Strange Candy

When I was a kid, I thought about candy every day. If I found a dime in the street or collected a few empty pop bottles, I’d head to Johnny’s and peruse the merchandise. I knew what I liked. A crispy crunch bar. A small paper bag of mixed up penny candy. An orange crush soda, or a bag of chips. When you’re a kid, candy is your soul mate. Which is why I’m puzzled by some of those childhood choices.

Like, wax lips.  Made from actual wax with some kind of gross liquid inside. Probably the kind of dye that steals your fertility or gives you cancer. But anyway. Once you’d punctured the lips and drank the miniscule amount of mystery juice, all that was left was to chew the lips. Or put them on top of your own. Which I always did. And then chewed the wax and spit it out, because you couldn’t actually eat it.

Lickimade. I’m not sure if this is the right spelling, but it was basically kool aid in a small envelope that you slit open and ate. Dry powder with fake flavor and sugar. I hope it was cheap, and only cost a penny. I hate to think I spent a dime on it.

Macintosh Toffee, uncut, in the box. I’m fairly sure it was meant for baking, but every now and then I’d buy some. With the first bite, my jaw would lock and it would take me about four hours to finish.

Pink elephant popcorn. Not the real name, but I remember a white box with pink popcorn that tasted a thousand years old. It belonged in an Egyptian tomb, scattered around the remains of a pharaoh.

Candy necklaces. Small, hard rings of candy, fake tasting and strung together on a piece of elastic. You could wear it, or you could eat it. But you couldn’t do both. Because it got sticky and then it felt terrible on your neck.

Why the bad candy choices? I don’t know. I like to think that somebody else bought them and I just partook. There’s more strange candy on the list…things I’ve forgotten about. So please. Add your own. Take a walk down candy lane and ask yourself the following question. “What the hell was I thinking?”

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