Candy. Who invented candy? I imagine a million people could take credit for it — all the way back to cavemen climbing trees to get honey out of beehives — but I think it was drug dealers. Candy is children’s crack. When I was a kid, my vice was Skittles. Skittles … sounds like some type of withdrawal. “Damn dude, I’ve got some serious Skittles!” or “Get him to the hospital, can’t you see he’s Skittlin??! In the ’70s, my sisters and I would haul empty RC cola bottles to the corner market in a little red wagon to get our candy fix. That’s when a bag of Skittles cost 10 cents. Today, I think a bag is about 34 dollars. I just loved every single color of Skittles, and every single flavor. I could literally taste the rainbow. I had other sweet, colorful favorites back then, too: Wacky Wafers, Bottle Caps, Zotz, Spree. And chocolate, too, of course: Charleston Chews, Oompas, Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — back when Reese’s had an actual peanut-buttery filling, not the chalky stuff they’re filled with today. Oh, but I still love them.
Obviously Halloween was my favorite holiday when I was a kid. Dressing up in a fun disguise to get free candy from every single neighbor for miles. I always imagined I’d save my Halloween candy for the whole year. Right. It was long gone by Thanksgiving, most of it devoured on Halloween night. My parents would always tell us not to eat candy before we went to bed, or we’d have nightmares. Probably like people on acid having hallucinations. So why on Earth my parents let us take our Halloween loot into our bedrooms, I’ll never know. And oh sure, I didn’t touch it like they told me not to. Right. I must’ve ingested 23,070 calories worth of Skittles, Snickers, Reese’s, Jujubees and Milk Duds before 9:00 p.m. Halloween night 1973. The resulting hallucinatory dream followed: there I was, in the dark on our back porch staring into the black abyss of the backyard. Why I was outside in the dark staring into the wee corners of the backyard in this particular dream is beyond me. It felt like I stared into that deep hole of the yard for a long time until, wait … something was moving … something was … gulp … coming towards me! Wow, this dream was actually in color because I saw three werewolves, each stylishly dressed in short blue pants and dashing yellow shirts with red bandanas tied around their necks. They were arm in arm and skipping towards me ever so creepily. I was frozen. It’s hard to run in dreams anyways, so it’s a given I just stood there like a dumb-ass. They proceeded to dance around me and tie me up in rope until I screamed “MOMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!” and sprang out of my sweat-soaked sheets. Strangely, my Dad burst into our room. Usually Mom was the nightmare rescuer, as I assume my Dad was usually sleeping soundly while my Mom was mending socks, writing up a grocery list and making a casserole while sleeping with one eye open. So my big, strong Dad, immediately provided relief when he burst in the door. He sat down on the bed while I sobbed and poured out the details of my horrific dream of metro werewolves. He tried to hide his laughter (though not very well I might add, Dad) and tucked me back in and told me it was just a nightmare and to go back to sleep. Go back to sleep??!!! Are you high?? I saw werewolf shadows all over my room!!
Okay, thinking back maybe I really didn’t see werewolf shadows, but I’ve seen the Tooth Fairy. For real. I was about 9 years old. My cousin Lori was spending the night, so she was in my twin bed and I got the floor. I didn’t care because Lori was pretty and had brand new red and white pajamas that I was in love with. See I always had hand-me-downs, so I thought those things were the cat’s pajamas. Thank you, I’ll be here all week. I had lost a tooth that day and obviously had stuck it under my pillow. It was a front tooth, so I was anticipating a whopping 25 cents. I remember waking up and seeing something fluttering near my pillow. It wasn’t a werewolf … but a … uh … what is that? An angel? Monster? Big pile of empty Skittles wrappers? Holy cow, it was a big freakin’ psychedelic butterfly!! I closed my eyes just enough to squint so it would think I was still asleep. That butterfly was as big as my head and was every color of the rainbow. It was just hovering there, all tooth-fairy-like. Then it swooped down towards my pillow, fluttered back by my face a little, and off it went. I followed its path to the bedroom door where I saw my Mom standing, looking at me with her head cocked to the side. She was probably contemplating checking me in to the Betty Ford Center, but I swear till this day that I saw the beautiful Tooth Fairy and she took my tooth up into the sky where I still see it shining like a bright star till this day. Wait … maybe that’s a satellite.