06 November 2006

Static Ritual

The rituals of Halloween Candy haven't changed much since I was a kid. The candy is wildly different but the rituals surrounding sorting, trading, selecting and eating are exactly as I remember them. For weeks after Halloween, the collections must be viewed and sorted each night. The sorting will be done by type of candy, by wrapper color, or by whether the collector has ever tasted that kind or not. Sometimes it is lined up in the order in which the collector intends to consume the treats, sometimes by piles according to how jealous another collector might be of the items. There is a lot of vocal admiration and it's facinating to watch bazarre trading skills develop. If a particular candy doesn't garner the expected amount of apprval, the shrewd holder of the candy might guess that a good trade might be made for any of that kind appearing in the other person's pile. A disparaging comment might provoke a trade of astronomical appeal and the urge to outdo another collector can instigate something very near war. In this fashion, one packet of Necco wafers might be exchanged for two or even three Mounds bars (dark chocolate being currently out of favor, since the neighbor girl has managed to lodge the idea that it's actually made of mud into their heads...bless her heart!). One brother offering Mama a Heath bar (remembering how she asked him to put on another costume and go around to that house again...) can inspire the other to extend his entire stock of KitKats because he knows she likes them. Top level diplomacy skills are required for Mama to make it out of the exchange without a lapful of candy or anyone in tears. To her great credit, not only did she manage, she also came out of the transaction with hugs, the Heath bar *and* the life-size 100 GRAND bar. She is (if she does say so herself) good!


P.S. Can you tell which kid is a little bit compulsive? I took the picture before he got to moving them into position by colors, with each color spaced one life-size Butterfinger length away from the others...

1 comment:

Grandmoo said...

Dear Mom,
Do you remember which of your compulsive son's maternal relatives refused to drink milk unless it was poured in a green glass? Or the one who refused any pretzel not perfectly shaped with every piece of salt in place? How about the one who used only a black crayon for all artwork for nearly a year??? He comes by it honestly!
:-)

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