I Just Ate 900 Calories Worth Of Halloween Candy So Now I Don't Have To

After Halloween our neighbor rang our bell and forced a gallon-sized Ziploc of candy on us, saying she had no willpower. A day later I had two more gallon bags of the stuff from her. The three bags are now ensconced in the upper shelf of a kitchen cabinet in an opaque black bag waiting to be taken to some break room somewhere; no goddamn way is that shit getting anywhere the boys, that's how rattled I was after Saturday night.

It occurred to me that it's been years — like last millennium years — since I've eaten any of these things. I think I know what they're like, but it's worth circling back; maybe candy has changed since then; who knows?

Milky Way: It's like chocolate, caramel and nougat, right? I had to Wikipedia "nougat": whipped up sugary something or other, I guess? So basically sugar two ways covered with milk chocolate? Weird — I think I used to like them. Paired with bourbon, it tastes like plastic.

Kit Kat: "Crisp Wafers in Milk Chocolate." Well, when you put it that way. I always liked the moderating influence of the individual wafers. It's like string cheese. The taste is funny — even though I'm sure the wafer is just a wafer and obviously the milk chocolate is milk chocolate, there's something so distinctive about Kit Kat; it was the one thing I absolutely knew what it tasted like already. I didn't miss them in the slightest. Pairs moderately well with bourbon.

Milk Duds: I have bad memories of these. Yup: cruddy chewy caramel with not nearly enough chocolate, one of those sad, stupid Depression-era names (like "Bit-O-Honey" or "egg cream") and asinine fucking boxes. Bourbon makes the fucking things seize up on your molars; squeaky-toothed shit candy.

[Eight to go and feeling kind of ill.]

Snickers Peanut Butter Squared: New to me, this is basically brilliant candywork. Balanced salty-sweet flavor and nougat that shimmies up your back teeth and lays there, coating, just coating. Mmmm. I forgot to drink bourbon, but whatever's left of the candy is now tasting like softly alcoholic panty hose, a not unpleasant sensation.

Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme: First, what's with the single apostrophe quote thingies around "n"? Oh OK, I see now, and honestly, as much as I try to respect prescriptive grammar rules, this is a fucking idiotic thing to feel strongly about. I don't think even that detour was enough for my blood sugar to stabilize. First thing: this candy bar looks ridiculous, like a kiwi filmed in black and white. It's white chocolate then? White chocolate and crushed vanilla wafers? It's not good, that's for sure. One thing, though — it's great with bourbon, for what it's worth.

Butterfinger: I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers the Bart Simpson commercials more fondly than the candy itself, which is a hateful chocolate-covered peanut-asbestos brick. Also pairs quite nicely with bourbon.

Crunch: First, what a dumb name. All the better to match such a thoughtlessly designed logo. Candy itself is not bad, but tastes different than I remember, like there's some spice in there — clove, maybe? Is it because of this? I can't evaluate the bourbon pairing because I feel like shit.

[Three to go and feeling like shit.]

Whoppers: Full disclosure: I love malted milk and I love these; they taste exactly like I remember. What's more, they pair wonderfully with bourbon, almost like cotton candy. Also, it looks like in general these have fewer calories per serving [factcheck: no, they actually have more — in general 100 compared with 85-95 for others].

Mr. Goodbar: I used to think that Mr. Goodbar succeeded in taking two perfectly good things — chocolate and peanuts — and making the combined product completely unappetizing. Time has not softened this impression: incredibly, it tastes like there is somehow too much of both the chocolate and peanuts. Also, the underside looks like something in one of the kids' diapers. And the color scheme and logo is ridiculous, and best saved for novelty T-shirts and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Also, quite good with bourbon.

Baby Ruth: Part of this was inspired by realizing that I always disliked Baby Ruths and wondering if my superrefined adult palate could school me in ways my former self couldn't. Nope. It combines the chewiness of a Milk Dud with the treacly sensation of nougat and pure Goodbarian peanut filler. Oh, and it hardly has any chocolate. Don't taste anything anymore.

100 Grand: Thought I would hate this because I never liked them in the past, but it's not terrible. Sure, it's got that boring caramel chew-ever thing, but the crispy part is fun and it seems like there's more chocolate than others. That clove flavor is back — Nestle, is that you? — and its mostly not that terrible with bourbon, but after 11 of these, who can really tell?

In summary: totally not worth it.

Posted: November 4th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Those Who Can't Do Review | Tags: , , , , ,

Jamie Moyer Didn't Quite Go Out In Style, But He Came Damn Close

Uncle Goober mentioned that he wanted to start a feature on his Geocities website where he would wait 28 days or 30 days before reviewing something. Kind of like having a first second look or sort of like just a really lazy reviewer who can't get his shit together. It's a good idea, which is why I'm stealing it.

That said, I'm not really stealing it because A) he probably will never get around to doing it so no one would be the wiser and B) I'm not really waiting 30 days to say something about something because I already jumped the gun and said what I wanted to say about [doing math here] about 38 days ago.

Except I've changed my mind a bit about HBO's Girls, especially after seeing how thick subsequent episodes have been laying on what was initially kind of just a slight parallel with Sex and the City (the one-to-one archetypes and the on-again-off-again relationship with Adam/Mr. Big kind of stuck out, not to mention the juxtaposition of the unpublished writer who spends too much time on Twitter with Carrie Bradshaw and I guess the fact that it takes place in New York Fuckin' City).

So if the show is sort of a gritty verité take on Sex and the City, then maybe Girls is HBO's way of buying carbon credits against their campy excesses with Sex and the City. Which is kind of a clever thought experiment, although I kind of wonder to what end. And then I think about Michael Patrick King and Judd Apatow sitting at the top of two shows about women and kind of get skeeved out, which is when I decide that's all I have to say about it, and mercifully cut myself free from the historical present. Jen thinks it's pretty funny though, which is why it's still occupying my mental space.

Posted: June 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Those Who Can't Do Review | Tags: , ,

It's Never Too Soon To Learn That Squishy Turtles, By Their Nature, Can Never Be Your Friend

So basically there's this class of baby book that's designed for very small babies. We (read: I) didn't know about this type of book before Animal came along. My recollection of children's books skewed toward Seuss and The Runaway Pancake. Like a lot of stuff about early childhood, it all kind of runs together in a blob between age 0 and middle school, and it's unclear what happened when and, therefore, what happens when.

So this one baby book that we got — I don't know if we just got it or if it's something we (read: Jen) asked for — is called Squishy Turtle and Friends. And every time we look at it, it kind of blows our minds.

I mean, sure, Squishy Turtle and Friends is only six pages long, but what do we know about what babies like? Maybe they don't need a complicated multi-story plot. Maybe they don't care about character development. Maybe they're not wowed by tremendously adept turns of phrase.

Look, I get that half the joy of "books" like Squishy Turtle is that they're crinkly and children can suck on them. But every time we read — or more accurately, allow Animal to manhandle it — we keep thinking that the book seems rather, I don't know, thin.

I don't know how Fair Use laws apply to children's books, especially when they're "tactile," but it's difficult to discern how much of a six-page book can be excerpted. Seriously, where's the cutoff? Oh well, here we go.

Squishy Turtle and Friends Cover

Like all good children's books, Squishy Turtle can be a little dark. Take the ominous first line, for example: "Little fish with shiny scales are fleeing from alarming whales!" Turtle moves along in this vein for five more pages, illustrating a murky world of inter-species violence.

Squishy Turtle and Friends Pages 1-2

Not to sound like a dick, but the line "Gently bobbing up and down is how a sea horse gets around" (page 4) is crying out to be rewritten, in the bawdy way. Let your imagination go with that one.

Squishy Turtle and Friends Pages 3-4

The final lines — "The ocean floor is deep and dark. It's where you'll find this hungry shark." — make you think you're missing something. Yes, yes — it's a baby book — but why treat them like they're illiterate?

Squishy Turtle and Friends Pages 5-6

Now you may be wondering, as we were, if this is Squishy Turtle and Friends, well then where and when the fuck does the title character show up? That goes unanswered.

Squishy Turtle and Friends Back Cover

At this point, however, you have to wonder if there's a sort of commentary going on in the book's title. Yes, Squishy Turtle never actually appears in Squishy Turtle, but is that because of Squishy Turtle's inherent makeup? I.e., he/she is squishy, and thus equivocal? At the very least, it's worth considering.

The whole thing was kind of perplexing, so Jen finally just Googled it, and came across the Amazon page for the book. And that's where we saw it: When Squishy Turtle was first published back in 2003 it was eight pages!

And after reading the comments, we learned the Horrible Truth About Squishy Turtle: Back in 2007 it was cut down to six measly pages.

So in cutting down the books to six pages, Squishy Turtle joins Dannon Yogurt, Dial Soap and every other example of "wonderful new packaging" that seeks to cut costs by literally cutting corners.

Look, do I dislike Turtle? No. Clearly not. But I was disappointed by Turtle, in part for his squishiness and in part because I think it's just a bad example to set for the children. Because, after all, when it comes down to it, that's all that matters.

Posted: May 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Books Are The SUVs Of Writing, The Cult Of Domesticity, Those Who Can't Do Review | Tags: , , , ,