I Candy

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With Halloween coming up, someone asked me what my favorite candy was. Easy. Whatever I would steal from my brother’s Halloween bag. Or a couple decades later, whatever I swiped from kids. You know you could go out and buy any candy you want, but if you want full guilty enjoyment, you’ve got to pilfer the Snickers or Nestle Crunch from somebody else’s loot.

They could keep the Mary Jane bar. Ugh. I mean, Mary Janes had their fans. Don’t ask me why. The candy was like a little brick and part of the candy wrapper always stuck to the bar. You’d have to spend a lot of time peeling the paper or, more likely, you’d have to suck on it and then peel the paper remnants off your tongue. Nice.

Tootsie Rolls sometimes came with this challenge, too. But Tootise Rolls? C’mon, they were in the Top 10. If one had part of the wrapper stuck to it, big deal, it was still worth it.

Tootsie Rolls were one of those candies you knew you’d be sacrificing a filling for. Of course, they were nothing compared to Milk Duds. Those babies would loosen every tooth. Sometimes your temples would ache from all the chewing work you had to do. Milk Duds were good, but you couldn’t get full enjoyment because an image of your dentist would pop into your head as you chewed.

Sugar Daddies were hard caramel candy bars on a stick. You put the candy in your mouth and pulled on the stick until a piece broke off that you could chew on. You were always in danger of spraining your jaw or rattling your teeth if the candy slipped out. And they were too much work.

That was the thing with some candies. Some were complicated. You’d get a Pez candy dispenser and the spring would break and you could never get the candy out. Or some Pez dispensers were like mousetraps, you’d almost lose your finger working the thing. I don’t know why we bothered, Pez candy was lame.

Same with Dots candy. Dots came on a long sheet that looked like a cash register receipt and weren’t worth the trouble. You’d have to scrape them off with your teeth. The paper was kind of waxy and the candy was the size of aspirin. I think this was more for show. You had candy and no one else did or had already finished what they had.

The wax paper reminds me of wax teeth that were big on Halloween. Allegedly, you could eat them. Gross. I’d rather be honest and just eat a candle.

I’d take red licorice laces over black any day of the week. You’d chew a black lace with that face that asked, do I like this or not? Or you might not go for black licorice laces at all but you liked Good N’ Plenty, which was filled with the black stuff. Good N’ Plenty came with the bonus of shaking the box for a Choo-Choo Charlie rhythm.

I think some old grouches had a plan to keep trick-or-treat traffic at a minimum. Why else give out popcorn balls? I never met anyone who liked popcorn balls. And nobody liked apples with pennies jammed into them. The apples would always compel somebody to say, “Watch out, sometimes they put razor blades in them.”

And here’s another warning, kids. Keep an eye on your trick-or-treat bag. I’m looking for a Charleston Chew.

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