Happy Halloween! Today the thought occurred to me that there are probably some kids out there who take Trick or Treating a little more seriously than most. I wondered what it would be like to have a family member with a car willing to drive a kid around. Or what if future kids use Segways to travel from house to house, maximizing the few hours they are allowed out? I remembered an old "Pete and Pete" episode where the kids mapped out a devious plan to have the biggest bags of candy at the end of the night. I thought, "If someone wanted to do that FOR REAL, how would they do it?" Here's what I came up with:
Say the Trick-or-Treating is locally limited to between 6 and 8 p.m. That's 2 hours. The Extreme Family has three kids, two of which are past Trick-or-Treating age. That leaves little Billy Extreme to Trick-or-Treat with friends, or on his own. And since Billy is going for the record, he decides to meet up with his friends later.
Billy Extreme has the benefit of two older siblings who already know the neighborhood inside and out. The oldest Extreme child, Kyle, made an Extreme map showing where all the houses are. He kept it extremely up to date. The second oldest, Jill, made an Extreme chart marking the exact amounts of candy received from every house. The chart syncs up with the map perfectly. As it turns out, most houses give out an average amount of candy, encompassing the whole range of goodies. But there are a few rare houses, represented in Gold, that give out not one, not two, but Three or More King-Size Candy Bars!
The Extremes have Halloween down to a science. They all know that every parent buys about as much candy as their kids will bring home. If all the parents everywhere bought candy and instead of giving it out bit by bit to other people's kids, they instead gave it to their own kids, all the children would have just as much candy as if they had gone out Trick-or-Treating. That's pretty much the system, except in the rare cases of the Houses Marked In Gold.
Over the years, the Extremes asked around, each time keeping their questions limited, and each time acting like they didn't really care. Nobody caught on that they were really working to become Legends at the Trick-or-Treating game. What they learned was that those blessedly rare houses that gave out excessive amounts of candy were owned by people with especially unique Halloween situations.
In the houses that either had no children to begin with, or have now let their children fly free, the candy dish is sometimes empty, and sometimes excessively full. In houses that aren't on a standard Trick-or-Treat route, the ones that do wish for the smiling faces of costumed children are willing to go the extra mile by lighting the way and providing a substantial candy reward for any young Trick-or-Treater brave enough to venture off the beaten path.
The Gold Houses are both childless and off-route, which is why the candy given out from them is so incredible. The Extremes know this. And they have a plan.
The average kid goes from house to house haphazardly, getting whatever he or she lucks out with. Some houses give coins, others give candy apples, and still others give out -- dental supplies! But most give candy. The Extremes will hit up all the houses that give out candy, including the Gold Houses.
But wait! Isn't Billy Extreme the only one going? And he's not quick enough to reach all the far corners of the neighborhood, is he? No, he's not. But Kyle is, when he's driving! But wait! With all those other kids on the street, isn't driving dangerous? Yes, if you've got a car. But Kyle's got a motorcycle with a side car!
Kyle drives Billy around to all the key houses. At each stop, Billy jumps out, runs up to the door, smiles and says, "Trick or Treat!" and is given some candy. Being a good actor, he convinces the person at the door that he is thoroughly surprised. Then he makes sure to say a hearty and truly genuine, "Thank you!" as he turns and runs back to the Extreme motorcycle, still idling.
After Kyle and Billy hit up all the normal candy houses, making sure to avoid the abnormal ones, they finally go Gold, with half an hour left. Why did they wait so long to visit the houses with the best candy? Because with so much leftover candy at the end of the night, the people in those houses are willing to give the kids practically everything in the bowl!!
Kyle and Billy finally return home at 8:14 p.m. Billy immediately goes to the scale and weighs his candy. A new Extreme record! Suddenly, the phone rings.
"Billy!" his Extreme mother calls. "It's your cousin!"
Billy and his cousin exchange stories, and tell each other how much candy they both got.
"So," Billy's mother asks. "How did Ricky do?"
Billy says, "He got twice as much!"
Cousin Ricky and his older brother Mike did everything Billy and Kyle did...but Ricky wore two different costumes! If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.