Monday, October 29

Trick or Treat in East Arlington, Jacksonville, FL

out of candy Jacksonville
It's kind of weird talking to people about trick or treating in Jacksonville. Some people will say all they do is Trunk or Treats. Many will tell you they don't need candy because no one goes in their neighborhoods. And then there's where we live.

I'm not giving you the exact coordinates because I don't have enough candy for you and your entire sucka crew to show up again. Our first year here, I had to run out during the evening to purchase a couple extra bags of candy. This year, we're ready. The wife has pencils and cheesy snacks, too, but I also have four $10 bags of candy. That might get it done, but I was pretty confident in 2017.

Our area starts with a party at the community club house. (At least don't crash that if you're looking to target someone's neighborhood.) After the party, everyone scatters like ants in search of sugar. And they find my house. It's a constant parade of kids. Maybe 1/3 live here, 1/3 in the condos nearby, and 1/3 are from all over the metro. But they're all looking to score. The neighbor next door left a bucket out last year, and it lasted all of 10 minutes. These kids aren't messing around, so passer-outers have to be on their game.

My wife is better at passing out candy than I, and she'll call kids out for taking too many (if we give them the option) or coming around a second time. I generally think that the kids are a reflection of their parents, and if the parents encourage the inherent greed of the holiday, I'll play along for one day. I only get upset with pre-teens and teens who get dressed up in nothing and bring a pillow case. At least do your hair funny or wear a hat from the Dollar Store.

I'm also not a huge fan of the Halloween protesters. Big deal, the kids want to dress like Disney Princesses and Marvel Superheroes for a day and get candy for the effort. 99% of people don't make Halloween about sin, evil, the devil, or witchcraft. It's based off a Christian holiday celebrating those who have died, and we just made it less morbid in some ways, so get off the old high horse and hand out some candy. Sure, tooth decay is morbid, but these kids get all kinds of sugar in their daily diets, so a sugar overload one day a year isn't a huge deal. But you could always be the clever one who passes out toothbrushes.

My neighborhood was constant activity from the unofficial 7pm start time until the unofficial 9pm end time. I posted the note on my door at 9:30pm last year, after the kids went to bed and the doorbell was still ringing. The only candy I had left was some suckers the kids didn't want. By the way, no kids want suckers very much, which is why when you finally ingest one, it tastes a decade old, since those kids donate the suckers to their family coffers for the next Halloween giveaway. Only suckers eat the suckers, sucka!

I think I'd rather live here, where a couple hundred kids will get handouts for Halloween, rather than in my old Milwaukee neighborhood, where we might get 30 kids total for the day (and it was a daytime thing there, usually during the Packer game). Or the one in Johnson County, Kansas. People in those neighborhoods were generally more friendly as far as talking to one another on the sidewalk, but the area where we live in East Arlington takes the cake (or candy) when it come to trick or treat.

The best part of the night was when a couple of boys showed up at my house near the end of the night. They'd probably been out all night, and one of these 12 year-old boys said to the other, "We have so much candy." It was true, but it was funny because the tone of his voice was that of someone who knew he had too much candy.

2018 was a bit of a down year, compared to 2017. That's OK. Two big bags of candy. The kids still all made a haul, there were just fewer of them. Maybe there was a rumor circulating that some other subdivision was the place to be.

Thanks for reading. See more of my content:

Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
McNewsy - Creative Writing
Educabana - Educational Resources
Brave New Church - Church Website Design
Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

Brian Jaeger - Resume (I'm always interested)

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