I just read the other day that your choice of fall food gives a great deal of insight into your personality. For example, candy corn. Supposedly, if you love candy corn, you’re an independent thinker who doesn’t care what others say about you and your choices.
This is bushwa.
I am an independent thinker and I don’t care what others say about me and my choices, but there’s no way I’m eating candy corn to prove it. Candy corn is nasty. It’s like eating a hunk of sweetened candle wax.
On Halloweens during the golden age of kidhood, the 1950s and 1960s, candy corn was one of those things that stayed in the bottom of your trick-or-treat bag. It was the price you paid for your vow to hit every house on the block, even though you knew in advance that the old lady in the place with the green shutter had a reputation for going cheap on the treats. You didn’t know her name; she was just the Candy Corn Lady, and she doled it out by the handful. And because you were a polite trick or treater, you accepted her gift with thanks and then moved on to the house next door, where they were handing out little Milky Way bars.
So what happened to the candy corn? It either sat in the bag until it got thrown out or, more likely, Dad ate it.
My Dad was one of those weirdo Dads who liked candy we kids couldn’t stand. Circus peanuts were his favorite. Remember those? Squeaky stale marshmallow “peanuts” reeking of banana oil? He’d eat them by the bushel.
I have often wondered if my father’s love for circus peanuts (and, for that matter, candy corn) came from his childhood — he was a poor kid and candy was a luxury, and so the occasional bag of circus peanuts was an extraordinary treat. Either that or he liked them because he knew we kids would not touch them, and this made them pretty much the only candy he could have all to himself.
Either way, he was welcome to them. And to the candy corn.
For a kid there were so many better autumn candy options: The aforementioned little Milky Ways, my personal favorite, and their cousins the little Snickers and Three Musketeers bars; miniature Hershey bars (Mr. Goodbar and Semi-Sweet being my bars of choice); Tootsie Rolls of various sizes; BB Bats and Kits for your taffy lovers; Double Bubble gum, which seemed to appear only around Halloween and briefly supplanted Bazooka as our regular chew … the list was extensive indeed.
With stuff like that around, who needed candy corn? In fact, who needs it now?
I suppose there’s someone out there who loves the stuff. No doubt I’ll hear from them, too. I always do. People can get very defensive about their candy choices. I wish they wouldn’t take their candy corn so personally, but they so.
You see, even though I don’t care for the stuff I think it’s great if you do. Seasonal foods are amazing memory triggers and everybody should have something about autumn that brings a smile to their faces and warms their heart.
Just don’t tell me that candy corn is the candy choice of the independent thinker, because it isn’t.
That’s circus peanuts.
Mike Redmond is an author, journalist, humorist and speaker. Write him at [email protected]. For information on speaking fees and availability, visit www.spotlightwww.com.