Posted By Ester Venouziou,
Friday, November 04, 2011
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Near my old desk at the St. Petersburg Times, in the news design department, we had one of those plastic pumpkin-baskets, and that's where we'd all dump our leftover candy: Halloween treats, Easter Peeps, Christmas candy canes, "I'm going on a diet and need to clear my kitchen cabinets" candy.
• • •
The pumpkin was always there, sometimes packed with candy, sometimes empty. Reporters, photographers, and other co-workers from other departments would often stop by and strike a conversation. They'd talk about the weather, the news, the latest sports game; maybe they'd ask about someone's kid or home.
We all knew the small talk was just a charade, though, and that they were really there only to get some candy. When the pumpkin was empty the conversation would end quickly, and they'd walk away, disappointment in their eyes. When the pumpkin was full they'd stick around, sometimes grabbing a second or third piece of whatever was in there.
Sometimes, when the candy was particularly good (mini-Hershey bars!!), we'd hide the pumpkin. Sometimes, when an editor or reporter wanted to get on our good side, she'd come by with a bag of really good candy (Dove!!) and replenish the pumpkin.
The pumpkin, sad to say, was a major source of amusement for us.
• • •
By the time Halloween rolled around I had already been laid off from the St. Pete Times, part of the company's massive downsizing plans. It was my first time in years that I didn't have to work on Halloween night, and I went out and bought a big bag of candy eyeball rings. Turns out my neighborhood doesn't have many kids —- or maybe they were out looking for the better neighbors who were giving out the better candy. Regardless, by the end of the night most of the candy was still there.
And now, I don't have a pumpkin to dump it all into. .. Anyone want an eyeball ring?
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Ester Venouziou, founder of LocalShops1.com and co-founder
of Gulfport! Magazine, is available for freelance projects: writing,
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halloween at work
leftover halloween candy
St. Petersburg Times layoffs