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Early Candy Sales More Trick Than Treat
I’ve just come from the local Food-A-Rama, where the ends of the aisles are stacked to the ceiling with Halloween candy -- bag upon bag of seasonal sweets, from candy corn to lollipops to chocolate to gumdrops, just waiting to leap into the carts of shoppers when they’re not looking.
That’s how it happens, you know. You’re rolling along, looking for the Healthy Food Section so you can pick up a box of that new cereal you’ve been wanting to try, Twigs ‘n’ Bark, when your attention is diverted by a special on organic, whole-grain, no-trans-fats, taste-like-cardboard-with-caulk-inside Fake Newtons. At that moment, the candy – Tootsie Roll Pops, Dots, Twizzlers and of course candy bars of every variety – begins leaping into your cart, camouflaging itself as produce so you don’t even know it’s there until you get home. And of course it’s too late by then, so you might as well keep it. Oh darn.
Believe it or not, this leaves me with mixed feelings.
Part of me is happy, because I like little candy bars (especially the little Milky Ways) as much as the next guy. Or, considering the site of the next guy, more than the next guy. About 75 pounds more, by my estimation.
But another part of me has to wonder who in blazes needs Halloween candy, Twizzlers and Dots and Tootsie Roll Pops and yes, even little Milky Way bars, a good six weeks before Halloween.
Come on, let’s get serious. A couple of days before Halloween, sure. A week before Halloween, why not? I could even understand someone stocking up two weeks before Halloween when the selection is really good. Better safe than sorry. I’ve been shopping on the day of Halloween and by then your choices are limited to some generic brand of lollipop and a few stray bags of the Willie Wonka Last-Minute Loser Selection. Best to get to the store while they still have the Hershey bars.
But this far from the date? Let’s not kid ourselves. Nobody I know is stocking up on candy now for a giveaway at the end of October. No, they’re buying it now, and eating it now.
Which wouldn’t be so bad, except for the fact that Halloween candy is designed to lull you into a false sense of security. You open the bag and you think, “Well, one little Milky Way won’t hurt.” But who eats one little one-by-one-inch Milky Way? So you take a handful. Or two. And then you go back for another. Or two.
Before you know it, the end table next to your easy chair is littered with shiny little wrappers and you’ve eaten the equivalent of four jumbo-size candy bars. In the season of treating and tricking, you just got both. Plus, you’ll soon have a Great Pumpkin where your stomach used to be.
Oh well. At least you can take pride in knowing that you’ve helped fuel the juggernaut of American Halloween Candy Sales, estimated at more than $2 billion-with-a-b. Of course, one could argue that nearly two months of candy sales are going to add up to some big-with-a-b pay days, and I don’t mean the candy bars. A bag of which are in my cupboard even as we speak.
I think they were masquerading as Brussels sprouts.
© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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