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Surviving The Candy Dish

My young years were spent in the company of the aged.  My father was a preacher, which means I drank a lot of leftover grape juice and grew up around rest homes and mortuaries. As a result I learned a great deal about senior citizens and today I want to tell you this; “The elderly are holding out on us.”

You read me correctly, The AARP set has lived long enough to know exactly what they are doing, and if you assume that they’re doddering around waiting for death to grab them then you’ve walked into a trap like Han Solo on Cloud City.

They’re letting us think that we’re living it up with our tight dungarees and high maintenance hairstyles, but imagine how much fun they’re having in retirement.  Right now stress is killing us but we could be reading the paper, having an light lunch, hitting the links for 9 holes, beating the crowd to a buffet dinner, and winding down with a bowl of Jell-O and Alex Trebek…  while wearing breathable fabrics and a Gilligan hat.

The most egregious place they are holding out on us is at the coffee table candy dish.  Do you seriously believe that people who keep the Tic Tac company producing the orange flavor really enjoy the terrible candy that they leave out for the guests?  This is the generation that delivers the See’s candy at holidays; they whip out the good stuff for the invite only viewings of “Murder She Wrote.”

Having spent endless afternoon hours sampling the contents of countless Swarovski bowls here are my tips for surviving the perils of a septuagenarians candy offering.

5 candies you’re likely to find and how to handle yourself around them.

The Root Beer Barrel– Most of us enjoy a Root Beer Barrel from time to time, but it’s not the flavor you have to watch out for with this candy, it’s the seam along the edge.  Root Beer Barrels split at the seam and then open up in your mouth like a Bic-Twin shaver.  Wedge it in your cheek but be careful changing positions, the Root Beer Barrel is second only to Cap’n Crunch in damaging the soft palate.

The Ghosts of Candies Past

The 1920’s were a decade of decadence for Americans, an era when we refined frivolity from indulgence to art form.  The post war economic boom meant that people with ideas could find capital to finance them; professional sports, comic books, and trading cards became thriving industries. It was during this era that America said goodbye to “Little House on the Prairie” era candies and confections, gone were the days of sucking on peppermint sticks or chewing on anise roots and only a hayseed would be caught dead with marzipan.

Many of the candies of the interwar period have survived to both pleasure and torment us almost 100 years later.  Here are five that are worth their weight in sugar and five that never should have survived beyond the Korean War.

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