Thoughts on Candy

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At the end of the night, you dumped your loot on the table and surveyed it. Snickers. Kit Kats. Milky Ways. The Holy Trinity of Chocolate. You knew you would have to eat as much of it as soon as possible because Dad was eyeballing them too.

Then there was the mid-tier candy–stuff like Sweet Tarts, Smarties, and Now & Laters–you enjoyed those too, but you didn’t have to fight for them or squirrel them away. This kind of stuff is the reason that years later, the dentist would say the words “pit in tooth, small concavity,” and you would know it was the goddamned Smarties. But for now, you arranged the small round candies by pastel color on the table in front of you, and then ate them in groupings.

And then there would always be the metric ton of unexciting candy: the handfuls of Tootsie Rolls and Mary Janes lobbed in your bucket; the terminally-ill-colored chews in the black and orange wrappers, the cough-syrup-flavored Strawberries. Old people candy. Old people loved to hand this stuff out. I can hear my grandmother saying she “used to love these when [she] was just a little girl,” holding a Charleston Chew out in her speckled hand.

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You know the house.

It would be the house that wasn’t decorated, but a porch light would still be on. You had a bad feeling about it. The door step smelled like old people before you even rang the bell. Ding DONG.

A wait. You adjusted your mask. Behind you, you could hear other Trick-or-Treaters rustling up to the porch. A small crowd was waiting now.

What do they think, that you got all night for this? You had to get home for some Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors.

An old woman hobbled toward the door, a gummy smile on her face.

Finally. Geez.

“TRICKORTReee….” everyone said. Not in unison. “…eeEEAT.”

Through the eye holes of your mask, you see her palsy hand dropping in the Tootsie Rolls. Thud. You can feel the disappointment crawling through. A waste of valuable Trick or Treating time.

“Thank you,” you said though gritted teeth. You did have manners, afterall.

Tootsie Rolls suck.

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Now some people will say they love Tootsie Rolls, like my girlfriend. I’m going to try some armchair “candy psychology” here. To eat a Tootsie Roll, you have to be patient. There’s a lot of chewing, slowness, savoring going on. You can’t inhale them like Kit Kats.

She’s the patient one, the second-born. Yes, a relationship between Tootsie Rolls and birth order. I’m brilliant and I’m submitting it to a peer-reviewed journal tomorrow. So she got stuck with the mid-tier and bottom-rung candy after her brother wolfed down all the good chocolate. She learned patience and acceptance. She’s also dating me.

The first born is more aggressive. Wants candy now. No time for chewing. I’m the first born. I’m a wheeler and dealer. I could totally get my sister to trade me her Reese cup for my ten Tootsie Rolls. I’d count them out on the table to prove I wasn’t ripping her off. She was rightly skeptical at my proposals and ideas. One…two…three…look how many more pieces you’re getting–ten more pieces–when I’m only getting one. It wasn’t just a good deal; it was a pragmatic deal. And maybe she liked Tootsie Rolls too.

But it could be worse yet. At least Tootsie Rolls were still edible. Trick or Treating could be downright brutal. You could get the kind of stuff every kid dreads. Boxes of raisins. The peppermints leftover from the Christmas candy dish. And the most grievous sin of them all: Pennies.

Well I guess it could still get worse–you could have been little Jimmy, who got arsenic-laced ant traps in his candy pail. Or poor old Charlie Brown, who just got rocks.

Or still worse. You could be a younger sibling.

“One…two…three…four…OK, you got me. I’ll even throw in a couple pennies.”

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9 responses to “Thoughts on Candy

  1. Yes, thank you for saying the generic orange and black candies suck. I wrote about them 2 years ago (along with Mary Janes who are made by the same company) saying they were the worst Halloween candies EVER. I had several people comment and email that those were their favorite candies and they tasted awesome. I’m like, “Did I wake up on Bizarro World, WTF?!”

    Thank you, Pizza, for helping me realize I am not f’n crazy.

  2. What about those sqirrel candies that were some kind of processed caramel that took centuries to chew and chipped at least one tooth?

  3. I’m right there with you, man. Tootsie rolls are ass! I’m a pretty patient person (and the first born, so go figure), but I hate regular tootsie rolls and those generic chewy candies and the mary janes. I also hated getting suckers, hard candies, raisins and other fruit. We weren’t allowed to keep raisins or any fruit – those were deemed unsafe and went in the trash. LOL

    Fruit flavored tootsie rolls are ok. But the chocolate ones don’t even taste like chocolate, so they FAIL! My favorite thing to get was always the snickers. And I loved going to a certain neighborhood in my town that always gave out FULL SIZE candy bars. Fat kid’s dream come true. LOL

    • What’s up with full sized candy bars being given out at Halloween? Nothing like this EVER happened when I was a kid, and if someone did hand them out, it would have been LEGENDARY.

      But now I see value-priced boxes of full-sized bars on the store shelves for Trick or Treaters. No way.

  4. I’m the youngest and I say FUCK TOOTSIE ROLLS! And anything else chewy. I want the MEGA GIANT SUPERKINGSIZE Snickers. I want Kit Kats, heck give me Smarties…just don’t give me anything hard or chewy.

  5. Vanilla Tootsie Rolls are awesome. Lime too.

    But back in the day, sonny boy, all we had was faux chocolate.

  6. The orange, lemon and cherry Tootsie Rolls are yummy. I NEVER could have pried a Tootsie Roll from my little brothers sticky paws. There was one house that gave king sized candy bars and none of us missed it, no matter how far the walk. You rocked Dr. Santiago!

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