Friday, December 19, 2008

On Unwanted Candy and the Consumption Thereof

As it's holiday time, all of the various organizations we do business with have been sending packages of goodies all week long. I've eaten gourmet brownies, scads of truffles and pecan clusters the size of a man's fist.

One box though was not so beloved. This was the box filled with some of the lamest candy I have ever seen. Did you know that the Willy Wonka bar was a real candy bar? It is. It consists of chocolate and graham crackers. Seriously? Graham crackers? There were also Charms. Do you remember Charms? They're like square, hole-less Lifesavers. The package looked to be transported from 1953. Sugar babies were also there, rounding out the candy hall of shame. I remember Sugar Babies, chocolate covered caramel balls for those not familar, as looking and tasting waxy when they weren't getting stuck in your teeth. Not exactly an ideal candy situation.

Most prominently displayed though was the huge Bit O' Honey bar. I haven't seen Bit O' Honey in years, and figured that they just got rid of it on account that no one ate it. I even joked with a coworker about it. However as the week went on, and the candy supply diminished, that poor candy bar, resplendant with a happy bee, kept catching my eye in the break room. "Why won't anyone eat me?" it lamented. I must admit, I felt bad for it. So I ate it.

Here are some things that I've learned about the Bit O' Honey bar. For one, it is less than 2% honey. It says so right on the label, and the taste reflects this accordingly. This thing tastes nothing like honey. Technically, pouring a little honey in a carbeurator would mean that is has a bit 'o honey, and I wouldn't expect it to taste like honey, so I don't know why I was suckered into it this time. I blame the bee.

Second, Bit O' Honey bars are segmented with each segment individually wrapped in what looks like wax paper. The entire bar is also wrapped in some sort of paper. Peeling the paper off of a bar of what is essentially, pure sugar is not an easy, nor pleasurable task. As you progress farther and farther with the bar, and your fingers get sticker and sticker, it becomes even less easy and less pleasurable as now you're battling not only the candy for the paper, but your own fingertips. It is as if your own body has rebelled against you, no doubt because of what you're trying to force into it.

Finally, Bit 'O Honey bars simply aren't very good. They don't taste like honey. They taste like a vaguely chemicalized sugar mixed with some slightly off milk. There are moments where things taste sort of alright, and then it changes. Plus, due to the consistency of the bar, it's impossible to bite a segment in half, meaning that you have to put the whole goddamn thing in your mouth, and chew it to a more workable texture, hoping all the while that you don't a) choke or b) rip your teeth out from their sockets.

Why I would continue to eat such a candy bar when the total unpleasantness of the task became apparent after the first segment is a mystery to most, but not to me. See, simply put, I am powerless to resist bad food. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of bad food that I'll reject outright. Like liver, for example. That shit is disgusting. However if a food sounds interesting, or sounds so bad that it still has to be tried, I will try it, and, most likely, continue to eat it well past the time when every biological system under my command is blaring angry warnings of protestation. So went the Bit O' Honey experiment. After the first segment, I thought, man, I really shouldn't eat more of this. Then I did, until I had finished the whole thing. Now it sits in my stomach like a lump of malice. Where is my friendly bee now? Stinging my colon apparently.

Maybe some day I'll resist the urge to eat something that I know I should avoid. If I were a cave person, devoid of governmental agencies tasked with identifying poisons in the hopes of preventing their consumption, I would surely be dead by now, long passed from eating a flaming piece of tree bark, or a live wombat. Until such time as I grow an ounce of common sense, I can rest assured that soon the holidays will be over, and people will stop sending us boxes of third rate candy. In the mean time, I think there are still some candy necklaces left.

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