Our little apartment in Old Crow is in full Halloween mode; my mom mailed up decorations, and our crib is sporting the spooky colours, orange and black. It’s the first year that our daughter Emily is kind of grasping the concept of taking candy from strangers. The last two years, I basically made her my personal candy magnet; I’d knock on someone’s door, say “trick or treat”, and hide behind her using her as a little human puppet.

It was an ingenious way to trick-or-treat again and I milked it for all it’s worth. Emily got a few treats and I was guaranteed a trip to the dentist. 

Today she’s almost three and I feel that if I get in the way of her candy haul or so much as enter the same room as her “booty”, she will give me that unwarranted stink-eye of hers and send me on my way. But it’s cool; I know the rules when it comes to safeguarding a boatload of sugary treats.

This year Emily’s going as Curious George. I laugh because the costume has a hood with Curious George’s head on top, so when she wears it, it looks more like she skinned poor George and is wearing his body.

Word on the street is that Old Crow goes all-out on Halloween and I’m excited to see how much delicious candy Emily can bring in. Despite being an isolated community with few in-town choices for candy and decorations, I know that Old Crow’s going to pay off because of its rural community roots; it’s no secret that the small country towns always have better Halloween payouts than larger cities.

I know this from experience because I come from a small country town in Quebec. When I was young, way back in the ‘80s, my sister and I literally collected pillowcases of candy: whole chocolate bars, big bags of chips, and full cans of pop were the norm. Because there were few lights and lots of land, we would group up with friends and get chauffeured around by our parents. It was no wonder my friends from the larger neighbouring city were always clamouring to jump on our rural bandwagon. 

One year I went with my friends for Halloween in the city. Being a naive fat kid, my mind was racing with the prospect of a super-haul in a larger domain; why hit houses here-and-there when you have whole blocks of homes and apartments? It’s all about the candy!

My bubble promptly burst around the fifth house when my pillowcase contained nothing more than a few rockets, some caramel squares, and that God-awful candy corn. Even my hallowed UNICEF box only contained a few measly pennies. I should have been tipped off when I saw that all these kids were carrying in terms of candy receptacles were tiny pumpkin baskets, but I was blinded with candy lust.

Whitehorse is a different breed; it is in essence a small city with a large town feel.

It would be fun to see which borough is the candy king. I’m sure many of you already know, and are keeping your candy secrets close to your chest. E-mail me and we’ll talk.

Until then, way up in Old Crow, I’ve got a pillow case, and a cute little girl wearing Curious George’s skin to do my candy bidding. I just have to figure out how to avoid the stink eye.