The 5 C’s of Halloween

We’re in heavy Halloween-prep mode here at OWS — on orange alert, if you will. (Thank you, that rolled right off my keyboard.) I like the spirit and excitement of Halloween — even the challenges (sometimes) — especially when you experience the season through a child’s eyes. I like to categorize our steps to get ready for the big day into one of the 5 C’s:

1. Candyalmost gone

I love chocolate. Love. It. Need. It. I also pride myself in being efficient and organized. So, you might imagine that buying candy well ahead of time in preparation for the 31st usually ends up in a scene that looks something like this:

long gone

I won’t tell you how long that bag lasted, but suffice it to say: Not. Long.

2. Candy Corn

Ok, I know this technically falls under #1, but candy corn is different. Every year Drama Girl convinces me that she loves candy corn, can’t live without candy corn, etc. I, being the goof that I am, convince myself, “Yeah, I love candy corn, too!” We each eat a few handfuls out of the bag and then realize mid-bite that our teeth will spontaneously rot and fall out in our hands if we continue. Then I swear on my healthy gums and pearly whites I will never ever buy candy corn again…until next year when I forget all about the nightmares I had about wearing dentures.

This year, I only bought 2 bags of candy corn. I threw out the first one, then disposed of the second like this:

Candy Corn no more

I put it on the counter in the kitchenette at work and poof! Gone in an instant. That is the magic of working in an office. The wolves will eat anything.

3. Costumes and Clowns

Where do I begin? This year Drama Girl wants to be a scientist; T-Rex, a robot. The Ex and I looked high and low for costumes to purchase — in store and online — and have come up with zip. To his credit, The Ex even took the kids to Party City, only to take 3 steps inside the door friendly isn’t heand have both of the kids break down in hysterics when they saw a larger-than-life evil clown hanging in the entrance — I went in a few days later to check it out for myself. The Party City clown makes the toy clown under the bed scene in Poltergeist look tame. Okay, maybe not, because that is one of the scariest scenes in cinematic history, but you get the idea. I’m mean just look at that face. And look at those teeth – that’s a warning against eating too much candy corn if I’ve ever seen one.

Thanks a lot for scarring my kids forever, Party City. And, I take back most of the stuff I said under my breath, Ex, when you told me you had to leave the store without buying anything. Most of it, anyway.

But now I’m left with the dreaded “make your own” costume adventure. Note I say it leaves me in this predicament, not The Ex, who slunk off with a weak, whiny, “I looked online. I couldn’t get into Party City. I don’t know what else to dooooo…” Right.

scientistI bought DG a men’s white dress shirt that will have to do as a lab coat. (The real lab coats were too expensive and/or out of stock.) She’s going to carry around a clipboard and maybe a magnifying glass and seems content with that. I asked her if she wanted to be a mad scientist, which I did see in the store (actually it was a kid’s “toxic scientist” costume, complete with green radioactive slime on the lab coat – very nice). She said, “No. I’m a serious scientist who invents things.” Well, you go, girl. Invent me a 3 book deal with movie rights and I’ll buy you a real lab coat someday. Embroidered, too.

T-Rex’s robot will take more work, but after a trip to Lowe’s and Target we nowrobot have silver duct tape, aluminum foil, reflective lights, flexible aluminum foil dryer ducting, a bag and an old bike helmet. And I have wine, lots of wine, so we’ll see what I can come up with.

By the way, Single Mom Seeking Rachel Sarah recently wrote a post about a single father who asks for help from the ladies in making a costume for his child. I couldn’t tell if this was a request for a seamstress or a date; as you might tell from the majority of responses, including mine, we ladies weren’t impressed. Suck it up like the rest of us, dude! I bought FLEXIBLE DRYER DUCTWORK, for chrissake.

4. Corn mazes, cute farm animals and cultivated pumpkin patches

(ok, I had to stretch that “C” a bit)

One of the best parts of fall is our annual trip to pick out our pumpkins. We enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend and went with my parents to a local farm. One of the great things about this area is there are several local farms nearby and a flourishing local produce/sustenance movement. We especially enjoy this farm because it’s not commercialized and makes you feel like you really are away from it all. I’ve taken the kids there since I was first on my own almost five years ago. We haven’t gotten bored yet.

another successful run

Note: I’m always tempted to pick out the biggest pumpkins I can find, but then I realize that a) I have to drag the cart back from the field, and b) I’ll be the sucker who ends up having to carve them.

5. Crazy Pictures

You may recall I shared with you a seasonal picture that T-Rex had drawn. Well, he’s on a roll. Check out this one:

Pumpkin head monster playing ball

The three-headed pumpkin monster is shooting a ball from the rocket charger (on the far left) into the basket on the far right. (Nice shot.) Meanwhile, Mr. Other Pumpkin Head is hitting a tennis ball (see the racket) to the monster flower, who catches it with a glove. I’m a little confused as to whether we have tennis, baseball or basket balls going here, but whatever. There’s also something about a garbage disposal thing sticking out of the bottom of the monster, and the middle Pumpkin Head cheering. If you say so, son.

All in all, it appears to be a fine example of different species playing well together. Perhaps we humans could learn something from it?

So those are my 5 C’s. How are you preparing for this Halloween?


9 thoughts on “The 5 C’s of Halloween

  1. Steve says:

    We’ve had our candy for about 3 weeks now and I was hoping to avoid eating any of it but ‘the wife’ opened it and it was downhill from there… ‘the kid’ already has her costume and when you ask her what she’s going to be for halloween she says “Fi-Fi” – aka the name on the dog costume that she’s going to wear…

  2. curt says:

    personally, I’d like to thank the creator of candy corn — for creating the…




    when I think of candy corn, I think of the following rant from lewis black:

    “The worst thing about Halloween is, of course, candy corn. It’s unbelievable to me. Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911. And so, since nobody eats that stuff, every year there’s a ton of it left over. And the candy corn company sends the guys to the villages and they collect out of the dumpsters all the candy corn we’ve thrown away. They wash it!! They wash it!

    I’ll never forget the first time my mother gave me candy corn. She said, “Here – Lewis, this is candy corn. It’s corn that tastes like candy”. [high pitched sound] This tastes like crap! And every year since then, Halloween has returned and I, like an Alzheimer’s patient, find myself in the room, and the room has a big table in it, and on the table is a bowl of candy corn. And I look at it as if I’ve never seen it before. “Candy corn”, I think. “Corn that tastes like candy. I can’t wait”. Son of a bitch!!”

  3. curt says:

    oh, and have you been “ghosted” yet, susan? this is when someone — in the dark of night — comes to your front door, sticks a scary, scary paper ghost on your door (to show that you have indeed been “ghosted,” as well as a plastic pumpkin on your front step, full of all kinds of sweet halloween candy (and candy corn, natch). the idea is for you to then do the same thing for two of your neighbors.

    fri night, I came home after a long day and found that someone had “ghosted” me. great — crappy candy that I won’t eat. now, lest the karma police come get me for not playing along, this meant that I had to continue this game of “halloween tag.”


    of course, when we had the wind storm on sat, the paper ghost on my front door blew away. I couldn’t find the gumption to replace it.

    so, I came home last night and — sure enough — I had been “ghosted” once more.

    so, I now have two pumpkins full of candy (and candy corn) sitting in my garage that I won’t eat (I’ve got to watch my figure) — and I still have to “ghost” two of my neighbors who have yet to be “ghosted.”

    at least I don’t have to put two candy-corn-filled plastic pumpkins together for them. someone already has. thanks, someone!

  4. As much as I hate candy corn — and I DO hate candy corn — it’s the food of the gods in comparison to circus peanuts.

    If I was trapped underground with nothing to eat but circus peanuts, I’d have to give serious consideration to just going ahead and dying.

  5. Okay – I hate to be the odd one out here, but I LOVE candy corn. I eat the white top first, then the orange middle, and then the yellow bottom. I savor every one. But only in small handfuls.

    And I’m with Bob, who the hell buys circus peanuts, and how could they possibly still be in existence? I figured that the circus peanut industry died when my grandfather did. I know damn well he kept them in business…

  6. Steve: I like how it was J. who opened the bag of candy, but YOU are the one eating it. Yeah, gotcha on that one. (Hey, living alone I have no excuse – use yours as much as you can!)

    Curt: I’ve been ghosted. I ate all the good candy. Can I give you the rest and be done with it?

    Curt/Bob/Lulu: All right, I see we don’t like circus peanuts. Did one of you go to the circus recently? I mean, I didn’t see that one coming. Lulu, I know from your blog you like all sorts of candy, so I guess you’d have to sample candy corn at least on occasion. But I have to admit, it was pretty funny to read that you actually have a method to eating it. I’d be concerned if you said you ate the middle first.

  7. Susan — just to clarify, we’re talking about Circus Peanuts and not peanuts bought at a circus.

    Truth be told, though, I haven’t tried them in years. After having read that article and learning that they’re the basis for the marshmallows in Lucky Charms, I may have to rethink my position. I think it’s the sickly orange color, and the fact that they’re usually only seen hanging on a display in some dirty five-and-dime that have turned me off to them.

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