THE FIVE STRANGEST THINGS MY GRANDMA GAVE OUT TO TRICK-OR-TREATERS
Grandmothers - you gotta luv em! My Grandma has always been a bit "off" and has given me enough material to write a book, but she's still my Grandma... Although her weird quirks have given her the reputation of being crazy, whether it be cooking French toast in the toaster or telling everyone that her poodle speaks German, it was always Halloween that had the family placing bets with each other as to what crazy things she'd pass out in place of candy. She loved kids and I was never sure why she chose not to pass out candy like everyone else, but that was her thing.
#1 - Soy Sauce Packets: Just what every kid wants - right? Mmm... soy sauce! What would a little kid possibly want with a packet of soy sauce anyways?! Maybe to go with the mu-shu pork Mrs. Foster is passing out the next street over...
#2 - Old Magazines: Usually it was National Geographic or Home & Garden, but there were also TV Guides, Reader's Digest and Guns & Ammo among various others. It was funny enough seeing the look on the kid's faces as Grandma folded the magazines in half to cram into their bags, but I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when their parents saw that little Jimmy was the proud owner of a four-month old copy of Auto-Trader.
#3 - Office Supplies: I'm not even sure where they came from because she didn't work, but one year she had all sorts of boxes of staples, pens, post-it pads and scotch tape that she gave out. Never mind the fact that nowadays, passing out staples to kids would get you arrested, but even back then, it really didn't seem like a good idea. Thankfully, no children ever mistook the staples for hard candy (that we know of) but again, I have to stop and wonder how the parents reacted.
#4 - Hotel Soaps and Shampoos: Again, not quite sure where she got enough of these to pass out to the nieghborhood kids, but as I recall, they were all from the Raddison. "Ooh look! I got Pert-Plus!"
#5 - Dashboard Calendars: I don't know if you're old enough to remember, but companies used to pass out small calendars to stick on your dashboard instead of the now popular pen. The calendars she passed out were for the Massey Ferguson Tractor Company and were actually not expired! At least they were useful...
All that aside, my Grandma is a wonderful person and extremely caring to her family, her friends and just about everyone else. Her intentions were never to upset or disappoint the nieghborhood children - she just always had a different way of approaching life. She is nuts, however, and I would be lying if I said that I've never worried about whether or not it's hereditary. Happy Halloween this year and tell your children to avoid Dakota Avenue!