Saturday, September 20, 2014

Necco Wafers and Rice Krispies

Monthly I visit a local pharmacy and upon entry you are hit with the “theme of the month” display.
Of course September means "back-to-school" items are prominent.

Does this sound unusual to you?

This is a little small town drug-store, somewhat dated décor, with the feel of a former era of prescription fillers.
No longer available is the old time lunch counter and lacking are large well-lit aisles bursting with groceries, hardware, automotive supplies and “as-seen-on-TV” gift items found at larger chain competitors.

The super pharmacies have long ago packed away their back-to-school goods and have moved on to selling Thanksgiving turkey deep fryers, cans of pumpkin and cranberry sauce along with the get ready for winter snow salt and shovels. 

Christmas displays are currently under construction.

By the time Halloween arrives next month you’ll be able to begin purchasing your Valentine’s Day cards.

If you plan to hand out Halloween candy you would have had to purchase your Snickers and Reese’s in June.

When Halloween arrived I was not one of those kids that planned their costume for weeks in advance. I was simply one of the candy opportunists who, at the last minute, cut two holes in a Flintstones bed sheet, grabbed a grocery bag and began hopping porch to porch; one of the few benefits of living in a city row house.

You could start early, clean up quickly and be home before all those “creative costumer's” could navigate their first set of steps wearing their bulky handcrafted Rice Krispies cereal refrigerator box.

Those kids had to waddle the neighborhood at such a slow pace they would be left with the unwanted scraps; Necco Wafers, Granny Smith apples and maybe a handful of pennies as the residents ran out of handouts quickly with all those neighborhood candy glutton porch-jumpers.

The real greedy ones would turn the bed sheets inside out and begin again.

You eventually learned that returning home too quickly was also avoided. Parents always wanted to inspect your booty for what they called “your own good”.

One could always tell they feigned searching for needles, razor blades and narcotics that somehow were always discovered in the Snicker’s, Reese’s and Three Musketeers bars, confiscated, leaving you with Necco Wafers, suspicious Granny Smith apples and a handful of pennies.

Somehow a portion of the confiscated goods were saved for a late arriving cousin wearing a Rice Krispy refrigerator box.

Mom and Dad somehow always had a suspicious ring of milk chocolate around their mouths.

You learned to find a place to bury your fortune away from neighborhood treasure hunters, squirrels and siblings.

These days we don’t do Halloween, and haven’t for many years. 

By 4PM every all hollows eve we scamper outta Dodge to an early dinner and Christmas shopping, sans the crowds.

We do find gifts even though we navigate around Valentine’s Day cards and Whitman’s heart shaped chocolates.

I learn from neighborhood gossip just how active the night became. The city porch jumpers of a bygone era have become better organized and now transport busloads of candy gluttons to the suburbs in mini-vans and double decker tour buses similar to those found in London and Philly Tours.

Mrs. Jaygerardtoday and I usually lie in wait until we are certain the last vestiges of weeners have gone off in search of greater fortunes in other hoods.

We slink into our Lay-Z-Boys and relax, usually satisfied we beat both crowds that evening.

It is, however, inevitable that at some point a knock on the door is heard only to find some kid in a Rice Krispies box standing there with his booty bag opened for a handout.

It’s a good thing we picked up a pack of Necco wafers while we were out.

Some of my childhood memories of Ghosts and monsters were blogged here in 2013.
If you have time read this oldie.

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