Boy, Halloween sure has changed
since I was a kid. I remember waiting,
ever so impatiently, for darkness to cover the neighborhood. We would dress up, (I was always Spiderman),
and hit the streets for hours with pillowcases or giant plastic pumpkins to
collect monstrous piles of sugary reward.
My parents were always careful to make sure I stuck to the sidewalks and
didn’t cut across any lawns, and aside from a few rumors about one or two of
the “odd” neighbors on the block (we always avoided those people), it
was one of the safest holidays around.
Today, ever fearful of child abductors, parents take their kids out
while it’s still light outside! They
make the block and head for home.
Parents are on the lookout for predators but they certainly don’t mind
of hoards of children stomping through your lilies on their way to the next
house. A generation from now, kids will
enjoy Halloween without leaving the comfort of their “internet
neighborhood.” They’ll click their
way to collections of virtual candy and text each other about their digital
One thing hasn’t changed, kids
still love candy and they’ll do just about anything to get it. Recently, I’ve started keeping a handful of
chocolate in my travel bag to bribe rowdy children into calming down. It didn’t start out that way, no; it started
as a habit of bringing home candy to my wife.
My company keeps a giant bowl of miniature candy (Twizlers, Hershey bars,
Reese’s cups, Twix, the works…) on hand for the students in their classrooms. There’s nothing like a quick sugar high to
keep you awake during class, I guess.
Anyway, there is always licorice left over since there are more tempting
treats on hand, and my wife loves them, so I always bring a few home for her.
Two or three trips after I had
started this habit, I ran into a familiar situation on a plane where a child
was kicking the back of my seat. I’m not
in the habit of scolding the children of strangers in public (I’m reeeeally
close though…), so I endured the nightmare for a short while. Then it dawned on me; I stood up, opened the
overhead bin, and hauled some licorice out of the convenient zipper pocket of
my travel bag. Enclosed in shiny
plastic, the bright red ropes of licorice offered the little imp a tasty treat,
indeed. I knelt down to eye-level,
stared the demon child right in the face and said, “Hey sport, if I give
you and your mom one of these Twizlers; would you stop kicking my chair?” I winked at his mother who found new levels
of shame in missing the whole “kicking” event in the first place, and
the kid grabbed the candy out of my hand with all the aplomb of a seasoned
Since then, I’ve moved past
Twizlers to small Dove squares and I’ve discovered that it’s not just children
who benefit from a quick treat.
Begrudgeoned travelers of all ages, shapes, and sizes generally ease
down and open up when offered a chocolate square from a friendly face that they
have to sit with for the next few hours.
Don’t get me wrong, its not like I play the pied piper and skip along
through the aisle spreading candy for all the children of the land, no; but
having a few treats tucked away for emergencies has come in handy on several
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding
business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT.
Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask
the Expert podcast show.