Today my dad will almost certainly come home with some serious post-Halloween loot. He may not directly admit as much to you or me (or even himself), but he will make it his business to include a stop at Target or Kmart or Winn Dixie or similar (god forbid CVS, they who ousted Eckerd, or those “thieves who mashed poor Pantry Pride”) in his errands this morning. Under the guise of something else entirely, of course (“the paper says they have batteries on special, May May, and we’re running low on double-As”). He’ll snag whatever fake-out item he targeted (and vocalized to anyone within earshot, lest his true motives be suspected for a second) and then “coincidentally” amble by the marked-down holiday candy bins, “just for a quick peek.”
Do I have you Steve Smith enthusiasts howling yet? Poor guy. I’m gonna nail him.
But Halloween was five days ago, you say. True. All the good candy will surely be gone by now. False.
First and foremost, Pops is not about to make a stop for anything short of free beer or Kate Walsh (heyo!) on a work day. And even then it better be on Wednesday, because that’s beer night (although I bet he’d go out of his way for “that cute fluff doctor” any night of the week). Saturday morning is when the man runs his errands. Moreover, those precious five days will mean additional markdowns. Some poor unsuspecting customers might be snookered into buying leftover holiday candy at a mere 30% or even 50% discount. Not our man Popperito. He shoots to kill. We’re going for 70% off, chumps.
As for the “best” candy, shows what you know. Who wants all that Snickers and Milky Way garbage? All that crappy caramel that gets stuck in your teeth, and then you’re spending more time digging around your gums than you are actually sucking down the damn things. And hello? More importantly? It’s all “chocolate nonsense.” Chocolate is dominating the candy world at an alarming rate these days. We (Steve and Steve Junior) Smiths savor the blissfully non-chocolate (read: true) candy. Brach’s pumpkins, anyone? That’s the ticket.
But he can’t come home with a couple bags of candy corn and pumpkins and call it good. No. The wise man throws in a treat or two for his unsuspecting wife and those freeloading adult children of his — one never can have too many brownie points on his side. So he’ll nab a bag of Hershey’s Kisses and maybe some Reeses cups and then halfway to the register he’ll double back and grab one more (some sort of chewy candy, like Mike ‘N Ikes or Sugar Daddies, or both) “just for kicks.” No harm in a little extra bargain candy.
Once home he’ll utter monosyllabic acknowledgements as he bolts to his closet to hide all eight pounds of his loot. This is HIS bargain candy and it will be consumed at the speed HE dictates. He’ll dole out pieces to everyone after dinner for weeks to come. Which means when I’m home for Christmas he’ll pop by my room one night with his fist closed around “a little treat for May May.” It’ll be the last of the pumpkins (my favorite). And he’ll already be scouring the advertisements for his next fake-out target — perhaps a few light bulbs? Bargain Christmas candy will be just a few days away.