When we lived in Florence, Ala., my wife used to feel slighted at Halloween. Several of our neighbors kept their lights off, so few kids made the trek by our house to get a holiday treat.

Well, be careful what you wish for. Here in New Albany, we mostly feel overwhelmed each year, as hundreds of superheroes, Cinderellas, and their parents parade down our street, creating traffic jams and non-stop foot traffic.

It would go on longer, except that we usually give it up by 8:30 or so when we think all the littler trick-or-treaters are done for the night.

 Last year we had about 790 kids by that time, and we were tired of manning the candy bowl.

Now we have gotten it into a manageable routine, though. The first year we lived in New Albany, someone told us to be prepared for lots of trick-or-treaters, but we had no idea. We ran out of candy by the time it got dark.

The next year, we bought lots and decided to sit out on our front porch with the candy bowl, so our dogs wouldn’t bark and try to run outside every time we opened the door.

That worked a little better, but our porch is up a couple of steps and kids wearing masks with small eye holes tended to miss the steps and fall into the flower bed.

Last year, we got it right. We put a couple of camp chairs down by the street and handed out candy as kids walked by. It’s sort of the Henry Ford assembly-line approach to Halloween, but it works.

This year we bought more than 800 pieces of candy 10 days ago at Sam’s Club. It’s been sitting in sealed plastic bags on the dining room table. Amazingly, it’s all still there.

Who says we don’t have any will power?

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Well, there might be another factor – Journal, Inc., the Tupelo company that has purchased the Gazette.

The company’s health-care plan has a lower deductible if you meet certain health criteria.

The deductible is reduced by $500 for each of four factors: not smoking, low cholesterol, low blood pressure and, you guessed it, a body mass index of 28.5 or less. The index is calculated using height and weight.

Right now, it looks like Jenny and I will have a chance at getting the maximum deduction. But Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County is not going to do the health screenings until Nov. 13.

I need to NOT gain any weight between now and then.

We better make sure we give away all of that Halloween candy.

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By the way, Jenny’s birthday was last Sunday. She told me it would make her happy if I didn’t write one of my columns about it. So I told her I wouldn’t.

This little mention doesn’t count, does it?

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by email at publisher@newalbanygazette.com.

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