I learned a lot last night, trick-or-treating with my buddies, Alex and Jensen, and their friends Alesandro and Isaac.

For instance, costumes with too many accessories can hold a guy back from really collecting the goods. Jensen’s light saber and Isaac’s ninja knives nearly cost them a Snickers or two as they had to be adjusted and readjusted. Eventually, the parents ended up holding some of the weaponry.

I also discovered that people who leave their outside light on (the international welcome signal for trick-or-treaters) when they go OUT on Halloween night are no treat. In fact, on more than one occasion I heard, “They must be tricking us,” as the boys walked away empty handed from an empty house.

But if you want all the kids to like you and shout things like, “This is the GOOD stuff!” to their parents, then be really generous. An assortment of items tied up neatly in a goody bag seemed to really win big favor.

The most important lesson I learned, however, is that children are far more likely to recognize Ninjas, Jedis, or pop stars than they are one of the more mythical creatures in out nation’s history: the American farmer. I showed up with a straw hat and bib overalls and nobody could guess who I was!

Both of the boys scored big last night, however. And it was no surprise that when their mom said they could each have two treats before bed, they both chose the biggest ones. They’re no fools!

Next year, I think I’m going to dress up as a dentist. That will REALLY stump them!