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Candy Eaters

October 31, 2012

Yeah. It’s Halloween. Again.

I’m not so happy about it. I’d rather be telling you what’s going on at TC Bakery on Colvin Street in Albany. But much like yesterday’s preempted story about the next Fussy Little Tour, that too is going to have to wait as a result of the events of the day.

Last year I wrote about being the Grinch of Halloween. When my kids were smaller I could get away with avoiding the holiday completely. But luckily for the little ones Mrs. Fussy has picked up the baton and actually made them their dream costumes. He’s a robot. She’s a robot princess, naturally.

So begrudgingly, holding out for as long as possible in the hopes that Halloween would be washed away by some slow-moving tropical storm, yesterday I finally bought candy. Three bags even. He chose Kit Kat, she wanted Dum Dums, and I got a mega bag of my favorite Twix.

Now even though I don’t have a sweet tooth, I’m going to rattle on about candy, and how it’s completely meaningless in modern life.

Once upon a time candy used to mean something, dammit. Life was hard. And it was bitter. Food was made out of cabbages and beans. Maybe some potatoes. And it was bland. If you wanted a treat, instead of drinking just plain water, you got one with bubbles in it. And on special occasions you might get it with a little syrup and a splash of milk.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. But it’s important to remember context. Our lives didn’t always used to be a sugar-fueled bonanza of nonstop sweetness.

Even “healthy” breakfast cereals for “adults” these days come hyper sweetened. Have you ever tried to find an individual sized cup of yogurt that wasn’t sweetened or artificially sweetened? Bread is full of sugar. You know soda is just liquid candy and that a now-standard 20 ounce bottle is 2.5x the original serving size. But forget about soda for a minute, because even the beverages that call themselves “water” are now sweetened.

Juice is sweet too. And some of it is sweetened with concentrated juice added to the regular juice, so it can be extra sweet and still say it’s 100% juice. Bet you wondered how they did that.

Oh. And candy is everywhere. All the time.

If you are not convinced, you are obviously not the parent of a school-aged kid. There are gift bags from birthday parties that are full of candy. Sometimes it comes home from school events too. Restaurants often have candy dishes out to give kids a piece at the end of a meal. Every time there is a haircut it involves a lollipop or two, or three, as a treat from the stylist for being well-behaved in the chair. There’s a bowl of candy at the autobody shop. They get a lollipop at the beer store and at the cocktail store. And then of course there are grandparents.

None of these individually is that bad. Still, as good parents we control the kids’ candy consumption over the course of the year. All the candy is collected and put in a drawer. When they have earned a candy dessert after dinner, which doesn’t happen every day, they can choose one appropriately sized piece.

But the amazing thing is that the candy in the drawer never diminishes. It grows. Well, it grows until Mrs. Fussy culls it under the cover of night.

With Halloween approaching, Mrs. Fussy took a large amount of the kids’ stash and brought it into work to share with her colleagues. We had to make room for the bounty that would inevitably be coming into the household shortly. The funny thing is that the children didn’t even notice. As much as they love their candy, as long as there are a few pieces in the drawer, they don’t sweat the details.

But it was a killer to cull all those Dum-Dums only to buy a new sack of the diminutive lollipops in a rainbow of artificial flavors.

A long time ago I tried to get Young Master Fussy into only very good dark chocolate. At the tender age of two, if I recall correctly, he liked the 72% Scharffen Berger. Sadly it felt like too expensive a habit to properly reinforce. And now he finds dark chocolate to be too bitter.

I’m sorry, son. I failed you. At least you know that white chocolate is an abomination.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2012 12:07 pm

    Here is a better idea: give trick-or-treaters a coupon that is good for a free download of Plants and Zombies. It’s a clever promo dreamed up by the American Dentists Association.

    • October 31, 2012 12:29 pm

      After a good checkup my dentist would always tell me, “Eat more candy. It’s good for business.”

  2. October 31, 2012 4:01 pm

    He may pick up the taste for dark Chocolate again as he gets older…children go through phases. Now I have to hide my 72% Ghirardelli’s from the kids…pretending not to be eating anything and my daughter always catches me…which means I then have to fess up with 2 extra pieces, one for each…as she inevitably tells her brother and I am left standing out like a sore thumb…Love it!

    • November 1, 2012 7:28 pm

      Eh, maybe. But I don’t care for it. Though, I also have never been a huge chocolate fiend. I love hot chocolate (REAL HOT COCOA, not the instant garbage), and I love brownies, but otherwise I can take it or leave it. So, that may have something to do with it.

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