M. Giant's
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Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks


Friday, June 02, 2006  

Hitting Bottom

My office has a candy basket which is constantly kept stocked. I suspect that this basket is the primary reason that I haven't been able to maintain my puking-related weight loss on a long-term basis. That damn thing has been a fixture right across the aisle from my desk for a year now.

This shouldn’t be the ongoing problem that it is. But I think that my coping mechanism for dealing with easily accessible junk food is inherently flawed. That system is this: I eat it as quickly as I reasonably can so that I don't have to deal with the temptation/satiation/guilt cycle it triggers. But that only works in situations where, when the candy basket gets emptied, it stays empty. But no, I have to work with all of these proactive people who dash right across the street to Target the minute we hit bottom.

And do I contribute to the candy fund? I do. It's only fair, since I eat the stuff like everyone else. And since I helped pay for what's in there, I feel like I have a right, if not an obligation, to partake. What I should do is quit kicking in. Then I couldn't in good conscience take any candy at all. That's what I did for a couple of months, when my New Year's resolve was still strong. It's an ideal plan. It's perfect. Its only flaw is that when I don't kick in, I can't in good conscience take any candy at all.

I do draw lines for myself. I always get up out of my chair and walk to the basket, even though I'm close enough to wheel over. I figure that if I'm going to scoop up a giant double handful of fun-size Butterfingers, I might as well walk some of the calories off in the ten-foot-round-trip hike. And I have promised myself this: when I become too fat to fit through my cubicle door to reach the candy, in the first place, I will cut down.

But really, all this is just a setup for a weird thing that happened regarding the candy basket.

A popular item in the basket is Starburst, probably because we can kid ourselves that they're somehow better for us than chocolate. Fruit's healthy, right? Except a couple of weeks ago, something happened to drive home how not-fruit they really are.

The cherry-flavored and strawberry-flavored ones are the most popular. The women in my department (by which I mean everyone in my department whose not me, and yes, my cycle is synced with theirs) love love love the little pink squares. Except that the strawberry Starbursts from two bags ago were wrong.

I tried one, and at first I was like, "Wow, you guys have been eating way too many of these if you can tell something's off," but they told me to wait a minute. "Okay," I said, and the conversation moved on.

A minute later, I said, "Okay, that's wrong," because somehow the strawberry flavor in my mouth had morphed into mint. I have nothing against mint, mind you. I like mint. It just doesn't go with artificial strawberry flavor. The combination is unnatural. I realize how that sounds when we're talking about little squares of rubber that you chew to simulate fake fruit taste, but it just ain't right. And the whole bag was like that. All of the other, less popular flavors were fine, but those strawberry ones would just turn on you.

Soon the strawberry Starbursts had been culled out, and were piled in a little leper colony on the file cabinet right next to the basket. Whenever someone would visit the basket, they'd see them sitting there and wonder, "Were the strawberry ones naughty?" We'd explain, and they'd never believe us. Until they were halfway to their desks, that is. After a week or so, the word was out and that little quarantine pile stopped shrinking.

And we all wondered, was this some formula change? Is this the flavor of strawberry Starbursts forevermore? And if so, is life really worth living?

Fortunately, the next bag of Starbursts tasted totally fine. After a day or so, we could state with confidence that every strawberry chew in the bag tasted perfectly normal. We just concluded that somehow, down at the Starburst factory, some of the wrong artificial flavoring got mixed into the wrong vat. It happens sometimes.

In fact, we got off lucky. Nobody even believed me when I told them about the time that Trash got a box of Nerds that tasted like meat.

posted by M. Giant 8:08 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

Believe it or not, they did this on purpose. The good folks at Starburst have put out a limited edition of "Icy Bursts", which are basically fruit + mint.
(Note: I looked up the link for Starbust, because I love linking, but when I went to the page it started up this really annoying sound track, which didn't stop even after I closed the damn window, so I thought I'd spare other folks the pain.)

By Anonymous PollyQ, at June 2, 2006 at 9:24 PM  

Polly's right, and the Icy Burst have been around since March, I believe. I think it was a tie-in with the new Ice Age movie or something. Hate them, myself, and the pinks are normally my favorite.

By Anonymous Marissa, at June 2, 2006 at 9:37 PM  

If only you knew how my day was going. I was searching for one thing and I ended up here. Now you see how that might affect me!

By Blogger On The Rebound, at June 3, 2006 at 2:08 AM  

My dad's office has a candy basket that everybody contributes to. Actually there are a couple, which shows just how much they love candy. His excuse is that the basket with the best stuff is on the other side of the building, so he has to walk off quite a few calories before he loads up on mini Snickers and Tootsie rolls. I think it's also his excuse for avoiding work.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 4, 2006 at 6:16 PM  

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