Bite-Size Me


Is it just me, or do today's kids get shafted on Halloween? Many of their parents lived through the Tylenol scare of the eighties, which through some leap of logic that baffled me even then somehow rendered Halloween candy suspect and made for some very lean years on the suburban Jersey trick-or-treat circuit. Now those parents fear for their children, and in many cases substitute a sanitized door-to-door in their sterile office building for a good old-fashioned romp around the neighborhood.

But the real screwage comes from the candymakers themselves, who have found a way to sell less candy and more wrappers. My pillowcases used to get reliably stuffed with miniature Milky Ways and Baby Ruths about a third the size of a normal bar, but such treats seem to have gone the way of the PBMax and Starbar. All I've seen this year are "bite-size" morsels you swallow in a single gulp, providing barely enough buzz to keep you awake an extra 5 minutes. What a rip! Was I just shopping in the wrong store (Costco)?


Nope. They've gotten smaller. And the Fun Size Almond Joys have but a single almond on them. What's fun about THAT?

(In other news, damn, I miss StarBar.)

Sorry, but others have editorialized on this over the past few years, even the newspaper comics. How do they get away with calling the candy "fun size" when it's clearly a lot less fun because it's a lot less candy?

And the candy is crap, too. When we were kids, there was actually some *chocolate* in the chocolate bars. Now it's scary to look at the ingredient lists - no items found in nature.

The flip side is the wider net cast by trick-or-treaters, including little kids driven around by their parents. When I was a kid in New York City, we went around *only* in our own building - which meant about 80 apartments in a classic 6-story building, not as limiting as it sounds - and kids and adults at least recognized, if not "knew", each other. Over the last few years we've had cars parked on our street from other *counties*, for crying out loud.

As for the candy scare, sounds like you are forgetting that there was good reason for it. The tylenol poisoning wasn't the only reason, by any means.

Don't you remember the X-Ray machines set up at various locations and the number of news blurbs about people finding razor blades and other things stuffed into the candy their kids had collected? There are some sick people out there, and they were active back then. Maybe not anymore, I haven't paid attention in a while, but back then they were.

I remember the hype, but I don't recall a heck of a lot of actual incidents. And most of the hype I remember from my neck of the woods (Northern Virginia, in those days) was about apples. It would be pretty easy to tell if someone put a razor blade in a wrapped candy bar, so I can't recall anyone getting excited about those.

all of the tainted candy/apple stories were just that...stories. the only real poisonings were intentional by family members. now that's scary.

as for candy getting smaller, we deal with it by letting each kid take a handful. now that's fun!

The "fun size" shrinking of the candy is easily offset by the general increase in candy given out. Not to mention that the average child is served an extra 300-500 calories every single day as compared to 1970.

Perhaps the increase in ripping open the extra fun wrappers will burn away 5-6 of the calories.

Yeah, I was disappointed when I found out that all that effort of looking at my halloween wrappers for injection holes as a kid was for naught. My mom wouldn't even let me eat the best treats, popcorn balls, unless she knew who they were from (though I was still allowed to trick-or-treat all over town).

Having dispelled that myth, I often wonder what other lies and exaggerations are ingrained into my subconciousness. Maybe I should take up hitchhiking. I could do it while eating pop rocks and swilling down a coke. Yeah. That'll be fun.

True Story: This Halloween during trick-or-treating my four year-old was telling me what kind of candy she was getting and then she broke into a huge grin and said, "One lady even gave me a PENCIL!!" I almost spit out the candy bar I'd stolen from her bag.

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