First off, I have to tell you that Halloween at our house is usually an event.  The photo was taken during the day. You can see the full size gravestones in the front yard. What you don’t get to see is the effect at night with the black lights, a fog machine, a spook that gets projected on the fog, and a scary sound track that plays through the outdoor speakers.  People drive to bring their kids our house to trick-or-treat.  You know you have effects right when there’s a little guy at the end of the drive way, balking, “NO, Mommy!  Not that house!”  I usually answer the door on contractor’s stilts in a 7′ tall Grim Reaper costume that’s complete with a very real giant scythe. 

This year the budget has been kinda tight, so we thought we’d skimp a bit on the candy.  We usually hand out Reese’s and Hersey Bars, but with the steady increase in number of kids, this has been becoming prohibitively more expensive each year.  I tasked my husband with finding some cheaper, but still “good” candy.  My husband, being the penultimate bargain shopper that he is, went to the dollar store to get candy to hand out to the kiddies.  He comes home with a giant bag of what appear to be off-brand blow-pop type suckers.  He’s all proud of himself, “Look, it’s a big bag and it was only two dollars!  It’s even reasonably good candy.”

Blissfully unaware of the nature of the candy, we proceed to hand this stuff out to all the kiddies.  About 11 o’clock the kids stop coming and all appears to be dark and quiet.  Since I’m no longer worried about running out of candy, I dip into the candy bowl and grab a sucker.  I’m sitting there on the sofa, playing on the laptop and trying to place the flavor of this sucker.  It’s got a sort of guava-mango thing going on that’s pretty tasty when it hits me.  My mouth is on fire!  My nose is even starting to run a bit. 

Startled, I snatch this sucker out of my mouth and look.  All through the hard candy are pieces of ground up chilli peppers.  Mind you, I use Tabasco instead of ketchup on french fries.  If I tell you something’s hot, it’s HOT.  After downing some milk to kill off some of the burn, I traipse into the bedroom to have a discussion with my husband about what kind of candy we’ll be handing out next year.  I told him that we’re buying Sweet Tarts next year and that’s the end of it.

I’m having bad visions of some poor little kid desperately seeking his sippy cup after getting a lick or two off one of these things.  You’d think it would be labeled or something, but they weren’t.  If you brought your kid to my house last night, I sincerely apologize.  We had no idea.  Please don’t egg us….