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Oct 29, 2012

Nine Ways To Get Candy at Halloween after Age 15

Halloween is the holiday for child-mafiosos. For a simple fee of some Snickers or Reeses, you gain protection from anomalous "tricks" that may unfortunately befall your household otherwise. A terrible thing, those random hooligans. Good thing you have purchased the protection plan of a tiny Batman now committed to fending these anonymous tricksters off for you... and all it took was a handful of candy.

For some reason, people stop finding this nationally supported crime syndicate less endearing and more obnoxious once you get old enough to have the really awesome costumes. As a cosplayer and regular Con attendee, I find that people won't give me candy anymore, no matter how incredibly detailed or canonically accurate my costume is. That is, they wouldn't until I came up with this list. Try and deny me candy now, random homesteaders!


1. Borrow a child

This is by far the least difficult thing to wrangle - find a friend who either has kids or has a kid sibling. Volunteer to "babysit" this child on Halloween. Give the kid some coaching on proper candy extortion and watch the sugar fly! Some important things to note, however: the ratio of "grown-ups" to "kid" must be regulated. Old ladies start giving you the evil eye if you ring their doorbell with five college kids and one 10-year-old. Depending on how good the kid is, you may want to let them gather the candy themselves and then take a percentage. One child with good enough acting skills can net more candy than a child with an "adult" also standing there with open bag. Some stingy candy overlords will see the adult, jump to the correct conclusion that you are using the kid for additional candy-getting years and correspondingly limit their candy-giving to one measly bar instead of the full handful you know is the due right of all trick-or-treaters.

2. Get a wagon

The best part about a wagon is its multiple functions. Transportation of body parts, ill-advised sledding vehicle, this thing does it all! If you stick some amorphous blob of material or bean bag in it and park it on the sidewalk far enough from the house you're planning on trick-or-treating so that it remains amorphous and slightly too dark to see other than a wagon with something (or someone) in it, it's an instant trick-or-treating boon. Once you've initiated the trick-or-treating encounter, explain to the poor sap at the door just giving the candy away that your child (or the kid you're babysitting if you look too young for chilluns) was too scared (aaw, poor baby) to come to the door him or herself. Have some details ready (age appropriate for fear of people's doors, name, gender, costume) in case you get sucked into a conversation. This trick is... tricky, though. Don't claim to have a kid if your neighbors actually know who you are, and be careful to pick an age that corresponds to the "scary level" of the house. Our house growing up was sufficiently scary to keep kids from coming to the door the next year out of remembered fear. Some suburbanite with nothing on their cookie cutter door won't be believable if you're pretending to have a seven-year-old.

3. Creepy kid doll/fake infant
'Nuff said.

4. Actually have children

In terms of things to do for candy, this should probably be a last resort. Having kids is like owning a house - some kind of rental plan always works out better if you're not ready for the responsibility. On the other hand, if you were already going to be having munchkin-monsters popping out of your lady garden, then dangit, capitalize on that crap. It's like your own small-operation sweatshop. But with candy.

5. Blame your parents

My brothers and I managed to milk this one for a couple years. Our parents, being economically-minded as well as just dang cruel, would take a percentage of our haul from the night and give it out to trick-or-treaters as our home stash ran out (or was eaten by said parents. You know, taste-testing. Making sure it wasn't tampered with). When we hit that strange sullen year when we decided we were "too cool" to trick-or-treat (I'm still not sure what was wrong with us, but my bet is some kind of alien virus that we only shook because of our natural bacteria's strength), we'd still get chucked out the door with the instructions to get more candy, 'cause we were almost out. Our neighbors became accustomed to us showing up at their doors saying "trick-or-treat... don't blame me, Dad ran out of candy." The same excuse works on strangers in neighborhoods that aren't your own - just make sure you have an appropriate "I'm too cool for this" expression on. If you want to step up your game, say you just moved in a couple of blocks over. But remember the specifics of your lie in case you come back to that house the next year.

6. Dress up as a child

This is a chancy thing. Don't get creepy with it. No adult babies. But if you, like me, frequently get mistaken for a teenager, play it up a bit. Dress like a middle-schooler and see if you can get away with it! If you can't, remember I'm not liable.

7. Do the grown-up party thing

Most Halloween parties (are over by now) have a giant bowl of candy present for the attendees to water down their alcohol with. The best part is, all the work to look good as a zombie lingerie model happened before the party, so you are free to eat as much as you want with little repercussion (unless you're having another party on actual Halloween).

8. Find a parade. Or a hay ride. Or something where they throw candy at you.

It's probably a good idea to pick a costume with a helmet if you go this route. Haunted hay rides and parades can be a great time until you pick up a concussion from a king-sized Butterfingers to the face. I have gotten more than my fair share of Smarties-shaped bruises from overenthusiastic kids and straight-up violent teenagers chucking candy like it's the qualifying round of the Olympic shot-put event.

9. Buy candy at the store (like a goshdang adult)

This is admittedly the most boring option available. Seriously. Candy just tastes sweeter when it's been finagled for free from a "responsible" adult. It's earned in a way that has nothing to do with spending your actually-earned money. Not to mention the priceless stories you'll have for years to come if you attempt any of the other items on this list. But then again, buying candy from the store ensures you won't end up with a bunch of crap you don't like or the lame giveaways from those houses that are into health kicks and give you like, apples and junk instead of the diabetes-inducing sugar coma you're really there for.

Do you have any tips or tricks for the so-called "too old to trick-or-treat" crowd? How do you get the optimum amount of haul on Halloween?

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