M. Giant's
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009  

I Want Candy

One of the things Trash and I have always done when we travel -- dating all the way back to the road trip out west the first year we were married -- is try out new candies. At a gas station somewhere in eastern Montana one morning in 1992, we picked up something I remember very little about. Just that it had a brown wrapper with old-fashioned white lettering, and that it was very nearly the last thing we ate until we reached Billings that evening. That was the trip when we learned that just because a town is on the map, it doesn't necessarily mean you can get lunch there.

Despite having a packed meeting schedule during her trip to Savannah last week, Trash somehow found time to uphold that tradition. She found a little candy store on the riverfront and picked up a few treats to bring home for us. They included a couple of rolls of Bottle Caps, which I love but can never find at any of the places we shop here in town; a sheet of those little candy buttons, which she thought M. Edium might like (he didn't); some Charleston Chew (which didn't make it home for some reason, probably because it didn't want to venture this far from Charleston); and something called Razzles.

My first mistake was reading the package. It looked like it came in fun flavors, like strawberry banana and pineapple and tropical punch. So far so good. Looked like a "tropical" pack. But the label also read, "First it's candy -- then it's gum!"

Hmm. Intriguing. Too bad I don't like gum. Okay, that's not true. I like the first ten seconds of gum, but then I always forget to spit it out and four hours later I wonder why I'm still masticating an eraser.

But I was willing to give this a try, for several obvious reasons, one of which was that I'd already eaten all the Bottle Caps. Razzles turned out to be colorful little discs, about the size of large vitamins, but with the consistency of a tiny little tea-light candle. I popped one. Almost immediately, I realized that the tagline on the front of the package must have been heavily edited for length. A more accurate description would have been, "First it's bad candy -- then it's this disgusting dry pulp -- then it's an insultingly tiny atom of gum!" But maybe then there wouldn't have been room to list all the flavors.

Later, I said to Trash, "It was so sweet of you to pick these up for me. With everything else you had going on, you still remembered that I like to try new candies from different places. Thank you for being so thoughtful. These are vile."

If there had been any danger of that comment starting an argument, it vanished after she tried one and had to agree with me. Although she thought they were worse than I did.

"I tried not chewing one to see if I could prolong the candy phase," I told her. "Maybe skip the pulp phase and the gum phase and go right to the gone phase."

"How did that work out?"

"I just had bad candy in my mouth for a long time."

It was true. Whatever compound it is in Razzles that reacts to human drool and releases the flavor was completely protected by the paraffin-wax coating you have to bite through in order to release it. I could have tried sucking on it like a lemon drop, but it would still be exactly the same size on the day I died. Probably from choking on it.

"Maybe if I try three of the same flavor at the same time they'll be better," I said hopefully, and dug three of the scab-colored ones out of the packet (bypassing a couple of pus-colored ones and booger-colored ones). But about the best thing I can say about that experience is that when it was over, there were three fewer of them left to eat.

This morning, M. Edium came into our room and curiously picked up the open package. The remainder of its contents clattered onto the floor. "Uh-oh," he said remorsefully. "Oh, don't worry about it!" we assured him. We even gave him extra kisses for helping us pick them up and throw them away.

But in the long run, there's really no such thing as bad candy. When it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad, it's still good for a blog entry.

posted by M. Giant 7:47 PM 11 comments


My husband gets Razzles every time we go to a Cracker Barrel! He loves them! I, on the other hand, agree with you! So I get sour balls... From Cracker Barrell in case that wasn't clear...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 21, 2009 at 8:19 PM  

I wonder if the Montana candy may have been a "cow tail". It was a sort of green apple flavor mash wrapped in a soft, grainy-ish type of caramel....something. I haven't seen them outside the Mountain West region. But I can't imaging them being all too isolated. They were a staple of my childhood.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2009 at 7:01 AM  

The guitarist in my old band was a candy connoisseur. When we went to Europe, he was in heaven with all the flavors he hadn't experienced. He only got burned a couple of times, but it was really funny watching him go ballistic and then be surly for a few hours. I'll have to see if he's tried Razzles. I know I have. I should have warned you...

Have you tried the candy (I think it's called Yorkies) that's explicitly NOT for girls? It says so right on the packaging. What misogynistic marketing genius came up with that?

By Blogger Chao, at January 22, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

I'm a candyfreak of long standing & I have a rock hard spot in my heart for Razzles. They are revolting. They appeared too frequently in my childhood, and I now physically back away from them in the candy store. I always thought that they were SweeTarts wannabes that failed abominably.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2009 at 7:57 AM  

I like how you didn't give up no matter how bad it got. "One was bad? Better try three! How about just sucking on it? What if we baked it into a souffle?"

By Blogger Jen, at January 22, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

Chicago to New Orleans and only ONE gas station had Bottle Caps. It is a travesty that they are not more readily available.

The good news? The Valentine's Day Peeps are now on the shelves.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 22, 2009 at 3:11 PM  

When I was a kid my friends and I would buy candy on the way home from school at the convenience store. Since my mom forbade me to have gum (got it in my hair or something once), I was intrigued by the Razzles. I think I put the whole bag in my mouth because I was so excited. Then I stayed home sick the next day. Those things are nasty!

By Blogger Erindy, at January 22, 2009 at 7:26 PM  

Trash went to River Street Sweets, I'm guessing, and if she didn't bring you back any pralines, you should make her go back and get you some. Because they are SO good. And to make up for the gross Razzles.

By Blogger Jen, at January 25, 2009 at 7:01 AM  

You must not have seen that Cinematic Masterpiece "13 Going On 30." If you had, you would know all about Razzles.

I'm a huge fan of Idaho Potato candy bars (since I'm from Idaho and all), but I took some to my roommate at college in New York and she thought they were disgusting. My favorite Cannot Get At Home item, though, is the cranberry nougat bar sold in Canada. Delish.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 26, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

There is such good candy available in Savannah - like the pralines, for instance! And divinity. And the pecan log. Better luck next time.

By Blogger Unknown, at January 26, 2009 at 7:49 PM  

The brown wrapper, white lettering candy... was it a Big Hunk? I freakin' love Big Hunks. :)

By Blogger Lauren T., at February 2, 2009 at 6:27 PM  

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