Yeah, okay. I’m indifferent to Halloween now. This was my normal state for most of my adult life, but it changes when you get kids. Then you see it through their eyes, and wonder how all this gruesome stuff gets processed. Scary but not scary. Something suggestive of another realm? Not really; they grow up seeing this stuff in Target, so it’s part off the ambient early-childhood memories, made when they were too young to interpret the implications. It’s just a candy day. The first of the three holidays that define the end of the year, each evenly spaced, each with their own month of anticipation.

You know, that month-long Thanksgiving anticipation.

Adults were always indifferent about Halloween when I was growing up; the idea that dads and moms would spend time on costumes or go to parties and talk with other grown-ups who had a gardening tool embedded in their skull was not part of Fargo culture.

Ah, but when you have kids, it’s fun to see their fun. To take them out door to door . . . then stand at the sidewalk when they go up to the house by themselves . . . then wait at home for them to return, as they went out with friends. No matter what phase, there’s the triage of the goods, the division of the spoils into hierarchies of deliciousness, while you poach a Jolly Rancher or two.

Really, they’re good! Not really. But they last a long time, which prevents you from eating six Fun Size portions that make you feel vaguely disgusted with yourself. They always get reduced to one sticky wedge that nestles in a molar.

This year we probably have too much. I know we had too much last year, because I still have some Swedish Fish and Sour Patch Kids in my work drawer. They don't last forever. The Fish, as they age, turn leather, and you have to work hard for scant pleasure, which perhaps is why they're Swedish. Man was not meant to enjoy himself too much, and Providence requires our effort. It's a version of Russian fatalism, except the Swedes nod grimly and get down to business, instead of quitting and wandering off in search of a drink and some black bread with lard with pickles and horseradish vodka. (I mean vodka flavored with horseradish, not made from it, although I suppose in a pinch that would do.) The Sour Patch Kids, conversely, get looser as time goes on, and do not so much yield to the tooth as swoon, like someone who faints as Dracula approaches.

I don't know why they're Kids. They could be Berries. They could be Drops. Anything but children. Are there any other candies that contain the name of human youth, aside from Baby Ruth?

By the way, did you know that the Baby Ruth wasn't named for the baseball player, but President Cleveland's daughter???? Yes, yes, I do, and I don't believe it. She'd been dead for 17 years. It was named to capitalize on Babe Ruth, if you ask me. Or ask Wikipedia.

The company did not negotiate an endorsement deal with Ruth, and many saw the company's story about the origin of the name to be a devious way to avoid having to pay the baseball player any royalties. In a patent appeal, Curtiss successfully shut down a rival bar that was approved by, and named for, Ruth, on the grounds that the names were too similar.

It was a slightly tweaked version of a Curtiss candy, the Kandy Kake.

Some other Kurtiss hits from the teens:

The second one is interesting. Was "Jack" a candy term appended to indicate jaunty pleasure? No Jolly Jack for me, I'm full of Cracker Jack.

I bought some Kit Kat Pumpkin Pie before I went on my really-not-a-lot-of-carbs anymore diet, and I am loathe to go off the regime right now in case I should suddenly be transported to a fashion shoot on a beach somewhere.

Well, I can freeze them and dole them out, carefully. Carefully! One half bar a day. More than that and I’m a Macy parade balloon, right? Sigh

The worst part of this diet - the only bad part, really - is the abandonment of the weekend Breakfast of Utter Gluttony, although I suppose I could just reduce the portions. “I’ll have a hashed brown, please.”

“You mean an order of hash browns?”

“No, I mean a slender filament of potato, basted in oil.”

“So you want a brown, hashed.”

“No, that can’t be right. It’s not brown until you do something with it. Which would be the hashing? No, that makes it into the shredded form of the potato. Oh never mind bring me the whole damned thing. And a bagel. With cream cheese. And jam. Life’s too short.”

Anyway, it will be fun to see the children have fun

Another beautiful weekend. We should not have had another beautiful weekend. No one's thinking we're going to pay later, because no one believes in weather karma. No one will remember this weekend in two months and think at least we had that, because our current pain will override any such contemplative notions.

That said: any time you sit outside at half time and enjoy a cup of coffee and the slanting sun burnishing the remnant leaves, that's good.



Last time we saw Buck and Wilma blow up real good, so it’s a miracle they’re still alive, right? Right? Asks someone who never saw a serial and is also thick as a safe stuffed with bricks.

  Let's catch up with the exciting head-'em-off-at the-pass music.

They’re headed right for the No Longer Hidden City!

Whew! But one ship gets through!

And the occupants are immediately subdued! Buck says this is it, the end game - time to ask Saturn for support, and hit Kane, hard.

You wonder if the Saturnians were a bit dismayed by this, since they just signed the peace deal the day before, it seems.

Turns out the radio they left on Saturn is dead, and they can’t communicate with them. Buck says “I’ve been to Saturn twice, might as well make it three!” Ah, but how? He can’t run the blockade! Remember that ship that made it through? Everything’s coming up Milhouse.

Bucky is forbidden to come along, but of course he stows away, throwing off the cold equation, since his mass and oxygen consumption imperils the mission. Buck has to space him though an air lock. It’s a heart-tending scene.


They get to Saturn, and are detained by Saturn guards, whom they immediately beat unconscious, because they have to get to the Council of Slightly Befuddled Leaders.

Guy makes a good point.

Turns out Kane’s man kidnapped Prince Tallin, so they’re rethinking the alliance. They really are the most worthless bunch.

Buck has to set the straight, and you know, I think he may be missing a few vile crimes here:

Aw, really? Clips? This late in the game?

Anyway, A ship appears and starting bombing the joint. This is just a part of it, and again: I have been consistently impressed with this thing, if I see it from the perspective of a 13 year old in 1938.





That'll do. Have a fine Halloween, and by all means add your memories and current day plans in the conversation below.



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