13 Things Your Trick-or-Treater Won’t Tell You

Written by Phillip Done

1. Old people are either very generous or give you one peanut. There is no in-between.

2. The cuter our costumes, the more candy we get.

3. Good loot: Tootsie Rolls, Kit Kats, Nerds, Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Starbursts, Skittles, Snickers, and Whoppers. Bad loot: toothbrushes.

4. Pillowcases hold twice as much as plastic grocery bags and three times as much as plastic orange pumpkins.

5. Don’t get stuck behind little kids at the door. They take forever to decide.

6. Handing out candy is like serving wine at a party. People serve the good stuff first and save the not-so-good stuff for later. The longer you stay out on Halloween night, the worse the candy gets.

7. Lots of decorations in the front yard means good candy. They spend a lot on Halloween.

8. If a group of children gathers at the door, sometimes it’s best to be in the front so you won’t have to wait and can run immediately to the next house. But sometimes it’s better to be the last one: You might get two pieces of candy for being patient.

9. It’s always better to choose your candy than to have someone else choose it for you.

10. When parents chaperone, moms say “Be careful” and “Remember your manners.” Dads say “Wha’d ya get?”

11. Know your shortcuts. Slide through hedges. Jump over gutters. Dodge strollers. And run, do not walk.

12. Dads stay out later than moms.

13. Do not show your teacher what you have in your lunch bag the day after Halloween. Otherwise, he might point to his “Official Halloween Candy Taste Tester” button and ask for all your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

—Excerpted from Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts on Teacherhood, copyright © 2009 by Phillip Done (Center Street/Hachette, $22.99).

Bonus: Who else thinks Snickers Halloween ad is horrifying?