Halloween is quickly approaching and community watchdogs want people to be on the lookout for ghosts, ghouls ... and people with money who skimp on handing out large packs of candy.
On Thursday, @BestofNextdoor, a Twitter account devoted to calling out funny posts found on local Nextdoor app message boards, tweeted a post from an anonymous account that goes into painstaking detail about the type of candy that's been deemed as acceptable to be handed out in "affluent" neighborhoods and, perhaps more importantly, the types of treats that should be banished forever.
The author tries to pass off their three-paragraph rant as a public service announcement on behalf of deprived children in their "affluent" town of Rancho Cucamonga.
And by deprived, they mean all the kids who have apparently suffered at the hands of the wealthy doling out sorry excuses for candy, such as Dum Dums and Smarties.
"Over the last three Halloweens, I’ve noticed candy stock has become more and more diluted with cheap candy. I don’t know if this trend is the result of the higher bills or even the new constructions, but cheap candy has somehow infiltrated our community for Halloween and it has to stop," the post reads.
It continues, "Standard full or KING size candy is the bar (pun intended) we set for our community on Halloween. If you purchased the fun size, you don’t need to return them. Just keep in mind that 4-6 of those fun size bars equate to a standard size bar when you doll out that candy to trick or treaters.
"And please, for God’s sake, leave those Peep candies alone. No one, and I mean NO ONE, wants those terrible marshmallow tragedies."
That's a pretty solid burn to the peeps who make Peeps. The post also bashes "the elderly" for "peddling" pennies and recommends they stop, or else step it up with quarters.
Best of Nextdoor's tweet has quickly gone viral, with almost 14,000 likes and over 3,000 comments. Most people were amused, but some seemed to take offense with the post's overall message.
Some speculated the rant was not written by a taxpaying member of the community, but by a very small manipulator — or several tiny posers.
There were also those who apparently feel one's candy selection is a personal choice that shouldn't be questioned or attacked.
That is, of course, unless it's the incredibly divisive candy corn.
TODAY Food reached out to the Nextdoor trolling account which tweeted the post, but the people behind the account would not confirm how this particular message was obtained.
On Facebook, however, someone whose account says she's from Rancho Cucamonga posted the same PSA on Wednesday — a day before Best of Nextdoor put up its tweet.
After calling out the penny-peddling elderly, a Facebook account holder named Tanya Wilkerson continues with more over-the-top demands, like suggesting dark chocolate be kept "out of circulation" and warned citizens they'd be watched while trick-or-treaters visited their homes.
"Let it be known that this year, there are several of us parents patrolling and monitoring the candy distribution of houses in our neighborhood," the lengthier diatribe reads. "We will be carrying around small cans of spray paint and marking the sidewalks in front of your house with a red dot in hopes of preventing others from experiencing the same ill fate and time wasted."
At the very end of Wilkerson's post, a cheeky disclaimer appears: "This is a joke, stolen from another city's page, changed to Rancho Cucamonga with some added flare ... Hope you laughed. And if you started to get pissed, well good! It got me too! LOL!!"
So who is the real person behind the now-viral rant?
Wilkerson was not immediately available for comment to explain where she allegedly obtained the original post, but even if the whole thing is a joke, cheapskates everywhere have definitely been warned.
UPDATE: On Oct. 7, a reporter located a Facebook "rant" (which was posted on Sept. 19) in which TODAY had been tagged. Kevin Flanagan from Elmhurst, Illinois, says he is the original Halloween prankster behind the big candy post. Flanagan, a husband and father of two who is the vice president of a local moving and storage company, said he's become well known around his community for writing satirical posts on his community's Facebook group.
"I just like to write and make people laugh, and my community's Facebook group has been a great portal for it! As with all satire, there are some elements of truth or reality in my post, and that's probably why it has become so popular and people have shared and revised it to fit their community," Flanagan told TODAY via email. "My idea for the post originated last year. We're in Illinois where we are taxed heavily, so we condition our son for it and hit him pretty hard with the Parent tax for all of his Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Milky Way bars. After seeing what was left, something had to be done!"
Looks like it takes an element of truth to make a funny prank go viral.