Halloween for Highschoolers


Credits to Luke Jones on flickr

Hayden Kim, Opinions Editor

As high schoolers, we no longer get the luxury of going to random strangers’ homes and asking for candy without looking foolish. This is why it is imperative that every high schooler understands how to manipulate the system. Unlike many other industries, the FDA fails to regulate the domestic candy exchange market. This is what allows you to exploit either small children or oblivious adults. First, we must understand the universal value of many candies. Oh, and before we start, if you like those black and orange peanut butter kisses, candy corn, or Necco Wafers you will automatically lose no matter what.

We can divide candy into four main groups: chocolate-based, hard candy, gummy, and fruit flavors. Chocolate based candy includes Hershey Bars, Snickers, Twix, etc. Hard candy includes Jolly Ranchers, Gobstoppers and basically anything that takes longer than a 1 minute to ingest. Gummy candy, which is the most specific of the four groups, encompasses literally anything from Haribo and other soft, chewy candy. Finally, fruit flavored candy which covers everything else like Nerds and Smarties.

At the higher levels of the Candy Manipulation Market (CMM for short), hard candies are the most valuable for their long-lasting flavor, relatively cheap price, and generally good taste. This means you can exploit anyone under 10 with the 3 fun-size Snickers for regular Gobstoppers trade. But be warned, you must avoid low-quality knockoff hard candy without a descriptive label. Red Hots also have a low value among younger children though older children love them. This can be exploited to your benefit.

Another key piece of the candy trade is the identification of trade partners. There are two things to look for in a trade partner: flavor affinity and general age. You can easily profit from chocolate lovers with the Snickers for Gobstoppers trade from before or several KitKats for a box of Mike and Ikes or some Jolly Ranchers. But with chocolate, you must remember that high-quantity chocolate like king-sized or full-sized bars are extremely valuable and you must never trade those away. When it comes to age, you cannot take candy from children 5 and below. We are ruthless, but we aren’t monsters. This rule came into effect due to the universally accepted Ashley’s Rule when she traded her entire candy stash for some Mike and Ikes and Pop Rocks. People with peanut/tree nut allergies, lactose intolerance, or strict diets make great trade partners.

You must also organize your candy to seem like you have high-quality candy and a large quantity. For example, hide your Tootsie rolls, Mary Janes, and Licorice under the theatre candy boxes, Whoppers, Caramel Candies, and Nerds. You can trade the entire pile for a full-sized chocolate bar of any kind or a full box of Gobstoppers/Jolly Ranchers. You must also set aside any butterscotch lollipops or caramel based candy for the inevitable Parent Tax.

Finally, some actual trade strategies. Do NOT listen to the kid who says to dump all the candy together and then dice it out based on flavor affinity.  Trade cotton candy/pina colada flavored candy for any form of chocolate candy. It will be worth it later. Smarties, Twizzlers, and fun-size Nerds are good add-ons to any trade. Attempt to trade fruit candies and gummy candies for chocolate based and hard candies. At the high school level, it’s about quality over quantity. One last thing we must always remember: focus on having candy through New Year. It will numb some of the mid-school-year depression. As for anyone who offered you fruit, out-of-season candy, or animal crackers, don’t worry, they are going to endure lots of pain when Easter comes around.