I can finally say what I've thought for years. Trick-or-treating is different today than it was when I was growing up. For at least a decade my wife and I stocked up on candy to give out to the kiddos and teens that would drop by trick-or-treating. And we bought the good stuff. Kit Kat and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Yet the kids never came. That was OK. More candy for us.

We usually explained away the lack of kids showing up at our door to apartment living. Complexes with many two or three story buildings that didn't have a lot of kids. There were the years where we might get two, three, maybe for groups of families out trick-or-treating. But many years none. Enough that we started having the discussion on whether we should even buy Halloween candy.

We thought it might be different in Warrensburg since we don't live in an apartment complex. We live in a neighborhood. On a street. And there's a mix of families with kids of different ages within a few blocks. So last year we bought candy. And nope, no one came.

This year, between the pandemic and our experience overall with trick-or-treaters we didn't even have the discussion. We just didn't buy any candy. It didn't matter. Nobody knocked on our door looking for treats.

When I was growing up Halloween was a big thing. And when it was on a Saturday or Sunday, it was even a bigger thing. Everyone got into it. From the little ones out with their parents. To the middle school kids out roaming around block after block filling up their treat bag. To the older kids, who kind of put in half an effort. Usually dressing in old, ripped jeans, a ripped dirty T-shirt under an unbuttoned flannel, and rubbing "dirt" on their faces to pass themselves off as a hobo.

The older kids would also have a can or two of Barbasol shaving cream. Which they'd squirt on the younger kids, and each other, after chasing them around the neighborhood. It was silly fun.

None of this seems to happen anymore. At least it hasn't anywhere I've lived in the past decade. I didn't see any kids trick-or-treating this year. I saw some UCM kids on their front lawn playing beer pong. Some other UCM kids had a rockin' Halloween party going on down the street. And someone in the neighborhood had a bonfire going last night. But no trick-or-treaters.

I saw exactly one person in a costume. A girl, about 12, dressed as a black cat. That was it. Kids still trick-or-treat. There certainly was no shortage of organized events around trick-or-treating this year. There were trunk-or-treats. Downtown business organized trick or treat times. And I'm sure parents drove their kiddos around to friends and family to trick or treat too.

But kids just roamin' around the neighborhood collecting candy? I'll stop short of saying it doesn't happen anymore. It just doesn't seem to be as big a thing as it was years ago. And that's a bummer. Because there's nothing like the experience of trying to outrun a twelve year old, whose trying to squirt you with his can of Barbasol, while you're wearing a plastic Batman costume trying to keep your candy safe.