I wanted to build a skinner box to dispense halloween candy

Unfortunately, I probably won’t have time to do that before Saturday. Next year, perhaps.

Meanwhile, My Fella and I carved this Jack-o’-Lantern–

–at a pumpkin-carving party hosted by our down-street neighbors, which we attended after My Fella insisted on crashing a block party at the church in order to score some free BBQ (because the party to which we’d actually been invited was a strictly vegetarian affair, and My Fella will apparently die if he goes more than 36 hours without consuming meat, like a zombie or werewolf).*

The events, both of them, were relatively painless. This is high praise, tho’ I realize it doesn’t sound like it.

Crowds make me nervous, because they are only one slight misunderstanding away from becoming mobs.

On the other hand, small groups also unsettle me, because I can’t easily hide from, say, five people, all of whom have polite questions for me to answer about my livelihood, my geographical origins, my connection to the host, while mispronouncing my name.**

Plus, I’m a disappointing guest: I don’t really know how to have conversations with people I don’t know; all I’m good at is maintaining a neutral expression while people talk about themselves and periodically interjecting a randomized sequence of active listening cues: Huh. Really? Interesting. That sounds cool. Ok. I didn’t know that. Please tell me more about X. (Etc.)

It’s like a subroutine.

Which brings me back to my dilemma: how to automate, to the best of my ability, the task of handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. I have no desire to answer the door every forty seconds for five hours. But neither can I leave the candy on the porch, because the first kid to arrive will take everything, enraging all subsequent visitors, who will then take out their frustrations through a combination of shouting, theft, and vandalism.

Maybe I could just assign My Fella to the task? He’s by far the more likable.

Actually, now that I type the words, I realize it’s possible that I’ve been approaching this problem from entirely the wrong angle: I’ve been assuming, probably because I’m female, that the solution is a consumer device will make my so-called life “easier” (see Exhibit A, below) —

but do you see what hasn’t evolved at all?

— whereas what I probably should be doing is adopting a masculine approach: harnessing other peoples’ physical, mental, and emotional labor in service of my own ideas and goals.

Halloween, Everyone.***

*So strong is his craving for flesh that he will set foot on hallowed ground to obtain it.
**I have stopped correcting everyone, which means that my name is — depending on the situation — Gil, Jill, Jael, Jewel, Julie, Julian, Jen, Ginny, Gem, Gel (“wow, that’s such an unusual name”), Jrury (srsly ppl C’MON!), or (once) Jinty.
***I’m not going to say “Happy,” because it’s not my place to dictate anyone’s holiday-related feelings.

2 thoughts on “I wanted to build a skinner box to dispense halloween candy

  1. Libby says:

    Once you assign the task to the male, make sure he doesn’t give candy to adults or teens who won’t dress up!

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