Candy pranks have been coming up a lot in the news lately. None more widely seen and talked about than last year’s video challenge to parents from late night host Jimmy Kimmel, which he calls: “I Told My Kids I Atea All Their Halloween Candy”.
Encouraged by the late show host, parents got out their video cameras and smart phones and recorded their children’s reaction to a kid’s worst nightmare. Not only were they told that all their Halloween candy was gone, but they were instructed to also tell the kids that it was they, the parents, who ate it.
The video has gotten a lot of criticism over the airways, and after all that hype I was prepared to condemn the video not as cruelty or mistreatment, but as maybe not the best idea. Your young kids might not need to mistrust you and think you’re out to use them, and their candy, for entertainment value. While there is probably some truth to that, what struck me as unexpected in this video is how much the kids seem to be hamming it up.
Not having kids myself just yet, I’m left asking whether this is the natural reaction kids have to disappointing news. Is this genuine heartbreak or are they feigning dismay to get their parents to feel bad? The end goal being to replace their bulk candy loot. Some of their reactions do seem genuine, but others are clearly fabricated for one reason or another.
In the end, it was probably pretty harmless. A funny prank to look back on years from now…when the kid strikes back with a vengeance. Candy is very important to kids, and in general something we take very seriously. But I have a sneaking feeling that some or most of these kids were in on the joke.