Archive - October, 2012

Spending Your Empty Calories


I’ve eaten a lot of terrible Halloween candy.

This isn’t to say that there’s a lot of terrible Halloween candy out there, but after eating the freshest and the stale-est, I’ve learned what to steer clear of and what to veer into.

As an adult, I learned that I only had so many calories that I could spend on Halloween treats.  This meant that my tastes had to become more selective than they were as a child.

To help you navigate this final week of the Halloween Season I’ve put together a handy guide of 4 things to walk away from, and  4 treats to walk away with.


The Tootsie Roll
I know that everybody gives out Tootsie Rolls.  I know that they have very few calories and can last a long time if you chew them slowly enough.  But I also know that ff you can get it from a Grandma the other 365 days a year, it also doesn’t really count as “Halloween Candy.”  The Tootsie Roll never satisfies, it’s Halloween fools Gold.

Double Bubble Bubble Gum
Double Bubble may be the worst Bubble Gum in the history of chewing, and I’m including that 5 year-old piece of Bazooka Joe that you found under the couch back in Middle School.  After 25 seconds of insanely sugary intensity the Double Bubble becomes a rock-hard hunk of something that tastes more like a piece Silly Putty than you want to believe… and yes, I have tasted Silly Putty.

I was an adventurous child.

Candy Corn
I can already feel your rage building, but read on before skipping ahead to the comment section to vent your wrath.  I’m not disparaging Candy Corn, or its cousin the Candy Pumpkin.  I’m asking you to consider whether or not Candy Corn is hard to come by?

Candy Corn is one of the cheapest candies available for bulk purchasing, this means that it’s widely available in dishes and bowls on the counters of offices and meeting rooms nationwide.  In addition to this, Candy Corn has an incredibly long shelf life, even when left uncovered in arid conditions.

Long after the chocolate and caramel have been consumed or stowed, Candy Corn will be available for you to turn to.  Don’t waste your Halloween appetite on something that will still be around until Black Friday.

Bottle Caps/Smarties/SweetTarts/Pixie Stix/Fun Dip
In regards to flavor there is nothing substantial about any of these “candies”; they are simply pure sugar in its loose or caked form.  Sugar is supposed to be one of the ingredients, not the only ingredient, in a good Halloween candy. By stripping away almost every other component, these candies are the Halloween equivalent of “crack”- They supply the fix that repeat offenders are looking for without delivering the flavor that the casual indulger requires.


Changing Colors

I almost stepped on a lizard yesterday.  I didn’t mean to, I just didn’t see him.  I’m usually pretty good at spotting wildlife, I mean if there’s like an elephant or a tiger someplace, I’m often one of the first to identify it… especially if there is a placard right next to the cage.

I didn’t see the lizard because he was the same color as the sidewalk I was traveling on.

What’s interesting is that as soon as he squirted across the pediment, he changed color upon getting to the grass.  He changed color again when he “matched” the wall that he ran up to escape my oppression.

While the fact that lizards can change color isn’t headline news zoologically speaking, it did get me thinking.  I wondered if the lizard knows that it’s changing color?

When the lizard is green, does it know it?

More importantly, does the lizard actively “work” to change his color, or does he “automatically reflect” the color he’s standing over?  Does he have to think about it before doing it, or does is just happen while he’s walking around?

While I’m certain that there is a Wiki entry someplace in need of my perusal, and a scientist’s correction, I realized that it doesn’t really matter whether or not the lizard is aware, makes a specific effort, or even understands the physical change that takes place in his life: he just has to let it happen.


The Oatmeal Raisin Connundrum

Anybody who’s ever flown from New York to Los Angeles has experienced what I like to call “Mealtime Dysmorphia”, this is a scientific term that I just made up to describe the strange scenario you find yourself in when your internal body clock (the clock God gave you) is between 3 to 5 hours ahead of the clocks we make up on our own.

For instance, after traveling east to west across 3 or more time zones, You wake up for breakfast, only to find that your body is craving lunch.

The problem is that no restuarant in the world begins serving lunch items until after 10:30 AM (I suspect that they all learned this from McDonalds).

For some reason our societal structure has determined that eating dinner food for breakfast is completely unacceptable in the way that eating breakfast food for dinner is deviously enticing; having waffles for dinner makes you a hero of whimsy, but go ahead and serve lasagna at 7 AM and see what kind of a social outcast you become.

So you begin wondering what food is available that qualifies as “breakfasty” enough to be served, yet “lunchy” enough to satisfy your ever expanding appetite for significant sustenance?

If you’re lucky it’s a Sunday and there’s somebody serving a brunch, but those don’t usually start till 10:30, and this means waiting until your body thinks it’s 1:30 before you get a shot at a slice ham at best.

I’ve found that your best bet in these scenarios (don’t even think about convenience store hot dogs) is to completely cast logic aside and begin eating cookies.

Think about it.


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