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Monday, October 25, 2010

The Daddy Tax

It’s time again for tricks and treats. It’s time again for you to smell my feet! OK, I won’t hold you to that. I’ll just help myself to some of your candy.

At the age of three, my daughter knows exactly what candy is and how Halloween figures into getting it. Her first year was more about showing her off in a cute costume than about getting candy as she was only a couple months old. Year number two was pretty much the same thing. Last year, she started to understand it, but didn’t understand the concept of candy all that much. Oh, but she gets it now. She knows full well that she’s going to dress up and go house to house saying, “Trick or Treat” in the hopes of getting candy. I assume that, once the night is over, she will already have a mental checklist of each and every piece she collected and will make sure it’s all still there in the morning. But she has to account for the Daddy Tax.

You might be familiar with the Daddy Tax, even if you’ve never heard it called that. The Daddy Tax is the candy that gets collected taken out of your stash before you get it. It’s so wrong, I know. You know, I don’t remember if my father ever took any of my candy as a luxury tax for living in this world. I know there were times I got tired of seeing Pop Corn Balls and Bit-O-Honey in my bag and wondered where my Reese’s Cups went. I don’t know if was because my dad took some of the good stuff out of my bag claiming it had to go through closer inspection for things like razor blades. I do know that I hated those black and orange wax paper, awful tasting, filling removing, candies that tasted like they had gone rancid before getting into your bag. I lived for the Reese’s Cups and Fun Dips. I was even OK with SweeTarts or that strip of candy in the shape of different fruits including watermelon. I detested anything licorice or anise flavored and couldn’t stand Chunky. I was alright with getting a mini pack of raisins but Chunky? WTF?!?!

My kid tends to like chocolate, for the most part, which should be good in the case of me getting my hands on a few Snickers bars. She's not a big fan of peanuts. Hopefully, there will be some caramel in there. A Caramello would be preferred over a Rollo but I’ll take what I can get. Thanks to my wife’s father she has a predilection for Milky Way, Tootsie Rolls and lollipops. We frequent a place that has one of those crane games that will let you keep playing until you win some candy. It’s a ritual that she gets to have Pappy win her some candy before we go. Halloween will be a jackpot for her. At least it better. I went to Sam’s Club this weekend and bought two 120 count bags of the good stuff and a five pound bag of the cheaper stuff. You may think I’m nuts but I remember running out of candy the first year I lived in my current residence. It was almost like Night of the Living Dead when we ran out. We were flipping off the lights, shutting the blinds and hoping the hordes of monsters wouldn’t see us inside. The next year it poured down rain and I ended up with lots of leftover candy which ended up going to her piano students… and me. This year I fully expect to fill the bowl at least three times.

These days, the Daddy Tax almost seems foolish. If I have a lot of leftover candy after all is said and done, there’s no need to pick through my kid’s bag since she doesn’t need it. Not like I do, but I’m only looking out for her best interests. LOL. It’s inevitable that I will have leftover candy because we always buy too much as a conditioned response to that first year. However, I may spy something in my daughter’s bag I really like. In that case, I may have to have sit down and discuss a deal before the trade deadline.

If I see a Fun Dip in her candy bag, though, it’s totally mine. I’ll put up a blockade, post guards and enforce martial law if I have to. That damn thing will be mine.

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