Come Halloween-time when you're a kid, you're not going to be taking your candy-retrieval excursion lightly. It's the one night a year when you get to have literally all of the candy you can eat. It inspired the same joy as it would have if your parents had come in the room and said, "All right, just for today, you can break anything you want." It's like a day off from rules.
Well, it's a vacation from rules for the kids. For the adults, there are still some guidelines you should follow vis-a-vis the candy you'll be handing out in order to keep your front porch egg- and flaming-dogshit-free. You see, not all candies are created equal. Quite the opposite, in fact, and Halloween is the time of year when candy manufacturers get to unload all of their least popular candies in huge, cheap sacks of largely inedible crap.
We're not talking about deliberately shitty Halloween "treats" like pennies, raisins, toothbrushes and Jack Chick tracts. Those things are handed out by bitter curmudgeons who hate fun, and nothing can be done about that. No, we provide this list for the well-intentioned Halloween celebrator who genuinely wants to give kids candy but just has piss-poor taste. It's not too late for you.
5. Hard Butterscotch Candy They don't taste like scotch, but they sure do taste like butt (get it?). Butterscotch candies are relics from a bygone Dust Bowl era when a food was considered candy if it wasn't made of sawdust and old newspaper. The flavor is sharp and sickening, as if it can't decide if it wants to be sweet or bitter. Butterscotch is a fine flavor for puddings or malts, but unless you plan on crushing these up and sprinkling them on your ice cream, avoid them. What to hand out instead: Caramels. Some kids even like Werther's Originals, although few will admit it.
4. Wax bottles These atrocities are made of flavorless wax that you have to gnaw through in order to reach the sickening syrup inside. They taste of chemicals and are simply not worth the effort. What to hand out instead: Gushers. We had a guy on our block who used to hand out packets of Gushers Fruit Snacks on Halloween, and at first we thought it was weird, but we soon warmed up to the idea, because man, we love us some Gushers.
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3. Candy corn or pumpkins Or anything at all made from that horrid substance that falls apart in your mouth like mealy wax and tastes like a headache. Every kid eventually learns that although this plasticky stuff is appealingly colorful and is sort of like getting to eat your own action figures, it turns on you quickly, souring your stomach and rendering you unable to eat other, better candy. They're pretty good for firing out of a slingshot at neighborhood pests, though. What to hand out instead: Jawbreakers. The most underrated of Halloween candies, even cheap-ass jawbreakers are fantastic.
2. Tootsie Rolls Lots of people claim to like Tootsie Rolls, but they're either lying or aliens. No one with human taste buds could like the horrible combination of chocolate and caramel that feels and tastes like it was scraped off the floor of a factory that manufactures other, better candies. Tootsie Roll Pops are arguably even worse, because they start off as decent lollipops that eventually go bad when the repugnant Tootsie Roll center begins peeking through. Ugly and unkind. What to hand out instead: Starburst or Laffy Taffy. Either one beats Tootsie Rolls by miles.
1. Peanut Butter Saltwater Taffy We love saltwater taffy, but not this kind. This is the worst. It tastes like peanut butter somehow gone rotten, and often has mysterious little sprinkles inside it that could either be bits of peanuts or beetle eggs. Sometimes they have a liquidy center that unexpectedly pops all over your tongue like a sugary zit. This crosses the line from simply "bad" to "traumatic," and is reason enough for every kid on the block to make sure you never have an unbroken mailbox in front of your house. What to hand out instead: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. We're not being paid to be brand-loyal, it's simply necessary in this case, as imitation peanut butter cups are gangrenous and evil. Spend the money, buy the real thing, and enjoy some genuine smiles from all the little Justin Biebers and Miley Cyruses this year.
Got your own opinion on which kind of Halloween candy most deserves to burn in Hell? Leave it in the comments!