Just an excerpt from David Sedaris’ “Us and Them” in the spirit of Halloween:

I knew that it was just a matter of time before she came into my
room and started collecting the candy herself, grabbing
indiscriminately, with no regard to my rating system. Had I been
thinking straight, I would have hidden the most valuable items in
my dresser drawer, but instead, panicked by the thought of her
hand on my doorknob, I tore off the wrappers and began cramming
the candy bars into my mouth, desperately, like someone in a
contest. Most were miniature, which made them easier to
accommodate, but still there was only so much room, and it was
hard to chew and fit more in at the same time. The headache began
immediately, and I chalked it up to tension.

My mother told the Tomkeys she needed to check on something, and
then she opened the door and stuck her head inside my room. “What
the hell are you doing?” she whispered, but my mouth was too full
to answer. “I’ll just be a moment,” she called, and as she closed
the door behind her and moved toward my bed, I began breaking the
wax lips and candy necklaces pulled from pile no. 2. These were
the second-best things I had received, and while it hurt to
destroy them, it would have hurt even more to give them away. I
had just started to mutilate a miniature box of Red Hots when my
mother pried them from my hands, accidentally finishing the job
for me. BB-size pellets clattered onto the floor, and as I
followed them with my eyes, she snatched up a roll of Necco wafers.

“Not those,” I pleaded, but rather than words, my mouth expelled
chocolate, chewed chocolate, which fell onto the sleeve of her
sweater. “Not those. Not those.”

She shook her arm, and the mound of chocolate dropped like a
horrible turd upon my bedspread. “You should look at yourself,”
she said. “I mean, really look at yourself.”

Along with the Necco wafers she took several Tootsie Pops and
half a dozen caramels wrapped in cellophane. I heard her
apologize to the Tomkeys for her absence, and then I heard my
candy hitting the bottom of their bags.


  1. eyezwideopen on 10.31.2004

    :) Happy Halloween!!!

    Hope they give you some Halloween candy to go along with your joints.

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