This is about a national disaster that didn’t happen, but it could have. One year, all sugar crops, beet, cane and whatever else produces sugar failed because of the disastrous sugar weevil and the nation ran out of sugar. The authorities saw it coming but called the information “fake news” and only the producers (including the entire Red River Valley) and grocery stores had any idea what was happening. The news didn’t hit the papers or TV until Oct. 29. But the long and short of it was that the U.S. was totally out of sugar and there was absolutely no candy available for the kids on Halloween. None. Zero. The sugar bowl, candy dish and cookie jar were all empty. No sweets.
What do you give the kids who come to your door on Halloween if nothing sweet is available? They’re all looking forward to a little Snickers or tootsie roll. But Halloween wasn’t canceled. It was announced that homeowners, coast to coast, would come up with substitute hand-outs for trick-or-treating and the kids were encouraged to come out and ring the door bells or knock on the doors.
The homeowners did their creative best. They gave away pencils, crayons, erasers and little hand-operated pencil sharpeners. They gave away apples, oranges, tangerines, grapes, bananas and other fruit – after all, they contained sugar and were sweet. They gave away little calendars, Halloween greeting cards, coupons that could be exchanged for candy after the sugar crop disaster had gone away. They gave away little rubber balls, Lego parts and anything else they could come up with in the emergency. But no gum or candy (not even sugarless gum -- the country was out of artificial sweeteners too).
How did the kids respond? They were understanding and good sports, right?
Are you kidding? They screamed, they cried, they stomped their feet. You would have thought they had just been told that Santa Claus had been kidnapped. They broke the new pencils in two. They threw erasers, pencil sharpeners, little rubber balls and other phony prizes into the street. They had snowball fights with the unwanted apples, oranges, tangerines and bananas (after first trying to make boomerangs out of the bananas). They organized a national protest movement. They refused to wear underwear until they got candy again. Their slogan was "No Snickers, No Knickers."
The sugar drought hit the adult world too. Nov. 1 rolled around and there was still no sugar. No cakes, no pies, no pastries, no ice cream, no whipped cream, etc. It’s as if all pleasure had been wiped out overnight. The Sugar Bowl football game was changed to the Pickle Bowl, and country music rating changed because there were no more sweethearts to write about except old sweethearts, and nobody writes songs about old sweethearts.
You can imagine the wave of disaster resulting from the absence of sugar. Did the Red River Valley become a big cow pasture? Don’t even ask. Could kids swallow medicine without a spoon full of sugar? Don’t ask about that either. Just be thankful that the national disaster is only a nightmare and thankful for sugar producers and thankful that millions of heart broken children were not scampering around without knickers.