Thursday is Halloween. Chances are you are celebrating the holiday at a party this weekend. It’s also a big weekend at stores for last-minute costume ideas and candy pickup.
Halloween is all about the kids, so that’s why you buy candy that the kids will like, right? Wrong.
Chances are that you buy candy that YOU like. A poll shows that 83 per cent of parents say they buy their favourite candy because they want to enjoy the leftovers after all the trick-or-treaters are gone. And actually, most parents can’t even wait until the trick-or-treaters are gone and admit to dipping into the candy bowl before their first visitors even arrive. So for anyone on a diet this Halloween, the best advice you could get is to buy the treats you hate, and buy just enough so you can run out, turn off your lights and take your skinny backside into the basement to hide out the rest of the night.
Other poll results:
• 12 per cent of parents allow their kids to eat all of their Halloween candy whenever they want.
• More parents are worried about the health effects of candy (63 per cent), than they are with poisoned or tampered treats (37 per cent).
• Almost 10 per cent of parents admit that they turn off the lights and pretend they’re not home.
And one in three will spend more than $100 on Halloween.
But just in case you do cave to your carnal craving for candy, I’ve got good news. Apparently you can burn some of the calories off simply by watching a scary movie.
Think about it — when you watch a scary movie your heart races, your muscles tense, and you’ll occasionally scream and reach out to grab someone or something close to you. Researchers say the average adult watching a scary movie could burn up to 200 calories.
Unless you are like my wife and daughter, who jump and scream at every door creak and bump in the night. Those who can’t sit still for the 90 minutes of fright could easily double these numbers.
I wonder if researchers have also tested the calorie count of tear jerkers, like Titanic, the Notebook and Beaches. I don’t know about you, but wailing openly at a tear jerker works my weirdest face muscles, my stomach muscles, my nasal muscles and that big throat muscle that feels like a grapefruit is stuck in it.
Anyways, here are the top calorie-burning SCARY movies:
• The Shining (184 calories)
• Jaws (161 calories)
• The Exorcist (158 calories)
• Alien (152 calories)
• Saw (133 calories)
• Paranormal Activity (111 calories)
• The Blair Witch Project (105 calories)
So as you sit home eating candy, hoping none of the calories count thanks to your "Scary Movie Diet", your spouse is taking your children door-to-door begging for candy. On their adventure they’re going to find many different types of people opening doors for trick-or-treaters. Each door you walk up to will be opened by one of these people:
The elderly widow
She’ll seem a little confused and will offer a Werther’s Original hard candy. Or broken suckers. While these ladies are sweethearts, they are not very fast. It will take 10 minutes to have the door answered, followed by a five-minute pivot to the candy bowl and back. Simply run if popcorn balls are in your bag.
The punk kid will open the door because his evil mother told him to. He will be grump and will talk very little. However he will be fast and could be generous, since he doesn’t care how much of his mther’s candy goes out the door. After all, he’s mad at her. Simply run if you hear them screaming at each other.
The cool dad
He’ll try to impress you with some cool slang. Just smile and nod and humour him. After all, he’s most likely to pass out the full-size candy bar, full-size chips or a can of pop. Simply run if he’s playing Justin Bieber while he waits for trick-or-treaters.
The overly-intense guy
He’s a little too into Halloween and will scare your kids away before he even has a chance to offer any candy. Some people have Christmas, others are crazy for Halloween. Either way, just enjoy the show and remember it’s not as scary as going to the home of a local politician.
The health freak
She’ll give you fruit and a granola bar. What is wrong with these people? Please just go to the basement, turn off the lights and save your money. Never in the history of Halloween has a child "changed their sugar-coated ways" thanks to a health nut. Instead of inspecting for tampered candy, this is really what parents need to be looking out for. Simply run, if out of the corner of your eye, you see anything resembling a toothbrush.
Recently-divorced middle-aged man
He’ll be surprised that it’s Halloween and will offer the only thing he has — salt and ketchup packets from fast food places. Don’t say things like "you can do better than that mister." You run the risk of him dropping to the floor in the fetal position crying, as he screams "Nobody appreciates me." Simply run if he asks to share stories from the old days with you.
Martha Stewart wannabe
She took the time to make adorable little candy treats when all you really want from her is a Snickers.
He’ll open the door only to tell you that he won’t be giving anyone any candy, so stop ringing my bell! Hey Mr. Grouch, here’s an idea: go to the bar for the night. Go to a friend’s place. Go anywhere, but keep your lights off and vacate to avoid wasting kids’ time. In the old days, you know what would happen to this guy right? I get if you don’t like kids, or you’re not into the holiday, but it’s just as easy to do this…
The unattended bowl
This is great, but only if you’re the first group of trick-or-treaters there.
If you still don’t have a costume for Halloween, you’re cutting it pretty close. Luckily, the hottest costume trend this year is so simple, you might not have to go farther than your closet to pull it off. And best of all, you will look good while being creative all at the same time.
Dressing up as your favourite ’90s pop culture icon is all the rage this year for adults, the Minions of Despicable Me are the most popular costumes for kids. Other hot costumes include Miley and Robin Thicke from the MTV VMAs, Harley Quinn, Batman, Minecraft and the old standard, pirates.
Here’s what your Halloween costume says about you:
• Celebrities: Dressing up as a celebrity will let people know you’re up on your pop culture and can be the life of the party.
• Monsters: You’re creepy. Monster costumes were cool in third grade. Now it’s just weird.
• Heroes: You’re boring. Odds are you and 24 other people at your party are going to have the same costume.
• Animals: You’re trying to get lucky. Guys know that girls think animals are adorable. So, dressing up as an animal makes women think you are a humane, decent person, which, of course, helps when you’re trying to score.
• No Costume: You’re pathetic. C’mon. It’s Halloween. Show some spirit and imagination. Get out there for one night and show us how it’s done. Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!
JOKE THIS WEEK
A couple was getting ready to go to a Halloween party but the wife had a terrible headache. She told her husband to go anyway. After a short argument he agreed, and she took some aspirin and went to bed. Later she awoke and felt great, so she decided to go to the party and see what her hubby did when she wasn’t around. As soon as she arrived, she noticed him on the dance floor getting very friendly with every woman in the place, so she cut in and rubbed close to him. When the song ended, he leaned over and whispered in her ear, "Let’s go outside." So the two costumed characters snuck off and occupied themselves in one of the parked cars.
Midnight was to be the unveiling of the party-goers, so she slipped out and went home before the clock struck 12. When he got home she asked, "How was the party? Did you meet any interesting people?" He replied, "You know me, dear. I don’t have a good time when you’re not with me. I ran into a few friends and we ended up in the basement playing poker. It wasn’t very fun at all. But the guy I loaned my costume to had the time of his life!"
» Tyler Glen is a radio DJ on Star-FM. He writes a weekly column for the Brandon Sun.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 26, 2013