Breaking Down 2009’s Stocking Stuffers

Hard to believe it’s December 8 already. Just two weeks ago it seemed too early to start celebrating and now it seems disturbingly remiss of me that I haven’t started yet. Let me share something with you. This stage of my life is known as banging out preparing a first draft of my thesis to have ready in about three weeks. I have a shitload more a bit of small ways to go yet. It’s all about revision.

I also have yet to begin Christmas shopping. And if the apocalypse were also coming, I wouldn’t prepare for it. I’d just try to wing it. In fact, preparing a first draft of a thesis, Christmas shopping, and the apocalypse are all on the same linear plane. But I’ve put up the Surfing Pizza’s holiday banner–which believe it or not–I made by myself in Paint. Doesn’t it make you feel warm and Christmasy inside? Me neither.

On top of this, I am absolutely determined to review plastic candy cane tubes with generic M&M’s inside.

This is a classic. I haven’t had one of these in a long time. This makes me realize stocking stuffers change over the years. As a kid, I received chocolate in various delivery systems (foil-wrapped, plastic-tubed, coin-shaped, Santa-shaped). As I grew older, I began getting Chapsticks. As an adult, I got packs of cigarettes and scratch-off lottery tickets. Since I’ve quit smoking, I now receive cute, tiny bottles of whiskey. Nothing says Christmas like vices. Sugar, smokes, gambling, and whiskey–and Chapstick, god damn you most of all. My lips just don’t feel RIGHT without it anymore.

The tubes were great because they could also be guns or secret potion containers. The potion was always tap water. The secret was always spit.

The candy inside is a poor imitation of M&M’s. The chocolate is too semi-sweet, almost dark, and leaves a syrupy aftertaste. Despite this, I have have managed to devour half the candies while typing this paragraph, and I still have several more candies to review.

Like another classic chocolate delivery system, the Santa Sack:

I’m a big fan of RM Palmer candies at the holidays. The stuff is dirt cheap and barely chocolate. It’s 99% vegetable oil and sugar, and it’s delicious. In Santa’s Sack comes three varieties–the Santa is double crisp, the bells are peanut butter, and the gifts are fudge flavored.

Also in Santa’s Sack came this:

This freaked me out a bit. In Santa’s Sack came what looked to be a half-eaten bell. A bell with bite taken out of it and then wrapped back up. For sure. Who knows what goes on in the RM Palmer factories? There must be a rat involved.

I always hear those stories about rats being found in jars of peanut butter. I pray that something like that happens to me one day. Lawsuit city baby. Was this my half-rat-bitten chocolate? Did Santa’s Sack bring me my golden ticket?

The answer is no.

It was just a malformed turd of a chocolate. So there we have it. Santa, the bell, and the malformed turd. I think I might title my thesis that. My stomach now contains a half tube of M&M’s, a bell and a Santa. (But not the malformed turd. Not tonight. Not feeling frisky enough for that.) I must keep moving on.

Here’s another oldie but goody:

The amazing Tootsie Roll bank filled with fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls. I’ve said it before, but let it be known—the chocolate ones suck. But the fruit ones are damn good. I always loved getting one of these just because having a Tootsie Roll canister as a bank is awesome.

I always thought I was going to save enough change to buy some big gift for myself. There were stories about overachieving kids in Scholastic Magazine or Disney Adventures who had saved enough money to take their families to Disneyland or whatever. I’d really get into it, even spelunking in the couch digging for coins, which was always a guaranteed jackpot for a few dimes and maybe an old potato chip.

But I never did that special something. All those dreams, lost. All those Pizza Points, never cashed in. Oh man, I’m depressed. I’m going to go drink tiny bottles of whiskey and smother my lips in Chapstick.

The next three items I decided to review aren’t classics. They’re just some of other random things I picked out in the stocking stuffer aisle. These are Holly Rings:

They’re sort of like Ring Pops, only with Christmas-themed sugar mounted on top. I took a couple of licks of each. Each was a different flavor, though I couldn’t tell you what those flavors were. They were cute more than anything, if somewhat doofy looking. They were difficult to lick given the tiny size and awkwardness of the base. I didn’t want a slobbery mess. So in true Christmas spirit, I bit the heads off for you. The Gingerbread Man was a bit of trick and I couldn’t get my teeth around his head. So I just scraped the face off. Merry Christmas!

I was really excited by this colossal candy cane stick, known as Big Jim–

To me, eating a candy cane always felt like it was taking an hour to finish. Taking on Big Jim would be like a taking on a half-marathon. I don’t even like candy canes that much, but it’s true–big things are just more awesome. You know what’s even more awesome? Eating the whole thing is 400 calories. The Big Jim is nearly a Big Mac.

I’m saving this beast for Christmas night. I’m thinking egg nog, present opening with the girlfriend by the fake $14.99 Wal-Mart tree, and a Big Jim.

Finally, I’ve procured another treat from the Original Gourmet Food Company.

I’ve reviewed several of their holiday offerings now, and I think it’s becoming a Surfing Pizza tradition. If you haven’t seen them, take a look at my reviews of The Halloween Cookie and last Christmas’s Gingerbread Cookie. Basically, I’m amused by this company because they sell the grossest-looking confections in the world’s most generic tins.

Over the last year and a half, The Surfing Pizza has received many Google search hits from people trying find something out about this elusive company. In fact, my favorite comment ever appeared this past March, from a reader named Matt. I want to post it here because it is so awesome and hilarious:

“I received one today and was so dissapointed at the first sight, I began a search for a website prior to even eating the gross thing. I figured I might want to eat it before writing to bitch at them for deceptive advertising and misleading packaging techniques. When you get there, not a single link to the companies inter network web site works. The one that does work is a link to some other site selling paintings. And I am curious as to wether those paintings are not actually stolen copies of Thomas Kincaid(sp) paintings. They look exactly the same in the style used as well as colors. Ok, the cookie sucked too. It was NOT a double chocolate chip. It was NOT original (unless the word original describes the year made). It was NOT the size of its container. It was NOT even half the size of its container. It was NOT that soft. It was NOT very good. IT DID have a dry and powdery like feel on the palate, like too much flour was used and not enough butter or egg or what ever is used to make a cookie taste other than like a bag of flour. The tin is bright and colorful like easter but useless due to its size. If you can contact this Original Gourmet Food Co., please attach a copy of this comment. They suck and should hear it from all two hundred forty three people who have mistakenly bought one of their crappy cookies. I think this company made all their shitty cookies and loaded them with chemical preservatives to last 100 years. Just so they could use the bakery for as short a time as possible, then sell it and package them elsewhere.”

Dear Matt, thank you, whoever and wherever you are. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And now for the annual look whatever crap is in this tin.

Wow. Talk about a malformed turd. That is not what fudge looks like. They do not love fudge (!!). It feels like a chalkboard. It’s smooth, hard, and completely dry.

I don’t even know what else to say. If I got this as a gift and was expecting fudge, I would be seriously depressed. Like cut myself with rusty pair of kindergarden scissors depressed. If you have reached my site today seeking help for depression over receiving this shitty tin, I realize if you are here, your life may be in danger. Are you feeling desperate, alone or hopeless?

The taste? It ain’t awful. It’s just pretty bad.

And well, that’s it. I’ve officially consumed half a candy cane tube, a santa, a bell, several Tootsie rolls, a snowman head, a gingerbread man face, and two bites of a malformed turd. My stomach hurts but I did it for Internet, and so I hope you just read all five pages. Check back, because I’ve got more Christmas 2009 crap to review.

I think this ought to be my Christmas card this year:

15 thoughts on “Breaking Down 2009’s Stocking Stuffers

  1. If I get an “I Love Fudge” tin with a malformed turd missing two bites in my Christmas stocking…

    I dunno what my threat is, but it’ll be bad.

  2. Every time a Palmer bell is consumed, an angel gets diabetes. (Great job on covering these holiday “treats”. I appreciate the stomach sacrifices such a post entails, believe me. Will a fruitcake expose be next?)

  3. I love it when people eat stuff to take one for the team. It makes them my hero. You’re right up there with the guy from the sneeze and his “steve, don’t eat it!” series. Retweeting this link!

  4. Amazing, per usual. I don’t even celebrate Christmas, but my grandpa used to go out and buy all of these things for me anyway. I always had that fake M&M candy cane tubes, and I agree the candy was crap.

    Those giant chocolate Santas, though. Those were amazing. We usually got that or a paperweight-size Hershey kiss. Ah, the memories.

  5. “The Gingerbread Man was a bit of trick and I couldn’t get my teeth around his head.”

    I’ll leave it at that, Pizza. There’s kids around. It’s Christmas afterall.

    And I cannot believe you like that Palmer crap!

  6. Dear god that fudge is the most depressing thing I’ve seen come from a tin in a while.

    And its in a damn tin, so you’d expect something at least half way decent. Oh well. I could at least use the tin for pen nibs, or my gouache or something.

    And I want one of those Santa sacks. They look awesome. I am jealous of all your delicious cheap candy.

  7. Yay! The best posts are when you eat gross stuff. And then say your stomach hurts. Yet you just keep doing it. Yay!

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