What's Really in Your Halloween Candy?
Salem, MA | The annual Trick or Treat tradition has been dampened by tales of twisted psychopaths doling out poisoned candy and razor-blade-filled apples to unsuspecting cherubs. Each year local media feature lurid segments about tampering and recommend herding our little ones to parties instead of door-to-door.
But is there any rational basis for these warnings, or is it just a combination of urban legend and heightened national paranoia? Let's examine the facts:
Who can you trust?
No one. It was never a good idea to leave the well-being of your children to the mercy of strangers. But the dangers have increased exponentially since Nine-Eleven. That innocent-looking apartment or trailer home may very well contain a nest of sleeper-cell terrorists.
Should you examine all treats under X-ray?
Definitely. Many communities offer a free CAT scan of your kiddie's Halloween stash. A dangerous syringe can be concealed easily in a Twinkie [evidenced below], Butterfinger, Chick-O-Stick or Jolly Rancher. It is an unfortunate fact that most candies are produced in third-world countries with little or no sanitation enforcement. Many confectioners are located near medical waste dumps.
If possible, irradiate all fruit, cheese and baked goods - cookies, cupcakes, pies, etc. Another option is to microwave the goodies. Twelve to fifteen minutes on the highest setting should do the trick. Deep-frying will also render most contaminates inert.
Chocolates and Mints:
One word: Ex-Lax. The odds are one-in-four that a "fun size" candy bar has been replaced with a powerful cathartic. It's almost impossible for the untrained eye to distinguish between a Milk Dud and a suppository.
It's common knowledge that green M&Ms are an aphrodisiac. Be sure to locate these and remove them from the package as soon as your child comes home. If you decide to store them, keep them safely hidden from curious teenagers.
Open, examine and smell all Tootsie Rolls. They could just as easily be dog or cat feces.
Jawbreakers have a 36% likelihood to explode. (Why do you think they're called "jaw breakers"?) The long-lasting pleasure of enjoying this treat isn't worth the risk of permanent facial disfigurement.
Never eat a lollipop while driving. Hundreds of people are killed or injured each year when their car's airbag deploys, forcing the deadly projectile down their windpipe.
Life Savers? The name alone should send a chill down the spine of any vigilant parent.
Not only does chewing gum promote tooth decay, it takes seven years to pass through the digestive system if swallowed. So your child will be in college before recovering from its effects. Also keep in mind, terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden owns a monopoly of the gum arabic supply. When you chew gum, you chew with Osama.
- Little "Mikey" of Life Cereal fame died after mixing Pop Rocks with soda pop.
- Some food colorants are made of ground-up insects and/or tropical bird droppings.
- Is that really sugar in those Pixie Stix, or weaponized anthrax?
- So-called "licorice rope" may be fashioned into a tiny noose, posing a hazard for toddlers. (It also has an unsettling resemblance to the Australia Black Python, the most venomous snake in the world.)
So keeping all these things in mind, enjoy a fun, safe and spoooooky Halloween. It could be your last.