering hot right out of the fryer. There were also some pretty trees, but that donut!
posted by Daily Alice at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2022 [2 favorites]

'We' may not be staking questions

But people considering vegetarianism/veganism question steaks.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:49 PM on October 16, 2022

Who doesn't like candy corn and black jellybeans?!? Philistines!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:53 PM on October 16, 2022

candy corn

Honestly, I prefer (and mentioned!) the pumpkin shaped ones rather than the corn-like shape. The crust-to-chew ratio is a little better; you can’t quite match that surface to mass ratio situation with a fistful of corn-alikes.

black jellybeans

I… I thought we were friends.
posted by majick at 4:34 PM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Mellocreme pumpkins are indeed divine.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:54 PM on October 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Thank you, rash! Us likes it.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:37 AM on October 17, 2022

I just want you to know that I did not look up candy corn on imgur. This actually just came up serendipitously. Or just dipitously. Such impertinence!

From the comments:

"Just one nugget opens a miniature portal to Hell. Science, in its hubris, has merely proven the primacy of Halloween's greatest confection."

Mmmmh, sweet, sweet portal to hell.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:51 AM on October 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

Oh, hell. This is why I was on imgur in the first place. Australians being clever again.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:07 AM on October 17, 2022

Candy corn is delicious. Don't harsh on people's candy yum.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:42 AM on October 17, 2022

Pineapple jack-o'-lanterns, aieeee! I find those terrifying in a way maybe not intended: The notion of the ants that would instantly swarm those puddles of candle-warmed pineapple juice gives me full-body goosebumps and the howling fantods. I once carved a lantern out of a watermelon and it was very beautiful but also a darkly instructive tale about building materials: structurally unsound and a supercharged bug attractor. By midnight it had collapsed and was completely obscured by bugs. (Shiver.)

My Halloween costumes tend toward the overthought (last two years: Platform Nine Inch Nails and Three Quarters, and "I'm Not a Robot"), and this year I thought I landed on something more recognizable that would still make me happy: The James Webb Space Telescope! A sandwich board with some simple gold hexagons, some space pants, done. But then I started overthinking, like I do, and now I've made a bunch of hexagonal tiles with portraits of famous Jameses--James Brown, James Kirk, Jameson Whiskey, Lebron James, Henry James, etc.--to be strung together in a James Web. Maybe I'll wear them on my back, maybe I'll wear them instead of the gold ones, either way I am a fool and can't help it.
posted by miles per flower at 5:46 AM on October 17, 2022 [9 favorites]

(My fav treat-giving story is from my mom, who said growing up weird Mrs. Maloney would give out...potatoes. One large russet potato, dropped heavily into your bag, crushing your candy. No one knew why, but dutifully got their potato every year. Looked great in the candy sorting afterwards. My grandmother would not let them eat it in case it was poisoned. (Mrs. Maloney was...uh...strange in other ways too).
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:47 AM on October 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

It seems to me that strange neighborhood women who dislike children wouldn't ever actually poison them, because why would you waste good poison on children. Besides, it would spoil the roast.
posted by mochapickle at 6:33 AM on October 17, 2022 [4 favorites]

My oldest likes to claim that he never had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup until he went away to college. This is a lie. However, it is true that the peanut butter cups required the closest inspection when he returned from trick-or-treating. I was only trying to keep him safe.
posted by maurice at 6:56 AM on October 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

Heh; another Halloween story from my younger days...

So, I grew up in the outskirts a small town, on a sort of lollipop-shaped street that branched off a little-used state road and had been carved out of the woods. There were 30 houses, and about a third were families with kids. This was also the late 70s and early 80s, when parents were comfortable just sending their kids outside to play, and we kids quickly found each other out, forming about two or three regular packs of Kids Who Hung Out Together based on age and proximity, with occasional mixing and mingling if we needed even more kids for games of tag or whatever. And as the kids got to know each other, so did the parents, through organizing the carpools for Little League or Girl Scouts or field trips or the like.

This street was ideal for Halloween. There were tons of kids on the street, so just about every house got themselves ready for it (that weird couple in the A-frame house 3 doors down from me were the only holdouts, and we never knew why). There was practically no car traffic because the only people who would have been driving were already home and shepherding kids around the block anyway. 30 houses' worth of candy was plenty, and the state road made for a sort of natural "don't venture out there" barrier that the kids all respected, so we all just sort of accepted that we had to stay on our street. All the houses had people in them and giving out candy, so there would always be someone within earshot if something really serious went down. But - the houses had just large enough yards for there to be some shadowy bits between one house and the next, so there was still a bit of a minor scary element as you walked between houses (especially if you were near the house where Greg, the local bully, lived - he liked to hide behind trees and ambush you with a jump scare and make you drop your stash so he could steal it). It was so safe that when I was about nine or ten, my parents let me and a couple of my friends do our trick-or-treating in an unchaperoned group, while my brother and his friends had to stick with their own dads.

But the year before, I was still part of a chaperoned pack; me and my brother, my brother's two friends Neil and Brian, plus Lisa and Jeremy across the street; with my Dad, Neil's Dad, and Lisa & Jeremy's Dad going with us. It was the year there was a Dunkin' Donuts ad with that "time to make the donuts" guy dressing as a woman to do some undercover intel on the supermarket donuts, and when we'd all met at Lisa's house before starting off (so Lisa's Dad could fortify the other Dads with a shot of krupnik first), the dads all discussed it and laughed about it. After their shots and after they quoted some of the ads' lines in falsettos, as us kids begged them to please let's get going already, we set out.

So, I was about eight, and had lived on this street my whole life. So if I got a little ahead of the pack now and then, the other Dads didn't think anything of it. And because our Dads were friends with many of the other Dads on the block, if any of those Dads were the ones doing Handing-Out-Candy duty, they would often invite our Dads to stay for just a couple minutes for an "adult treat", usually another kind of shot. So as the night went on, I was getting further and further ahead of our pack....and our Dads were getting further and further behind. I didn't even think about it, I was out to get candy and I knew where I was going and I would be fine, so there. One I was past Greg's house and halfway around the block, I wasn't even waiting for anyone else, I had basically struck out on my own.

My final trick-or-treat stop was at Lisa's house - we hadn't gotten candy there yet when we met up first. They lived right across the street from me, so I went there last, let Lisa's Mom fuss over my costume a bit, and got my candy and thanked her and started walking home, ready to start digging into my haul. When I was about halfway across the street, thinking only about my Snickers bars, I suddenly heard a falsetto voice calling to me from the other end of the block: "EXCUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

I stopped. About 300 yards away, The Dads were all standing there, cracking up. "EXUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Neil's Dad called to me again, as my Dad and Lisa's Dad laughed. Then all three chimed in on asking me, "Do you have any CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME FILLED DONUTS?"

I just blinked a few times, thoroughly confused, then shrugged and finished the walk back home.

(I think Mom overheard what was going on and called Lisa's Mom to give her a heads' up; they decided all The Dads should be exiled to Lisa's family's back deck to sober up a bit.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:16 AM on October 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

(I am panicking a little about a costume - would love to hear more of other people's, including how you get ideas - a lot of times people grab from pop culture but I always have trouble because feel some of what I really love is too obscure for people to "get" - also my best costumes were inanimate objects and the like so that adds another wrench - please share your thoughts!)
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:23 AM on October 17, 2022

inanimate objects, you say?

(came across that a few days ago, and thought it was heckin' adorable)
posted by taz (staff) at 11:45 AM on October 17, 2022 [5 favorites]

Oh wow, cute!
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:49 AM on October 17, 2022

Two complaints about Halloween compared to the "old" days:

• The use of battery-powered light to illuminate jack-o-lanterns. Kids these days are missing the experience of the memory-association scent of candles in pumpkins to evoke the feeling of Halloween.

• In the US, the end of daylight savings time is now the first Sunday in November, which means that Halloween is during daylight savings and the sun sets an hour later than it used to. Trick-or-treating in the daylight? Bah! What made it special was doing it in the dark. And what's the point of lit jack-o-lanterns in the daylight?
BLOCK: This may be kind of an urban legend, but I thought I had heard that one of the backers behind extending Daylight Saving Time into the beginning of November was the candy industry, and it all had to do with Halloween.

Mr. DOWNING: This is no kind of legend. This is the truth. For 25 years, candy-makers have wanted to get trick-or-treat covered by Daylight Saving, figuring that if children have an extra hour of daylight, they'll collect more candy. In fact, they went so far during the 1985 hearings on Daylight Saving as to put candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator, hoping to win a little favor.

posted by ShooBoo at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

The use of battery-powered light to illuminate jack-o-lanterns. Kids these days are missing the experience of the memory-association scent of candles in pumpkins to evoke the feeling of Halloween.
I gasped as I read this. No!!!!
posted by tiny frying pan at 6:48 PM on October 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

We never carved pineapples, but one year when we left it too late and every pumpkin in town was gone, we carved acorn squash.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:55 PM on October 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

We have to go to a small Halloween party in a couple of weeks. Just three or four couples, all good friends. I really, really don’t want to go. The host has declared we all have to wear unique hats. Ugh. I’m not a costume person, and asking me to come up with even a damned hat is like asking me to lift Mt.Everest.

Truth is, I don’t care much for Halloween. I’m the guy who turns off all the lights and pretends we’re not home.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:07 PM on October 17, 2022

You have a Monopoly set in the house? There is probably a top hat in there.
posted by soelo at 8:50 PM on October 17, 2022

Every hat is unique in its own way. One plain ball cap is not another plain ball cap. Just grab any hat you're comfortable in and don't stress.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:44 PM on October 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

I was looking for the candy corn in the grocery the other week and all I could find was the pumpkins and the harvest mix and I absolutely didn't want that. After giving up, I went around the corner and behold, an entire endcap of 2.5 pound bags (about 1.13kg) of candy corn. It was like a heraldic choir started up. It's enormous and ridiculous and I am loving every ounce.

Thankfully, I made it to the dentist for the first time in over three years, and my teeth were in perfect shape, so I don't have to feel guilty.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:00 PM on October 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

Thorzdad, do you have any old hat on hand that you could sacrifice to this party? If so, just write a big "ALL" on it, and when people ask, you can say your costume is "all hat and no cattle."
posted by taz (staff) at 12:10 AM on October 18, 2022 [3 favorites]

I’m not a costume person

I relate to this so hard. For reasons too large to contain in this margin, I am very very much not a costume person myself although I’m often delighted by the costuming behavior of others.

All the same, I adore Halloween for its non-costume and costume-adjacent attributes: the general sense of reduced inhibition and acceptance, the uncorking of seasonal / wheel of the year imagery and concepts alongside the scary spooky skeleton stuff, the explosion of candy, the distinct lack (in my culture’s approach to the holiday) of religiosity, the dramatic shift in zeitgeist away from general summer-ness, the fact that (again, in my culture) it’s ever so slightly coded feminine.

Having said that, I’ve definitely turned out the lights before for certain reasons.
posted by majick at 7:27 AM on October 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Kiddo took some pictures of me with a filter that, apparently, makes me look like a pigeon? Got a pigeon head mask and a shirt that says I AM A PIGEON in big, block letters. I'm planning on sneaking out of the house and standing motionless at our front door right before they have to leave for school...
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:20 AM on October 18, 2022 [4 favorites]

Some years ago, a friend gave me a rusted old parrot cage. I had the inspiration to put one of my life sized skeletons inside of it, with rusted chains wrapped around it.

One Halloween, a little girl of about 7 years old was trick or treating.
After handing her her candy and complimenting her costume, she gestures at my caged skeleton.
"Who's that?" she asks.
Without skipping a beat, I replied "My ex-husband."

I thought her dad was going to pee himself, he was laughing so hard.
posted by annieb at 5:47 PM on October 18, 2022 [10 favorites]

Some years ago, a friend gave me a rusted old parrot cage. I had the inspiration to put one of my life sized skeletons inside of it, with rusted chains wrapped around it.

Have I been underestimating how big parrots get?
posted by curious nu at 6:55 PM on October 18, 2022 [2 favorites]

I once used a strobe light in a Pumpkin, I liked it. I'll visit neighbors and hope someone has a candle in a pumpkin, because that smell is hella evocative. Once again, I did not get a giant skeleton; they were sold out. I got a junked cast iron chandelier, have put it up outside, will be adding string lights. This is the most energy I've put in to decorating in a while. The pup and I will be dressing up; the Frida Kahlo costumes are progressing.

annieb, you are my sister.
posted by theora55 at 8:51 AM on October 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

Once again, I did not get a giant skeleton; they were sold out.

Sorry to hear. But,The bloggess did. She is always well worth the read, IMO.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 9:28 AM on October 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

I've been thinking about this costume for YEARS but I have a terrible time with starting, continuing, and finishing projects, so it's been a dream and not a reality.

I want to make a Sims plumbob but with one of those color changing LED bulbs inside it (the kind with a remote, not the color cycling kind) so I can change the color from green to red if I'm, say, talking to someone who's said something I don't like. Or if I'm presented with a chair in my path. Or if there's no more candy corn.

Advice welcome.
posted by meemzi at 9:45 AM on October 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

The most interesting fact about candy corn is its nigh-infinite shelf life.

Candy corn doesn’t go bad. It stays bad.
posted by notoriety public at 9:33 AM on October 21, 2022 [5 favorites]

annieb: I had the inspiration to put one of my life sized skeletons inside

I'm tripping over the "one of" part here. How many ex-husbands d'you have?

(We're not on the rounds that kids visit for halloween sweets, especially this year that people are blaming their houses having rodents on our back-garden chickens and won't listen to us describe how we anticipated pests and acted to prevent them. I'm tempted to decorate and give out small paper bags of Haribo fried eggs.)
posted by k3ninho at 1:57 AM on October 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

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