Last night, talking with Joyce, I found an allusion slipping from between my teeth. A candy allusion. Red Hots. (I warn you: Keep clean thoughts in your head!)
I can't remember the exact context--at my age I'm fortunate to remember the following morning what I'd talked about the night before! But ... Red Hots escaped a moment from my memory, where it had lain dormant for decades, and fled through my teeth.
They were not my favorite candy back in boyhood, but back in boyhood I didn't quibble much about what brand of candy was available. Someone say "candy"? Into my mouth it went. I would not, in a word, buy Red Hots, but I would consume those purchased by a friend or family member. Just being polite, you understand.
I did have several favorites back in the late 1940s and early 1950s when my boyhood metabolism--a fiery furnace to rival the one that once accommodated Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (appropriately, their story appears in Daniel 3--link to KJV of the story)--could consume, convert to energy, everything that went in my face.
Not no more.
Anyway, my other boyhood favorites (in no particular order):
- 3 Musketeers (back then, the bars had two little lines in the chocolate indicating how you could easily divide it into thirds, and the ads on TV showed gracious little boys and girls doing just that--sharing with friends; this never happened with my friends and me)
- Oh Henry! (years later, I learned that the name of the bars had nothing to do with the famous writer of short stories; when I was teaching O. Henry one year, I actually got in touch with Corporate and asked them about the name; apparently it involved, years ago, an office boy named Henry, a young man people always yelled to when there was Work to Be Done)
- Baby Ruth (apparently named for the infant daughter of Grover Cleveland, not for the baseball great)
- Tootsie Roll (not a great favorite--but in a pinch ...)
- orange slices (the candy kind)
I didn't care that much for Milky Way--but, as I said earlier, anything would do--especially if I hadn't paid for it.
And here's something to make you sigh (and understand how old I am): All the major candy bars cost five cents each. (They were a bit smaller--but not that much.)
As the years rolled on, I narrowed down to Snickers and M&M (peanut), and Joyce, by the way, consumed piles of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, though she and I, at the movies, would "share" the M&M's; this "sharing" sometimes occasioned some ... disagreements (mild, mild) about who was eating more than his (!) share of them.
And then ... older ... my weight beginning to annoy me (and after years of yo-yo weight gain and loss), I began to eschew rather than chew candy. Haven't bought any for years. Our movie trips are now most definitely not Candy Land--a game, by the way, that our tiny son somehow managed almost always to win.
I took it well. I was a mature adult. A father.
Okay, a confession to end with: When our son was very little, we would store all his Halloween candy in a drawer, telling him it would not be healthful to, you know, eat it all at once. We would dole it out over the ensuing days. Except for the Snickers. Which I had, you know, eaten all at once. (It took some years before he noticed this perfidy. It's possible he's forgiven me by now.) Did he notice that Peanut Butter Cups had disappeared, as well?