Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Candy Battle

I’ve finally spruced the joint up a little, thanks to the wonderful and talented man I force fruits and vegetables on every day. Yes, I admit it. I'm a vegetable pusher. Probably because growing up, my mother made sure we ate some kind of fruit or vegetable with every meal. In fact, before I was ten, you’d be more likely to see Sonny & Cher make an appearance at our house than sugared cereals and junk food. But when my brother and sister came along, you couldn’t walk through the kitchen without tripping over a Little Debbie Nutty Bar or a jumbo jar of nacho cheese dip.

I probably don’t need to tell you that we never had candy just hanging out in the cupboards; nor did we have a “family candy bowl.” (Not counting the junk food that my siblings campaigned for and won in the late 80s.) Which is why I’m still a little weirded out by a relatively new phenomenon in my life.

Candy at work. Ambrosial, plentiful, mouth-watering, serotonin-triggering, teeth-rotting, artery-clogging, wonderful candy.

Like many offices, mine has a candy bowl near the front door. In our case, it not only functions as an investment in a future with Type II diabetes. It also serves as a handy fecal bacteria distributor, since people pass the bowl on their way to or from the bathroom. The type of candy in the bowl varies from day to day, but usually, it features one of the triple-dipped chocolate-covered delicacies made by the candy shop across the street: cashews, raisins, almonds, malted milk balls, coffee beans.

Did you catch that? Right. I work across the street from a store that literally has the power to cripple you with deliciousness. If you don’t become an addict after eating any of their confections, you probably lack a soul and/or hate puppies.

Recently, one of my coworkers mixed things up by pouring a bag of Lifesavers Crème Savers and Werther’s Original hard candies into the office candy bowl.

After I got over the shock, the event triggered two unpleasant memories for me: 1) the time I swallowed a Werther’s Original candy whole in high school and it lodged in my esophagus for five choketastic hours; and, 2) a mild argument I once had with a flight attendant over my refusal to accept a Crème Saver candy during one of the in-flight snack distributions. I really don’t remember why I so adamantly refused that one tiny candy, but it probably started as a simple desire to avoid a weird aftertaste in my mouth for the duration of the flight but then escalated into a battle of wills.

It went something like this:

Flight attendant, extending a basket of Crème Savers in my direction: Crème Saver?

Me, trying to read a novel and breathe through only my right nostril because my neighbor to the left is a wall of halitosis in human form: No thank you.

Flight attendant: Aw, are you sure? They’re delicious!

Me, smiling distractedly: No, really. I’m pretty full.

Flight attendant, with traffic en route to the bathroom backing up behind her: Just one little Crème Saver? They’re SOO good!

Me, shaking head, still somehow smiling: No, I really don’t like them.

Flight Attendant: What? Nobody doesn’t like Crème Savers! Just try it; I promise you’ll like it.

Me, restraining hands in lap so I don't knock her candy basket across the plane: Sorry. I really don’t want one.

Flight attendant, pressing one individually-wrapped Creme Saver into my hand: Here. You can save it for later.

Me, wanting to tell her to stick the candy up her ass: *I-give-up chuckle* Okay, fine.

Flight Attendant: victoriously thrusts her basket before the next victim.

Me: reluctantly pops Crème Saver into mouth. Stubbornly enjoys it.

Anyway, if you’ve made it this far through what has turned into a long, convoluted story, thanks. I am suddenly starving, so I’m going to go eat lunch. Then I’m running across the street to get my fix.

(Thank you for helping me redesign my blog, J! You are one step closer to getting that X-Box 360 for your birthday next week.)


  1. Anonymous2:58 PM

    I dig the new look!

    FIVE choketastic hours? Are you serious?

    I don't care for creme savers or the fruity candies. I prefer some combo of chocolate/nuts/caramel.

  2. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Candy, choking? wha??

    I'm too focused on the rockin' new design. YEAH!

  3. Jess, you are so pretty. Period. No more stalkalicious comments from me, I promise.

    Creme Savers make me think of my 90 year-old grandmother and how my 18 year-old cousin imitates my grandmother sucking on a Creme Saver, then burping and saying "Aaahhhh." Good burp, eh Granny?

  4. Love the new look!

    That flight attendant exchange was a lot like reading Green Eggs and Ham, except that it didn't rhyme.

  5. Yeah, the site looks great! Can't wait to read your novel, by the way! You and Wendy Boooo-shayyyy, of course. Your story reminded me of times in the past when I, too, have swallowed candy whole. Some of the most fearful moments of my life. Seriously. Thank you for allowing me to relive them.

  6. Having to work across the street from a candy store just doesn't seem fair. Hor do you possibly keep thin?

  7. The site looks great!

    One annoying thing though (don't cha hate how that works?)

    There's no space between the semicolon and your name in "Name:Jess Riley" or the location and Wisconsin.

    The colors and fonts are great though.

  8. If only she had pushed the tequila that way.

    I've had one of those candies stuck too. Choketastic is too kind a word for it. I was thinking of an emergency trach - self given.

  9. (stayc: believe me, if I could figure out how to fix that problem, I would! It's driving me batty. We're still pretty new to the wonderful world of html, so I'm just happy to get this far for now) :)

    Does anyone know how to fix this? I'll buy you a beer!!

  10. Creme Savers are evil, nasty, just plain bad non-candies. I don't mean to alarm you, but that flight attendant sounds like she was on something a little stronger than Creme Savers...

  11. Hello. My name is Teri and I love Creme Savers. ::sob:: I see that I am in the minority, here, but I shall not be ashamed.
    Love the new banner! But now everytime I visit I will once again be reminded that I won't be able to read your book for a whole freakin' year! The anticipation is killing me!!
    Despite my love of Creme Savers, I would just like you to know that I would never, NEVER force them on you. And, I'm thinking about drafting legislation that requires everyone to submit to a halitosis screening before boarding any aircraft.

  12. Jess ~ I like the new look of your blog (even if the work wasn't yours) It looks NICE! ~ jb///

  13. Personally, I like Creme Savers, hard or soft (ooh, that sounds so dirty. giggle). But I love your new site design more. Fah-bulous.

  14. Anonymous6:46 PM

    My twelve-year old daughter is weird. She doesn't like candy. Chocolate in particular. Seriously, she hates the stuff. She saves all her candy from Halloween and sells it to her little sister's friends when they come over. $1 for a bite-size Snickers. Why yes, step right in.

    The site looks très beau by the way.

  15. The site looks good. It makes me want to be a better man...or update my blog.

  16. Anonymous7:41 PM

    Love the new site look. To celebrate, I'd love to buy you a bag of creme savers. No? C'mon, they are so good... so creamy... just one? One bite? Come on, don't be un-American, just one little creme saver...

  17. Anonymous8:22 PM

    Love the new look. You know what I really can't stand? When hard candies start to go soft- and they have that tar like consistency on the outside due to atomic level breakdown. Yech.

  18. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Awesome new look, Jess! Color me jealous. Because I look good in green.

    I HATE CremeSavers, because they remind me of flavored Maalox, which is the number one nausea inducing substance on the Earth, as far as I'm concerned

  19. Great looking site!

    Now, about that candy. Isn't it bad enough that I can't watch TV without a chocolate cake or Big Mac commercial? Now my blog reads are giving me cravings? You suck.

  20. Ok. The Creme Savers story is really funny. THanks for stopping by my blog. And I'm really getting a kick out of yours...

    Hey we have alot of our fave blogs in common! Cool.

  21. I really do not have a sweet tooth and a lot of people do not understand that. Especially when I say that I am not too fond of chocolate or ice cream. I just wish someone would invent a potato chip that was healthy.

  22. Anonymous6:39 AM

    I just stubled across your blog from the Truth Laid Bare lists. Congrats on your book.

    I would love to be a writer, but alas, my writing tends to be a bit too factual and dry. I can get the point across succinctly but not neccesarily in an entertaining manner.

    I've got a great novel idea in my head but I just can't seem to flesh it out enough to make the characters or situations seem REAL.

    I just don't have the artistic ability methinks.

    Oh well...the world needs ditch diggers too.

    I just wanted to drop a line and say congrats and I've really enjoyed the little bit of your writing I've seen. You do have a gift. I'll be looking for your book when it comes out.

  23. Anonymous6:41 AM

    I guess I'd better learn to proofread before attempting a writing career huh?

    Sorry for the typos.

  24. Love what you've done with the place.
    I've never tried those candies. I'm a chocolate girl myself.

  25. Anonymous7:55 AM

    Candy jars at work are tickets to head-spinning popularity.

    You have such a wonderful writing voice, Jess. Loved this line!

    lodged in my esophagus for five choketastic hours

  26. Whenever I had hard candies as a child (heh heh, hard), I always accidentally swallowed them whole. always.

    Then I would freak out a little and make gaggy noises, then have to deal with the lodgy-choketasticness until the thing dissolved.

    Every time I had one I would vow that this time I would not let the damn thing slip down my throat. Then, well, you know.

    You'd think this would have made me really popular on the dating scene, but not so much.

  27. The new design is T-riffic! And I can't tell you how awed I was by your photo-essay on mascot interviews. "I'm not worthy!"

  28. Anonymous11:59 AM

    Looks great!

    1. "fecal bacteria distributor" -- if you know of Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, you'll get me doing that shudder he does when he steps on the rakes.


    2. I didn't grow up with a family candy bowl or easy candy access, either, but we have a candy bowl now and the 5 yr old has this little slot machine candy dispenser thingy on her desk in her room (thank you, grandparents!) and I am proud to report that tho she pretty much has unfettered candy access at all times, the kid asks first and isn't particularly greedy in her candy piggishness.

    (And that's totally unlike her candypig mother.)

  29. My Mom wasn't against candy, but she didn't keep the house stocked with it either. I'd go visit my Dad for the summer and he'd send me home with a trash bag full of Ho-Hos, Twizzlers, Red Hots, Rice Krispies etc. I'd hide them behind my bed and feast a little bit each day after school. It's a wonder I wasn't chunky. :)

  30. The best part of the exchange is that you actually enjoyed the cream saver. You and Mom 101 should partner and do ads for them.

    The design is incredible and I'm so excited to read your novel! I just blogged today about how my favorite author is failing me and it's about time I read someone new. At least I have your blog to enjoy until it's released.

  31. Anonymous3:48 PM

    It was US Air, right? I always thought it was so random that they would walk around with baskets of creme savers anyway.

  32. Blech. Don't like the creme savers. Then again, I've never tried one. Maybe I would enjoy it in secret as well...

  33. Anonymous9:01 PM

    You candy ass! You took a Creme Saver after all that? On the second time she offered it, I would've looked her in the eye, unsmiling, and said, "I. Said. NO!! It's 2006, and No Means No!!!" and then start crying. ;)

    Love the new look!

  34. Anonymous11:11 PM

    My grandfather was a dentist. In California. No candy, ANYWHERE. Apples, nuts. Dentists knew before anyone...was mad about it then but not now. Now I also foist vegetables and fruits on my children. Now they are old enough to thank me, too!

  35. J probably just wants a blowjob. Then the X Box!

    Funny that you're a vegetable pusher yet you suffer from constipation. Ooh, did I say that outloud?

    I posted Part I of Conference Canoodling over at Manic. Feel free to share the love! I'm having Trish tell all the good parts in Part II.

    Miss sleeping with you! LOL.

  36. Oh, hey Jess! *looks around* I LOVE what you've done with the place. Really, it's just amazing.

  37. Regarding your "Name:" problem. Your current template code string has it like this:

    Name:Jess Riley

    Have you tried just adding a space after Name: so it looks like this?

    Name: Jess Riley

    Either that or add a space before your name so it looks like this:

    Name: Jess Riley

    One of those two methods should work.

  38. Oops, my examples didn't translate as text properly. It just converted them to actual output. Let me try again.

    You should enter your string either as:

    (strong)Name: (/strong)Jess Riley


    (strong)Name:(/strong) Jess Riley

    I had to substitute the "<>" characters with "()" in this example. Otherwise it uses it in my comment. Anyway, send me an email if you still need help.

  39. (Harmonica: my name and location don't appear any where in the code string. Believe me, we looked. LOL It's linked somehow to my profile information on blogger, and I have no idea what that code would be. I'll take a closer look at it later, but I don't think I saw it anywhere.)

  40. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  41. Anonymous1:04 PM

    J, thanks for the compliments!

  42. The new design looks great! If you stare at the blue sides long enough, it starts to look 3-D!

    Don't ask why I was staring at the sides of your blog for so long.

    I like Creme Savers while they're in my mouth, but as soon as they're gone, the aftertaste makes me want to shave my tongue.

  43. I don't know if my last comment went through, so I apologize if I post this twice!

    I love the new design! I figured out that if you stare at the sides long enough, it starts to look 3-D. And I have no clue why I was staring at it long enough to figure that out!

    I like Creme Savers when I'm eating them, but as soon as they're gone, I want to shave my tongue.

  44. You are the third person today that I have had to add to my list of people to envy. I can't wait to read your book! I would love to talk to you sometime about the road to publication.

    The new design is great!

  45. Love the new look. Like Jan Brady with the giant afro wig, but classier. Also, you can blog about candy anytime. Mmmmm. Candy. Just call me Homer Simpson.

  46. Anonymous3:08 PM

    The candy at work thing...ugh. It's ubiquitous. And evil. I'd like to know who's behind it.

    And I love your new look! Very relaxing :)

  47. mmmmmm.... delicious fecal bacteria dispensers. i could eat 'em by the handful....

    and what have you got against creme savers? are you unamerican? do you hate freedom that much?

    sorry, punchy. TGIF and too much caffeine and all that.

    nice redesign--will look out for ze book for sure. (who's Larry Resnick? Off to google. Am british, sorry.)

  48. update: am dumbass. must try better next time. Larry Resnick--now get it. Have read PW synopsis on your blog.

  49. Oh no. I knew this day would come. You're doing ads.

    Creme Savers make me gag. But, I do enjoy about 28 tons of Sour Patch Kids. I'm just crazy that way.

  50. J - what's with the comment moderation? I like to see my comment! I feel published.

    Another small joy taken from me...

  51. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Please tell me that the candy in the bowl at work is wrapped. Please. As for the flight attendant pushing the creme savers, that's weird. Very strange. What was her deal? Maybe she thought you were the one with the bad breath and you desperately needed a change of odor?

    Love the new digs!

  52. Anonymous8:03 PM

    haha I hate the pressure when I am trying to avoid candy but I would so pop it into my mouth too!!!

    Lookin snazzy girl!

  53. Anonymous8:54 PM

    I'm reading this as I stare at a bag of Creme Savers sitting on my dining room table. Not for me, mind you, but because my 10 year old wanted them for her goody bags at her birthday party.

    That's right, no Smarties, no BlowPops, no candy necklaces for her. I tried to talk her into Red Vines or something else more kid-centric, but she insisted. (and so I was forced to try them, too. *smack*)

    (Sorry for shouting...just too excited!)

    So, you are a Creme-Discriminator? Does that make you a Cremenator? Hee-hee!

    Again, love the new duds!