Here we are pondering what to do about Halloween costumes and how to choose candy that will be safe from us before the big day and yet still a treat for us afterwards.

In the case of Halloween, planning is increasingly influenced by trends toward healthy eating and safety for children. This may be one of those cases where the balance between old-think and new-think could be re-thunk just a little. I would like to retain some of that old-fashioned Halloween fun somehow while still keeping with a little good sense.

Though I agree that Halloween shouldn’t remain the extreme sport that it was for elementary schoolers back when I was a kid, it’s too bad that most of the shivery fun offered by a little sense of danger has been eliminated. I admit that it is fortunate that munchkins no longer sweep in bands through front yards and across dark streets, no tiny munchkins attack the front doors of no-treat recluses with raw eggs and no teenage candy-poachers hide in the privet hedges (ah, those glorious days of unruly youth), but perhaps the sense of freedom – going out at dark, eating too much sugar, causing a tiny bit of mayhem – could be tempered with safety, too.

These days it seems like there are more vigilant parents coming to your door than there are trick-or-treaters. If I’m giving out peanut butter cups instead of toothbrushes, I feel so guilty that I try to slip them into the bag without the parents catching on and say “Here’s a healthy treat for you” in a loud voice while whispering “not really” under my breath (a clear case of “subterfudge” – serving candy to minors).

Not that I spit on safety measures; I do appreciate the wisdom of making sure there are no visual field blockages and no trailing costumes to impede mobility, and no unwary goblinettes invited into unfamiliar living rooms. But I have to draw the line at no homemade treats – I refuse to discourage those neighborhood angels who make popcorn balls and candy apples for all the kids in the neighborhood. In fact, I would still trick-or-treat if I thought I could get even one of those. And even though I still remember fighting for breath inside a rubber witch mask that stuck to my face when I inhaled and had such tiny eye-cutouts hovering over my forehead that I fell splat on the sidewalk, I would never have given up the delicious anonymity and the giant rubber wart on it for mere comfort and safety. I do, if truth be told, kind of miss the wild rumpus. A night of creative fun and chaos topped off with eating enough candy to make you throw up — does it get any better than that?