Thursday, November 3

History Lesson

The Indianapolis Star ran the story of All Hallows Eve at the Governor's mansion (see below) as part of a feature on how local celebrities dealt with the hoi polloi ringing the bell and demanding socialized desserts. This devolved into a discussion of popular/unpopular treat items, and closed with a quote from one moocher of suspiciously advanced age:
"Pennies and raisins and apples are the worst thing to give out to a kid," said Sean McManus, a 14-year-old version of Charlie Brown. "And no Almond Joys. Those are old-people candy."

Look, kid, first, if you're trick-or-treating and you're over 13 and below the legal drinking age with at least one of your party being a hot chick, don't come to my door unless you have something to trade. And yes, we card. Because we care.

Is this the one day of the year you leave your Playstation? Coconut, almonds, and simulated chocolate are not old people candy. You don't know old people candy!

Try out the sour green/yellow spheres you could never really tell the color of because they'd developed a patina. Sample the candied orange slice things or the little pillow-shaped white mint deals. Marzipan centers, kid. Little square things with brick-red edges and an off-off-white top with a floweresque garnish. Son, you have not even glimpsed the portals of Hell, let alone stared into its gaping maw. The only thing you could eat out of my grandma's candy dish was the caramels, and if you took more than two you lived to regret it. Which was still better than special occasions, when the Whitman sampler came out and you stared death right in the face. I had a cousin who was at Khe Sanh and he still wakes up screaming thinking about grandma's candies, you little punk.


julia said...

so what you're saying is that in the midst of all this candy horror you wished with all the yearning of your youthful soul for marzipan centers, right? I can certainly understand that, rocking as they do.

Unless they're stale, of course.

Anonymous said...

don't forget the candy ribbon that gets stuck together into one colorful, twisted mass...

eRobin said...

Ribbon candy! RIBBON CANDY!!!!

And Bit o' Honey. And Mary Janes. And Salt Water Taffy. All the stuff of nightmares.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether to sue you for damages or send you a check for services rendered now that, because of you, I've accidentally given my upper sinuses a breakfast blend high colonic. At least I don't have to worry about falling asleep during lab meeting.

I'm old enough to remember when the rock candy mines in Wyoming finally gave out and they had to start growing artificial candy rocks from supersaturated sucrose solutions. The new stuff just doesn't have that same radium tang.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

God, how did I overlook ribbon candy?

And Julia, stale is a precondition. I'm pretty sure my grandma put everything in a very slow oven for twenty-four hours before setting it out.

DBK said...

Buttons. You know, the little colored sugar bits on wax paper? They used to sell them at Jack's Candy Store around the corner from School No. 26 in Paterson, NJ for a penny a row. You'd go into Jack's and give hima nickel and he would carefully count out five rows and tear them off the long strip. Five buttons to a row.

Or salt-covered pumpkin seeds. Haven't seen them in a while. Remember, with the Indian head logo? Red box? That's old people stuff. A hard shell of salt covered those babies and I mean a lot of it. Nowadays you could sue people for that. Free hypertension with every box. You'd suck on one long enough for the salt to stop tasting good and start really bruning your mouth, then crack open the now soggy shell and eat the seed inside. After a while you'd get tired of the effort and start cracking the salt covering and spitting that out, then grind up the seed, shell and all, in your teeth until you ran out of patience with what amounted to eating wood and just tossed the rest of the box in the garbage.

I used to love those pumpkin seeds.

Anonymous said...

Actually I LIKE bit-o-honey. Now candycorn, THAT is the number one seller at hells' candy counter....

Anonymous said...

Horehound drops. And Circus Peanuts (those orange stale marshmallow things). These were my grandmother's favorites. The woman who made the most fabulous pies and the world's best fried chicken liked horehound drops and Circus Peanuts. Those aren't even candy. They're punishment.

And, of course, at Christmas, the solidified mass of ribbon candy.

Anonymous said...

Funny, we actually got someone a couple years ago who politely asked if she could get a baggie of treats with a candy necklace (remember those?) in it.

Doghouse, you clearly get way more kids at the door than I do. I got a whole dozen and was delighted. I don't care if they're taller than me or even not in costume anymore. For days after Halloween, I give leftover bags out on the bus.

And while there's candy I don't like as much as other stuff (anything strawberry or watermelon flavored, just to be going on with) there's not much I won't actually eat.
I shouldn't admit that, but there you go.

On the other hand, a newspaper that's quoting a demanding, insulting fourteen year old trick-or-treator is obviously just trying to get a bunch of "These Kids Today" LotEs.
Lame, somehow.

Doghouse, Red Green was going on about blogs on the season premiere last Friday. I thought of you.

Anonymous said...

doghouse, you're hit the bulls' eye about grandma candy.

both my grandmothers, now gone, had that stuff at their houses.

it must be a hoosier thing, because one grandmother lived in indy but grew up in a small town in an outlying county, while the other lived in the town of her birth her whole life.

Anonymous said...

That there's some fine rant, Doghouse. Had to read most of it aloud to my wife. Who, by the way, recognize dbk's "buttons" from her childhood in Irvington NJ. Their candy store, she reports, did relatively little candy business, but seemed to be visited with some frequency by men in big cars and dark suits.

Off the topic, but I'm too lazy to email: I just saw an article about the Indiana state House Republicans planning to push "Intelligent Design" for the 2006 session. Speaker Brian Bosma (Indianapolis) and Bruce Borders (Jasonville) seem to be the leaders. Have these guys previously shown signs of brain damage?

Anonymous said...

DR, you brought back such memories, some of them, uhm, not so good. I immediately thought of ribbon candy because I could never figure out how one was supposed to eat that stuff.

I remember being excited one year because Santa came to town. He rode on the fire engine tossing bags of candy to all the kids. All the kids were there from the town as well as from the outlying areas. The other kids and I elbowed and pushed to be the first to get a bag. (Now there's some Christmas spirit!) I opened the bag in anticipation, salivating like one of Pavlov's dogs. Not one piece of chocolate. Only that ribbon crap, those peanut things (Circus Peanuts, kathyr called them), and assorted hard candies in strange colors and flavors. I would have been happy with some taffy, at minimum. I think I ate one of the peppermints. Everything else eventually melted into one large lump that gathered pet hair and dust bunnies before finally being thrown away around Eastertime. (Harumph) it would have been just as well to hand out paper bags with fruitcakes in them.

dbk, here in Texas you can get all the salted pumpkin seeds you want, but they're called "pepitas". They are mmmmm, good!

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for some of the good old-time candy, try:

Thanks for the memories! :)

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding like an old person myself (I'm not, I'm only 23, I promise!), these kids today have no appreciation. Almond Joy is old people candy? I don't think so! Try those little root beer barrel lozenge-things. And everything else that is mentioned above.

Great article!