Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unusual thoughts while stealing candy

I'll admit that the title, while true to what I might end up writing down here, is an echo . . . well, no it's a pretty blatant ripoff of what David Sedaris might use as an essay title. Or maybe it's something that Chuck Klosterman might use. But I've been listening to an audiobook of Sedaris at work the last few days and reading Klosterman's newest book at night. So, at least my stealing is honest . . . and timely.

Okay, enough name dropping.

A few minutes ago I was pilfering in the girls Halloween candy bags--which still remain more than half full as we are receding into the third (fourth?) week after Halloween night. I often make a habit of stealing their Halloween candy when they are upstairs, in bed, and otherwise unaware of my thieving. I've done it for years and I'm not particularly guilt-racked about it. I have better dental hygiene habits than they do and so I am better equipped to eat candy than they are.

Anyway, as I choose a few small Fun Size bars from Grace's bag, I think about how I eat in relationship to the Fun Size. I'm afraid to admit that I most often pop the whole candy bar in my mouth and start chewing. I don't think the Fun Size is demanding multiple bites and I've got a big mouth. Of course, doing this makes me savor the flavor of the candy less and that isn't a good thing. Not stopping to savor ensures overeating, which leads to becoming overweight. And I think popping the whole morsel in your mouth and divorcing your experience of the candy's flavor reduces its ability to make the eating Fun. It becomes something more like an addiction. Of course, doing it somewhat hurriedly (in case the kids came downstairs and saw me, wondering why I was pilfering their candy) doesn't help either.

Yeah, I've got a problem with that.

And also, when you open up the Fun Size Butterfinger bar, the getting older peanut butter flakes in the center become more brittle and the bar shatters and gets on the floor, forcing you to get the broom out to sweep up your secret shame.

And then there is the Oh Henry bar. As I chew the Oh Henry, I think about the oddity of its name--how it is partly a homage to the American writer who used a variation on the name. And I wonder . . . how many candy bars out there have any sort of (even tenuous) connection to literary figures? In my lifetime, I can remember eating the Reggie bar, for Reggie Jackson when he was a celebrated New York Yankee. And I've definitely eaten my share of Baby Ruths. But those are sports figures and celebrating sports figures in candy is common. Do most Oh Henry consumers even know of this connection to a writer?

Another thought about the Oh Henry. It's made up of peanuts, caramel, and chocolate. Yet it has its own distinct taste--at least I think it does when I pause to taste it as I scarf them down. It must be a particular mixture of the peanut butter or some balance of stuff in the chocolate. But we have so many candy bars in this country. It must be hard for the flavor scientists to make everyone's chocolate taste different.


Well, that's it for tonight. I wanted to write something and so I have. It wasn't what I intended to write when I thought about this earlier in the day, but that will have to be done tomorrow or over the weekend when I can devote some time to writing it thoughtfully and well. It's too important to dash off in ten minutes.

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