Thursday, April 30, 2009

School Days

As a junior in high school, I was known as the "candy god." Not because all candies counted me as a deity, but because I seemed to produce the stuff in this jacket I used to wear all the time. I didn't tell anyone, but the only creation story that happened with me was the one where I would stop at the drug store each day before school. They had a lot of candy there. I am uncertain whether some higher power produced it, or whether it was large, faceless corporations. I suspect the latter, but it is exciting to try to envision a candy god. I call him Fructor, and his body is composed of every sugary sweetness imaginable. Created in his own image and all.

Imagine this guy, but with jolly ranchers for fingers and licorice for hair.

To come to the moral, I was the de facto supplier of candy for most of the student population my junior year- at least for those in the know. I was like the corner dealer-- everybody gets a taste, but the second time's a dime. Tell a friend.

One day I was chomping on some of the individual SweeTart rolls modeled after Smarties. At around a dollar per sack and 27 rolls per sack, we are talking a 100% profit with 7 rolls for personal consumption. Individual packaging: one of the gifts that Fructor has bestowed upon us.
Smarties ain't got shit on these.

Anyway, being a gracious dealer, I was also sharing a bag of gummi bears with some of my best clients. Keeps em coming back. As if by divine intervention, I threw a handful of gummis into my mouth while still working on a full roll of mini-SweeTarts. Maybe it was like the moment when someone dropped their Hershey into a vat o' peanut butter, or maybe it was like the synergy achieved when good timing meets good planning - whatever. Point is, at that moment, I pre-saged the coming of a gummi* SweeTart. Long had I considered the two entities to be at the apex of candy production (despite the fact that at that point I was eating Brach's gummis-- ah, youth!). Their union would represent, I thought, one of the greatest moments in the history of sweetkind. Those in attendance that day can tell you that I even drew sketches of the new product; it was as if the very hand of the Creator reached into my brain and implanted the image of what would,
just weeks later, emerge on the market.

The irony , of course, is that though the Gummy SweeTart is a fine product, and the world is better for them, they do not live up to the sum of their parts. A good gummi or SweeTart far outstrips the combination of the two. I often bemoan the fact that I had not the foresight or resources to research the development of the Gummy SweeTart myself; perhaps then the product would be the transcendent experience I envisioned lo those many years ago. As it is, each time I eat a Gummy SweeTart now, a little pang shoots through my body. "If only," I say to myself. "If only." This is what lost dreams look like.

*NOTE: You may note the inconsistencies in the spelling of "gummi/gummy" in this post. While SweeTarts and most American candies prefer the "y" spelling - "gummy" - I, except when referring to branded products, prefer the more whimsical, European "i" spelling - "gummi."

1 comment:

  1. I had to deal with your reputation throughout my High School days - Corley still asks me for skittles to this day