As with many other things in John Curley's life, trick-or-treating was far from normal for his two children. After all, the regular Halloween candy wouldn't do after John and his wife vowed his kids wouldn't eat any sugar until they were 4-years-old.
It was tough enough on normal days with John's wife often making their own sugar-free food and snacks like kale pops in place of sugary Popsicles. Halloween brought a special challenge.
"Once you adopt that, you can't on Halloween just suddenly let your guard down."
He couldn't deprive his kids of the joy of trick-or-treating, so he came up with a uniquely Curley idea: He bought eight bags of baby carrots and enlisted the help of his dumbfounded neighbors.
"I would run ahead to the houses and I would say 'Hi we're going to be coming up. We're the Curley's. We live down the street in the blue house. When our kids show up can you please give them baby carrots?'"
Curley says most of his neighbors were good sports and played along, even though he could see their discomfort as his kids arrived to trick-or-treat.
"The poor person at the door would be like 'Um, oh, and here's something for you,' and drop the baby carrots in the bag."
It was hard work keeping up the ruse. At some point the carrots would run out. John says he would reach into the bag pretending to inventory the haul and surreptitiously take a few out, then run ahead to the next houses. Finally, his daughter had enough.
"Charlie's like 'Dad, I think Halloween's over.' I said why? And she said 'well, you seem really tired and I think we have enough carrots,'" he laughs.
Yet somehow, no matter how many houses they went to, the kids never caught on. John says they never figured out they had more than eight bags of carrots.
Still, he says at the end of the night his wife had some serious second thoughts. "Oh, I deeply regret this," John says she sighed. So this year things are different. Sugar is okay. "Big houses, big bars," John says.
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