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You can have Halloween. Just leave the candy.

Jamey's mom's Halloween candy box never disappoints. There's even a pig ear for his dog Gonzo, who still doesn't quite understand concept of trick-or-treating. Jamey was a little sad because his favortie Halloween candy, Reese's peanut butter pumpkins, weren't included. (Photo by Lisa Malcomb)

I'm not really into the whole Halloween thing.

Maybe it's because we don't have kids, but it just seems like a big hassle and I'm just not into the whole dressing up and going out. Even when I was younger and it seemed like a good idea to go out and drink a little too much on Halloween, I still didn't like putting on a bunch of makeup or weird clothes.

In fact, when someone asked me what I was going to be for Halloween this year, I told them, "reporter."

Also, my dog doesn't really understand Halloween, so it's a constant game of him freaking out and me trying to calm him down so he doesn't scare the kids. The Gonz is bigger than most the trick-or-treaters we'll get, so that can be a problem. Plus, he stands on the couch and barks out the front window, which makes him appear to be over 6 feet tall.

While I don't really get into Halloween, the one thing I do love is the candy. I have a problem. I'm sitting here writing this and I can barely concentrate because I have a pack of Wild Berry Skittles on my desk. I've already had some Mike and Ikes this morning. It's worth saying again.

I have a problem.

For the past couple of weeks, the office has been a smorgasbord of bite-size Snickers, Baby Ruths, Milky Ways and candy corn and — good Lord, if I have any teeth left by Christmas I'll be lucky.

Something that has been climbing high on my list of best candy is the Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup. My mom sent me a six-pack of these lovely little delicacies at Easter — yes, I'm 41 and my mom still sends me holiday candy — and let me tell you, it's no joke. It's a lot like your standard peanut butter cup, except on the bottom. Between the creamy peanut butter and chocolate outside is a crust of the Butterfinger toffee. It just gives it a little bit more of that extra something. It's good.

However, in my book, the king of all holiday candy is the Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins. Actually, all the Reese's holiday incarnations are co-kings. Pumpkins, Christmas trees, Easter eggs, hearts — they are awesome. My wife and I both love the pumpkins and typically, we sort out many (if not all) the Peanut Butter Pumpkins from our bucket of candy to be handed out.

We used to think it was because holiday candy is fresher than regular candy. My sister said this is not true. She interned at a candy wrapper factory — that's a thing — for six months. She said they were running off holiday wrappers all year just like regular candy, so there's not really any difference. Party pooper.

Onto our current theory of why Peanut Butter Pumpkins are the king of Halloween candy. We believe the peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio is greater than your standard peanut butter cup. The extra peanut butter — if there is any — just raises the wow factor to another level. You give me a Peanut Butter Pumpkin with a little glass of milk and I'll show you one happy reporter.

So you can have the Halloween, but don't you dare take away my candy.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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