Looking For the Cheap Sweets

‘Tis a time to venture into those dark, forgotten places in search of long lost treasures.

‘Tis time to journey to the furthest corners of your kitchen cupboards in a quest for last year’s Halloween sweets.


The back of the kitchen cupboard – the land that time forgot. Welcome to the weevily of well-meant organic flour, wild rice, the polenta purgatory, the organic graveyard – all those well-intentioned « go healthy » products, purchased on the back of a short-lived New Year’s resolution.

Welcome to the world of the rusty tin – the soup stockpile, tin upon tin of Campbell’s and Heinz. Why did you buy so many? Were you expecting a nuclear war or was it just –« can’t be bothered to cook tonight, I’ll just heat up a soup in the microwave, » and you ended up sending out for a pizza.

Past the weevil colony, round the tin mountain, I’ve resorted to shining a torch into the darkest corners still looking for those sweets. Yes, this would be a good time to have a clear out, but that takes too much effort, I’ll just balance precariously on this chair and « shift » tins and packets around until …

Where are those sweets? Of course I haven’t eaten them. I know I’ve got a sweet tooth, but even in the worst moments of chocolate cold turkey, I would not eat the cheap, nasty sweets I bought for last year’s Halloween.

I need to check that hey haven’t passed their « use by » date, before I go giving them to the hordes of evil souls who will come banging on my door at the dead of night demanding treats of me.

« Pay up or else » rasps the little girl, lisping through a gap in her front teeth.

« Or else what? » I reply

« Erm … » the little girl looks up at the adult, accompanying the party of assorted Halloween hybrids standing on my doorstep. A couple of Draculas, a Frankenstein’s monster, two kids in « Scream » masks brandishing long plastic knives, and a couple of boys sporting crew cuts and tracksuits, they couldn’t be bothered to dress up. No need, they look pretty evil just they way they are.

The adult looks at me with a bemused sheepish smirk.

« Trick or treat » he bleats

The two crew cut kids give me the evil eye. I can hear their voices resonating in my head. « Give us some sweets or we’ll scratch the paintwork on your car and drop dog shit through your letter box. »

I get the message and give each kid a carefully pre-prepared sachet of « quality sweets » – containing chocs, chews, gobstoppers, bubblegum – all reputable brands – no cheap crap and not a toffee in sight.

Yeah, I used to be a nice guy on Halloween, giving out quality candies – not the cheap ones that glue your jaws together and contain so many chemical colourings that they will turn kids into walking biohazards. But that was way back when the good folk of France actually bothered to celebrate Halloween ; That was way back when my own daughter would be out trick a treating with her mates. I used to see the absolute crap that she’d bring home and resolved to only give out decent sweets, in the hope that my daughter might one day get the same from a like-minded dad.

My daughter grew up, and over the years the Halloween fad fizzled out like a damp candle in a Jack O’ Lantern, nevertheless there were still Halloween diehards, so I’d keep a pack of « cheap sweets » to give passing demons a fistful of something resembling goodies. And the last year, not a single ghost or ghoul came to haunt my portal, so the unopened sweets got slung to the back of the kitchen cupboard with the thought that « those things are so full of chemical additive and colourings, they must be good forever. »

Guess I’ll just have to head on out t the supermarket and stock up on a few treats, and this time, I might just buy some decent ones. If the Grim Reaper doesn’t come looking for sweets tonight, then I might just eat them myself.