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Food Pantries Collect Halloween Leftovers

Is it just me or is Halloween getting old? It used to be that I looked forward to making a big pot of chili and cornbread and then greeting ghosts and goblins with a caldron filled with mini chocolate bars. Now every time the doorbell rings, I’m annoyed that I have to take off my reader glasses, put a book mark in between pages of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants,” and drag my butt off the couch to hand over candy to a 10-year-old wearing gym shorts and a Nike t-shirt who brags that he’s dressed like a fifth grader (because he is one).

And that’s not the only lame costume I saw from a tween trick-or-treater this year. To the neighbor down the street who just came home from soccer practice and wore his uniform as a disguise, only one Jolly Rancher for you, that’s it. And to the four boys covered from head to toe in nylon who mooned me in broad daylight, you’re not fooling anyone. I know who you are. Why haven’t you sent in your RSVPs, by the way, to Sari’s bat mitzvah? In fact, the only outfit that earned a treasured Twix bar was the one that had a knife sticking out of his head with fake bloody dripping down his face mask.

On the positive side, I did learn a few new jokes:

Q: What happened to the guy who didn’t pay his exorcist?
A: He was repossessed.

Q: What do witches put on their hair?
A: Scare spray.

Q: Where does Dracula keep his valuables?
A: In a blood bank.

Q: How do you wake up Lady Gaga?
A: Pokerface.

This was the first Halloween that I was alone at home. My 12-year-old daughter Sari, an Eskimo who looked more like a Radio City Rockette dressed in a skintight brown leotard with a furry hood and boots, roamed another neighborhood with friends because “they have better candy over there.” And my husband Scott drove our 16-year-old son to a downtown nightclub for underage groupies so that he could dance with his crew and barely wake up for school the next morning. At least my dog Luci, who got into the spirit with a ruffled orange collar, stayed by my side all evening, that is, until she ran outside every time I opened the front door and tried to eat Tootsie Rolls dropped in the grass.

If you’re like me and somehow have more leftover candy than you started out with, consider breaking your sugar high by dropping off the goodies at a food bin located at your school or temple. They will take the bags of treats to local charities. You also can donate any store-bought individually wrapped candy to Ronald McDonald House (www.rmhcstl.com), Haven House (www.havenhousestl.org), Family Haven (www.usc.salvationarmy.org), senior citizen homes, and the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry (www.jfcs-stl.org) or by calling 314-812-9309.

Now that the World Series and Halloween are over, I need a nap. Or maybe I just need a little sugar.