As we gear up for All Hallows’ Eve (also known as Halloween), I present a cautionary tale about dieting and candy
After trick-or-treating, I’d take the stuffed sack of sweetened snacks and methodically commence the annual sorting ritual.
First: remove the boring, plain, unimaginative lollipops on white paper sticks. If someone with my heft found them unflavorful, I didn’t see how confectionery companies even stayed in business producing them. Vineyards have wine tasting. Don’t makers of munchies invest in something similar?
Chocolate bars were meticulously analyzed, classified, and culled from their chewy caramel brethren. Mini bags of jellybeans and foil-wrapped drops were each placed in distinct heaps. When all was it should be, ’twas time to sit back and savor the fruits of my efforts until my teeth ached from sugar, and my belly from bulk.
Oh yes, one other detail:
Honesty compels me to report that this recollection was not of my own tender years. Rather, as father, when my children would drift off to sleep on Halloween night, I would stealthily claim their plunder, rationalizing they need not suffer cavities nor bellyaches. Denial, combined with the prospect of 17 marshmallow fudge bars, can push one’s integrity to the breaking point.
Children scrutinize their candy count in the same manner bankers track investments; so come morning, the inquest begins, “Dad, where’s the rest of my candy?”
Having foreseen this, I had deftly spread the cellophane-wrapped bounty across the table, assuming it would appear more sizable than it really was. “Oh my!” I exclaim, trying to generate contagious enthusiasm. “You’ve got loads of candy. Look.” Alas, this misrepresentation was caused by being under the influence of toffee peanuts; please forgive.
His young piercing blue eyes drilled a hole, making it difficult — but not impossible — to tell untruths. “Um, maybe you spilled some. There could be a hole in the bag.” Glancing around agitatedly, I hoped to find the sack and surreptitiously tear loose a small slit as evidence.
“It’s a plastic pumpkin container. It can’t rip.” Undeterred, his cross-examination persisted, “Where is my candy?”
I wanted to come clean, be the good dad. The sugar buzz banging around in my brain made it too difficult. Wiping telltale sugar from my mustache, I opted for one final diversionary tactic. “Actually son, I saved the extra special ones for you. Wouldn’t you prefer this great big pile of lollipops?”
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