Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Warning: Halloween Contains Addicting Levels of Sugar

Those of you who know me even a little are generally aware of the embarrassing truth that I contain 70% high fructose corns syrup. You know because it is plainly printed on the label I wear. Those of you who don't know can be excused, because I am generally sitting on it. Ah, if only my objection to physical exercise could trade places with my fondness for all things sweet. As you know, the Holiday Season has started, and I started it with a bang – or at least the sound of a jelly-filled donut hitting the fan.

The Mormons in Monmouth celebrated Halloween this last Saturday with the annual “Trunk or Treat”, in which children who go around begging for the “Treat” get thrown into the “Trunk” and driven across the Independence Bridge. Just Kidding! . . . ha ha – who would ever think of such a thing! No! Trunk or Treat is where hundreds of families gather in the church parking lot and give out “Treats” from the “Trunks” of their cars. This is a really fun and safe Halloween activity which goes back generations. This year, before the Lion Kings, Dorothy’s, Witches and Power Rangers came out to politely request their treats, they enjoyed potato sack races, a cake walk, a fishing booth, and a “Haunted Maze”. The women did a great job putting on those activities inside the church, while the men who were supposed to be doing that wandered across the street to the Western Oregon University field where a physics professor profoundly inspired this years engineering students with an assignment to build a pumpkin-tossing trebuchet.

This was an sacred moment for most of us men, but eventually, we remembered our families back at the traditional church Halloween party. I helped my Wendy with our traditional treat of hot cocoa and hot cider, which make us a favorite “trunk” among the parents of all the little ghouls and boyglers.

Speaking of traditions, they say that "Halloween" originated as "Holy Evening", a special holiday on which everyone went to church dressed as Sponge Bob Square Pants. Seriously, the legend is that they used Jack-o-lanterns to scare away the evil spirits, because the next day was a special religious holiday.

This came to be again this year for the Mormons. With November 1 falling on Sunday, it meant Halloween was followed directly by the Mormon holy day known as “Fast Sunday” which occurs on the first Sunday of each and every month. “Fast Sunday” is not a day which goes by really fast in the sense of “time flies when you’re having fun”, but a day in which you DO NOT EAT.

May I just suggest that, as a rule, a 4000 calorie day should not be followed by a 40 calorie day. This clue dawned on me this weekend as I rocked back and forth in a fetal position while my blood sugar level descended from numbers normally recorded in scientific notation.

So while for others Saturday is the probably the best day for Halloween, for Mormons it may be the worst. But I have to admit, it was an effective detox day. Like my alcohol imbibing counter parts of other-than-Mormon religious persuasions, I largely recovered from my chocolate hangover during the course of Sunday. In other years with Halloween falling on a mid-week day I would have started the day with Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs, and it would have taken days to get over the sugar high. But this year in a mere 24 hours I was no longer tasting chocolate in the back of my throat, feeling my heartbeat in the hair follicles on my wrists, or singing “How Dry I Am” with Tootsie Roll drool rolling down my chin.

Whew! Glad to have that over, I energetically went back to work on Monday, where I found – by casually looking around, NOT by walking all the cube rows on the entire second floor one at a time – that many, many people had brought their children’s Halloween candy to work.


I have a duty to help save their children from a life like mine. Me and my label are going to work!

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