The Legend of The Dingledroff


“It’s the most wonderful time, of the year. Something and something, I don’t know the words, and holiday cheer. It’s the most wonderful time-” Oh excuse me, I was just singing about the greatest holiday this side of the Mississippi. What’s that? Christmas is still 2 months away, you say? Well I’m not talking about Christmas, silly billy, I’m talking about Spoopaween! Also known as Halloween if you’re, you know, boring. Spook Season is a time of family, frights, and unsupervised party nights… you didn’t hear me say that last one. No holiday comes close to surpassing this joyous season!… Wait, you think Christmas is better than Spoopaween. Tell me, what does Christmas have that Hallows Eve does not? Santa Clause? Pfft. Yeah, ok. Good one… wait – you’re being serious. You really don’t know about Halloween’s Santa? Well get comfy, cause I’m about to blow your uncultured mind. Prepare to learn about the St. Nick of Tricks, the Kris Kringle of Creeps, the… some other nickname I can’t think of. This is…

The Legend of The Dingledroff

Now, just to preface, details about the following event are a bit hard to come by. Most who know the legend are either too afraid to give up any information or think I’m an idiot for believing such a story and don’t return my calls. However, with the help of some reliable sources who prefer to go unnamed, I have been able to piece together what I consider an accurate retelling of the legend. Anyway, here we go.
The year was 1771 in the small town of Schwartsenshtingle, Switzerland. “But Ryder, Switzerland doesn’t celebrate Halloween, blah, blah, blah.” Yeah, they don’t… AFTER WHAT WENT DOWN THAT YEAR. Now keep your yappers shut, I’m telling a story. Schwartsenshtingle was a poor town. Its people lived solely off of beetroots and good vibes as they waited for the most anticipated time of the year- Halloween. You see, Schwartsenshtinglians had been celebrating Halloween long before the rest of the world hopped on the bandwagon. Some even consider Schwartsenshtingle the birthplace of the event. Yes, the Schwartsenshtinglians loved their Spook Season, but that would all change soon enough.

Little Tommy Brandenberger
It was a week before Hallow’s Eve when town bully little Tommy Brandenberger, playing hide and seek by himself in the woods as he always did, encountered a strange man standing next to a large pine tree. The man was about 8 feet tall and shrouded in a tattered robe. Foolishly, poor Tommy approached the obviously dangerous man and demanded: “Gimme some candy, jerk-face.” Not a second later, the tall man reached into his pockets, pulled out some candy, and proceeded to chuck it a million miles an hour into poor little Tommy’s poor little face. It was still candy though, so it really didn’t hurt that much. Nevertheless, Brandenberger was fuming. “You’re dead meat, old man,” he said in a voice that sounded like it was from a 90’s highschool sitcom. Poor, little Brandenberger. The last thing he heard was what sounded like an owl giving birth to a 40 year old man. He was never seen again.
Now for some context. Remember when I said that the Schwartsenshtinglians were poor? Well, the reasoning behind their economic insecurity had to do with their unhealthy obsession with candy. They went nuts for the stuff, some spending upwards to $8,000 dollars a year on candy alone. And it wasn’t even good candy. Remember, this was the 1700s; the best of the sweet stuff they had back then still tasted like tree-bark. Regardless, candy kept its standing as the prominent Schwartsenshtinglian good up until October 31st, 1771; the day of the incident. Let us get back to that, shall we?
Brandenberger spent most of his time in the woods. Sometimes it would be weeks before he even checked in with any of the local townsfolk, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when Tommy didn’t show up at school the next day. Or the day after that. Or the day after that. People just assumed he was out there eating rocks, or something. But he wasn’t. He… wasn’t.

The Letters
It was two days until Halloween, and the Schwartsenshtinglians were going through an epidemic. After years of excessive consumer demand, the Schwartsenshtingle Candy Coalition had run out of candy. Oh, it was a disaster! You know The Purge movies? Yeah, James DeMonaco didn’t pluck his inspiration for those out of thin air. There were fights, riots, protests; people were breaking into each other’s houses in a desperate attempt to find any semblance of that sweet, sweet tree-bark. How would the Schwartsenshtinglians celebrate Halloween without candy!? Yikes! It makes me anxious just thinking about it. Luckily, they were about to receive a miracle… or perhaps a curse. For the night before Hallows Eve, each and every Schwartsenshtinglian received a poorly hand-written letter on their doorstep. The letter read as follows: “ If you have been good I will bring you sweets; sugars, syrups, and Fallompoebeets. If you have been bad I guarantee, you will soon have a chat with little old me.”
Nobody knew what a Fallompoebeet was; probably just needed something to rhyme with sweets. Nevertheless, the promise of candy reinstilled joy throughout Schwartsenshtingle. And not a moment too soon. Halloween was tomorrow.

The Dingledroff
Halloween night. The mysterious sender had followed up on his promise, leaving each and every Schwartsenshtinglian a bucket of candy under their holiday cactus (It’s a Swiss thing… probably). However, in the sugar induced euphoria that followed throughout the day, the Schwartsenshtinglians seemed to overlook an important detail regarding their deal. That whole “If you have been bad” part. You know, the entire second half of their contract? Yeah, that part went completely overlooked. And if you can recall, the Schwartsenshtinglians hadn’t been the best of citizens lately with the “breaking into each other’s houses” thing. Regardless, the people went about their day blissfully ignorant of their impending punishment until around 6:00 p.m. when the festivities began. Children and parents (even adults participated) dressed in costume began to fill the streets of Schwartsenshtingle, ready to start their trick or treating. And trick and treat they did. Some say that the candy hauls pulled in that year were three times larger than usual, and the man with the most candy of all was Mayor Sertainstein. Using his authority, Sertainstein passed a bill allowing him alone to legally perform the most dubious act of disrespect any Schwartsenshtinglian could possibly imagine. He allowed himself to take not one piece of candy, but two! Oh, the humanity! What a horrible man that Mayor Sertainstein. However, he would soon receive his just desserts.
Returning home after a long night of pillagement, Sertainstein foolishly decided to take a detour through a dark, seedy alley. Stumbling through the shadows, Mayor Sertainstein suddenly was confronted by an ominous, 8 foot figure of unbridled menace.
“Out of my way, pal” said Sertainstein. The figure’s head, shrouded in robe, stared blankly at the ignorant man.
Then the figure spoke. “I am the Dingledroff, and your people have been very naughty.”
“What on Earth are you talking about, old man?” said Sertainstein. “You did not heed my warning. Schwartsenshtingle has broughten disrespect upon Hallows Eve, and now your town shall pay.” it replied.
And with that, the Dingledroff tore off its robe, revealing a body so terrifying I couldn’t possibly begin to describe it without scaring myself. Imagine a spider with the arms of a gorilla and the face of a rabid opossum. Then, facing the night sky, the Dingledroff opened its mouth and began to disgorge heaps upon heaps of Halloween sweets. In other words, it started to throw up candy. Like, a lot of candy. Buckets of the stuff. Sertainstein, frozen with fear, disappeared in the wave of confectionary goodness that flooded the alley. The Candylanche, now too large for the alley to contain, quickly spread throughout Schwartsenshtingle, filling every nook and cranny with sugared delights. Eventually, the weight of all that candy became too much of a toll on the shoddy infrastructure of the town, which itself was built upon unstable ground. Before you could say Happy Spoopaween, the entire town of Schwartsenshtingle was swallowed up by the Earth, leaving any trace of the Schwartsenshtinglian’s existence scattered throughout legend.

There you have it. Now you know the story. I hope this newfound information has helped you see the error of your ways. It has? Well, good. It’s nice to know all that blabbering was not for nothing. What’s that you ask? Whatever happened to the Dingledroff? Well, they say he is still out there, returning every Spoopaween to reward those who have been good and punish those who have been bad. Hmm? Another question? Jeez kid, I have places to be you know. Have I ever seen the Dingledroff?……..
No… No I have not. I… have not. Heh, heh, heh…