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The Absolute Best Way To Not Annihilate Your Kids' Halloween Candy for Six Weeks

By Lord Castleton | Miscellaneous | October 22, 2015 |

By Lord Castleton | Miscellaneous | October 22, 2015 |

My oldest friend in the world is a dentist. He’s a really good dentist. He’s the type of dentist everyone wishes they had. Sometimes I feel badly making him be my dentist, because I can’t imagine my mouth is all that awesome to look in to, but I force him to do it anyway because he’s the greatest dentist in the world. With all of the nonsense he’s had to listen to from me over the years, it’s a wonder he hasn’t wired my mouth shut. But it’s because he’s awesome.

And at his practice, and many others like it, they have this great tradition, and it’s so wonderful, so perfect, that I don’t think I know of another Halloween tradition/practice that can hold a candle to the lovely simplicity of it.

So here’s what they do: They buy back candy from children.

Here’s how it used to work:

1) The kids go trick or treating. They get as much candy as humanly possible. They have a blast.

2) They eat some of it, but no kid can ever eat that much candy, so it just sits there and either they pick at it over a few weeks or their parents eat it all or both.

3) Mostly, they forget about it and their parents eat it.

4) The parents kind of pretend like they’re not eating it, but they’re eating it. And it causes some friction in marriages because you’ll be rooting through the haul and you notice that there’s two Kit Kats left. So you’re like: sweet. And you inhale one of them. The next day you go looking for the last Kit Kat and you see your wife licking her fingers and you’re like “Hey, did you grab that last Kit Kat?” and she’s like “Oh, yeah, sorry I didn’t know you wanted it.” And she kind of has a tone like I just discovered that treasure haul of chocolate death like five minutes ago but you know for a FACT that some peanut M&M’s have been disappearing from the stash. So you’re like fine I’ll grab the last six Snickers bars and toss them in the glove compartment of my car and she’ll never find them there.

These shenanigans are unhealthy in a marriage.

Here’s how the new system works:

1) The kids go trick or treating. They get as much candy as humanly possible. They have a blast.

2) Instead of eating it (I mean, they eat some of it I’m sure) they sell it to the dentist.
He loads it all up onto a big scale and he pays them cash on the spot. A dollar a pound.

3) The kids are rewarded in cash for all of their trick or treating. Depending on the age of the child it can be a real grind to work those long routes. Being paid for their candy, something that is absolutely theirs might be the first time they actually engage in a monetary transaction in their life. So they get that.

4) They also get to not eat a ton of candy. Kids come home with bags stuffed with candy. What percentage of that can they realistically eat, even if they sit there and crush through as much of it as they can until they’re sick?

5) The dentist’s office actually puts their money where their mouth is because they pay out hard cash to keep all that sugar off their patient’s teeth.

6) The dentist’s office displays all the candy they’ve collected. Last year it was several hundred pounds of candy. That’s kind of staggering to see that much sugar kept out of the gullets of little kids.

7) After they collect all the candy, the dentist’s office takes all that candy and sends it overseas to troops on duty through a program like Operation Gratitude.

8) The soldiers win because they get the candy and appreciate a little treat from home.

9) The candy companies sell the candy so they win. It’s not like anyone is saying boycott candy.

10) The kids win because they get to have fun, eat candy and make a little scratch on the side just by deciding not to eat all the candy.

11) The parents win because they’re teaching their kids to show restraint in a world of diabeetus and empowering their children to make an active, positive choice.

12) The parents also win because they’re not mashing Reeses Peanut Butter Cups into their faces like crazy people who have never smelled chocolate before. They’re not casually popping M&M’s into their mouth with their morning coffee and justifying it because it’s the ‘mini’ size. They’re not making a mental tier of all of the candy with Kit Kats and Twix Bars and Snickers bars at the top and generally rolling through literally pounds of chocolate until they’ve ingested Three Musketeers and Milky Ways bars with resentment and anger during like, the first week of December. They they sit there wondering if they should start attacking the Nerds and the Smarties and the Twizzlers and the Starburst fruit chews. None of this happens. Because the dentist mercifully buys it away.

13) The dentist’s office wins because they’re taking a socially conscious stand for what they believe in and promoting prevention and teaching kids moderation with cold hard cash. They do foot the financial burden of the whole process, but my friend says they’re thrilled to do it. They actually make a big deal of it when kids come in. It’s pretty great.

14) The local food pantry also wins because for every dollar they pay out in candy the dentist’s office matches it with a gift to the local food pantry.

I’ve racked my brain trying to find something about this that doesn’t feel like a great idea, but it all feels so circular and right to me. It’s good for citizens and enlisted troops. It’s good for big business and small business. It’s good mojo. It’s good hygiene. It’s good business.

How many plans do you know of where everybody wins? I hear that more and more dentists are offering some version of a candy buyback. Does yours? If not, maybe shoot them this article or send them the link to Operation Gratitude and help them make a difference in your community the way my friend does in mine.

And you know this was meant to be an uplifting message, but I know how these things work. So, go ahead, Pajibans. How DO YOU RANK YOUR CANDY??

Lord Castleton is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

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