I Want Candy
Indulge me for a few minutes like you would a party-sized Twix. Bite into the milk chocolate over smooth caramel and that light cookie crunch. Yum!
Tomorrow is Halloween. The chilly air and premature darkness remind me of my childhood days, dressed up as a frogman complete with a skin-tight wetsuit, flippers and goggles. I’d run around the neighborhood carrying a pillowcase full of candy. The mother lode!
Ah, the candy.
I’m proud to say I grew up in the 1980s. If you remember back then, it was still okay to give out candy apples and candy cigarettes. In fact, I used to pack the cigarettes and put one behind my ear for later.
What was not okay was to hand over a Clark Bar or a 5th Avenue. We knew the neighborhood houses that sucked! But there was always some clown at school who loved a Whatchamacallit and would trade a Nestle Chunky for one.
Candy was the whole reason for Halloween. The costumes, in my mind, were the lure for the candy. It’s like a seal performing tricks to get that fish. OK, I’ll be a pirate to get a fun-sized Heath Bar. I’ll even grunt out a “Shiver me Timbers” if you dole over that Blow Pop.
I took some time to jot down the candies I remember from back in the day. I separated the good from the bad, similar to what I did as a kid when I got back from trick or treating.
Almond Joy — The No. 1 candy bar on my list. These were treasured and immediately put in the freezer with a “DO NOT TOUCH” sign. Nothing like eating the coconut first and saving the nut for last.
Kit Kat — A solid candy bar. Great for a rerun episode of Happy Days just before dinner. A Kit Kat is a candy bar made for the routines of every day.
Pixie Stix — Usually given two or three at once. These paper straw-shaped containers carried multi-flavored magical dust that tingled the tongue. A real BOY could chug a Pixie Stix with no tonsil sting. One of these days I’m gonna try a Cap’n Crunch and Pixie Stix sandwich!
Rolo — What’s not to like? Chocolate with caramel centers and plenty in a pack. I never loved anyone enough to give her my last Rolo.
Smarties — Not the British attempt to duplicate our classic M&Ms. But the tablet-sized pills that are full of fruit flavors. I can’t tell you how many times my jeans were washed with a packet of Smarties in the front pocket.
Honorable mentions — Spree, Bit-O-Honey, Pop Rocks, M&M Peanut, Nestle Crunch, Big Red and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
Tootsie Roll — Did nothing for me except stick to my teeth. If I wanted something cocoa-flavored, I’d drink Ovaltine. They are small and annoying.
Mike and Ike — A wanna-be glorified jelly bean that is another stick-to-the-teeth irritant. Mike and Ike is just more available. I mean, how many movie theaters sell jelly beans?
Runts — Just because it looks like a banana doesn’t excuse the makers from not giving it a banana flavor. It tastes like a bruised squash. Egads! The other shapes aren’t even proportional. A cherry bigger than an orange? A lime that looks like a pea? Runts are no Nerds, that’s for sure.
PayDay — Way too many peanuts. In the same class as a Zero bar.
Jolly Ranchers — Gee, thanks. One whole Jolly Rancher from a bag of 500! There’s nothing wrong with Jolly Ranchers, in fact, they have quite a flavor burst. But people who give them out tend to be stingy especially with the watermelons!
Shameful mentions — Zagnut, $100,000 Bar, Now & Later, Starburst, Mr. Goodbar (I always have a scary image of Diane Keaton in a tub) and O’Henry.
Here a question that popped up in my mind as I was writing this. Does bubble gum exist anymore? It used to be that adults munched on chewing gum and us kids devoured the bubble gum. And you were loyal to a brand — Bubblicious, Bubble Yum, Dubble Bubble or Hubba Bubba. Other bubble gum like Bazooka or Super Bubble were second-tier and not considered in the debate.
I always chewed the Bubble Yum grape, not just for the flavor, but for the non-stick action of the gum after the bubble burst. Manb was I cool after blowing a face-sized bubble and then taking the stem part out of my mouth and holding my accomplishment up like I was going to fly away. Good times.
OUT AT HOME: If a little girl dressed in a pink cat outfit comes to your door and says, “Meow, trick or treat,” be kind. It’s my daughter’s first real experience. So please, no Tootsie Rolls or banana-shaped Runts.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: I just can’t stop picking on Boston fans. Sorry.