Trick or Treat? Whoop-doo!

The economy is in the shitter. That much is certain. What does that mean for Halloween? This year, it means you're going to get more Trick or Treaters than ever before. Parents will be sending their small ones on a grocery reconnaissance mission. Folks will be eating candy out of their plastic pumpkins for the entire month of November. Thanksgiving is going to be a bag full of Snickers and a couple loose Jolly Rancher side dishes. Yes, the Second Great Depression is upon us, and the only way families will make it through this Winter is if they take to the streets on October 31st in search of free candy.

But wait! You don't have enough money to fill an entire bone broke neighborhood full sweets. You're just as tired and thirsty as the next guy. Have you been to K-Mart lately? A bag of M&Ms will set you back six pennies. That's a kick in the crotch. Especially when you're trying to help the homeless reach Valhalla. "What to do, what to do?" shouldn't become your all-inclusive mantra this All Hallow's Eve. You can either download a Sussex Police No Trick or Treat poster, turn off all your lights, and go hide in the ditch. Or you can get resourceful. Yes. There are a lot of household items just laying around that might help out these poor, unfortunate waifs who've been sent to your home in search of a fall family meal. Here's a list that won't have you spending any money at all, and it might just keep some poor yeggs from dieing of starvation next Saturday night:

BOOS! and WHOOP-DOOS!: Spooker Washington's Recession Era Trick 'r Treat Tips!

1) Peanut Butter on Crackers. Every month I get the same old jar of honey peanut butter and box of Saltine crackers from the local government consortium. This makes for a delicious and easy to serve plate full of trailer-fancy hors d'oeuvres. What smiling child wouldn't want to consume this sweet and salty snack while shivering to death on your porch? Be kind and offer them two or three. Maybe they can stick one in their pocket for later. Or save it for Dad. When he wakes up from that drunken stupor, he'll need something to cleanse his palate of all that Country Club Malt Liquor he chug-a-lugged waiting for his little spook to fly home with a feast. Peanut Butter on a Cracker is sure to satisfy that need.

2) Ramen Noodle Bowl. If you really want to help out a starving family this Holiday Season, you can't go wrong with a Ramen fancy noodle bowl. These things are just pennies a piece. You can get a whole big box full of them at the Green Wal*Mart for a buck twenty-nine. That's a deal. If you have three close-by neighbors, you can even split the difference. The guy to your left hands out the noodles. You serve those kids a steaming hot pipe full of creek water. And the guy to your right throws them the individual flavoring packets. That way, you can all share the cost, feed the neighborhood, and maybe have an extra flavor packet or two left over to suck on later. Bonus!

3) Rocks. These things are everywhere. In the back yard. In the ditch. On the porch. Big ones, small ones, pretty ones. And it's such an iconic, classic treat. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown has become a Halloween institution, beloved by all, big and small. Imagine the hours of laughter those rubber-faced hooligans will have when they open up their pillowcase to find a rock waiting for them inside. "Just like Charlie Brown! Har har! Har har!" Giving rocks out at Halloween certainly makes me smile for miles on end. It doesn't really help a famished family of four. But it does provide some much needed amusement in their lives. And they'll finally be able to identify with a celebrity.

4) American Made Hungry Dog Super Value Pack. The cheapest dog snack on the market, this giant bag comes with some of the most disgusting shit I've ever seen. Including goat butts with bone and full pig hooves with ankle meat. Okay, so Crotchbone will be a little pissed when she sees her puppy supply diminished! But these items are gross and in-line with Halloween, plus they will give their recipients hours of gnaw time while replenishing them with vitamins and nourishment. I've seen Crotchbone chew at a cow wrist that came out of this bag for hours. What better way to stave off the impending pains of poverty than sucking on some dehydrated farm animal bones?

BOOS! and WHOOP-DOOS!: Spooker Washington's Recession Era Trick 'r Treat Tips!

5) Pennies. Everyone's got plenty of pennies lying around the house. This is fucking money! Kids love loose chains, especially when you throw it at them by the handful. Maybe get a couple of cheap plastic baggies and tie ten of them in a bundle. If enough homes hosting Trick or Treaters gave up their unwanted, burdensome pennies, we might just be able to buy some poor family a super value meal from Krystal Burger. You've had those coins for far too long. All they're doing is collecting dust. Shine them up and ship them on to the less fortunate in the world. It will be much appreciated.

6) Empties. On that same note, empty beer bottles are essentially free money. Who doesn't have a garbage can full of loose empties rolling around by the side of their house? I know I do. These things are worth a nickel each. Give three children one drained Coors can apiece, and they can pool their money for a Ramen Fancy Noodle Bowl. Your depleted liquor stash is just garbage in your eyes. But to some husky ten year old willing to hike up that long and winding hill to the recycling center, it's a dream come true.

7) Salt. Yes, a baggie of salt is perfect for those kids whose mother has lost her spice rack to the housing market. That old Malt-O-Meal is getting a little bland, and the potato soup is starting to bore the hobos. When you offer up an individual packet of salt or pepper (which you can get at any local fast food restaurant for free), you are offering the dregs of society a certain freedom eagle taste bud euphoria that will make their lives all a little brighter. Seriously. Who doesn't like a little salt on their uncooked noodle square? And damn, does a Jolly Rancher stick taste that much better when you sprinkle a little dash of white rock zing on it.

8) Soap Squeezings. Another item that is readily available at the local government consortium is Freedom Eagle Washing Liquid. Maybe the poor retches on your cul-de-sac have retrieved more than enough Hamburger Helper on their Halloween food-scavenging mission. They've eaten their purloined meals, and now its time to clean up. Help them out by giving a little squirt of this lavender flavored dish soap. Just because they're bums doesn't mean they don't like to be clean (that's a stereotype and a cliché). One dollop of Freedom Eagle will cost you next to nothing. And it will give some families back a bit of their dignity. Guaranteed.

9) Plackers Micro Mint Individual Dental Flossers. You get 90 of these in a bag for two bucks. That's both a deal and a steal. No one else is going to be looking out for these poor little fuckers' teeth. And you know their parents no longer have dental insurance. The majority of their pumpkins are going to be filled with teeth rotting sugar-treats. Why not take a stand and help them out. Sure, it kind of sucks to get an individual flosser in your sack at Halloween. But someone's got to look out for the kids. And that someone is you. Remember this: The Children are our future! Who wants a nation full of denture wearers? Not me.

BOOS! and WHOOP-DOOS!: Spooker Washington's Recession Era Trick 'r Treat Tips!

10) Compliments and Hand Shakes. They're free, and the kids love 'em.

We're all a little poorer this Halloween season. That doesn't mean it still can't be fun. Look around your house. I'm sure you've got some garbage you need to get rid of. One man's trash is another kid's Halloween treasure. Like, Boo! All you thalidomide babies! Have fun on the other side of trick or treating! And remember, next year you could be the one hustling through the neighborhood looking for any old discarded Mounds wrapper to lick the chocolate off of.