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Thursday, January 8, A.D. 2009
Man Candy

If you were expecting a display of Adonises in all their glowing Olympian masculine pulchritude, you will find none here; on principle, this web site posts no photographs of its webmaster. For man candy is candy for man, not man as a sweet, delectable goody for the ravenous out there—with an exception made for the forthcoming treatment of the gingerbread man.

Rather, I wish to honor the contents of my Christmas stocking this year. For the first time in years, my mother—eh, I mean, Santa—wholly succeeded in filling my stocking with delicious candy instead of those horrible chocolate Santa Clauses that make stocking stuffing a sacrilege. Mind you, the offense is, in Anti-Dentite Seinfeldesque fashion, not to good Saint Nicholas but to chocolate. I do not understand how confectioners could screw up the precious gift of the gods so—both at Christmas and at Pascha with those horrid sugary but tasteless hollow Easter Bunnies. Only wicked Peeps have managed to destroy holiday celebrations in a more sinister fashion.

No, this year, my mother chose wisely. In addition to the necessary nods to tradition with apples, oranges, and tree nuts, she actually stuffed according to my tastes. It is funny how parents can manage to ignore your food preferences for decades (“I didn’t know that you hated canned asparagus”) and then surprise you with treats that you actually like.

First honors in my stocking go to my favorite non-chocolate, non-fruity candy—Ferrara Pan’s Boston Baked Beans.

I have enjoyed these tooth-destroying lovelies since I first had them at the YMCA concession stand when I was around six years old. They have a distinctive taste unlike any other peanut candy.

Next, my mother could not go wrong with Reese’s. The other contender for my favorite candy is Reese’s Pieces. E.T. may have started my love affair with the peanut buttery goodness of a candy, but I have kept the flame burning long after that alien left Elliot to collect more plants throughout the galaxy. Though I prefer the pieces, I settled for the cups in my stocking. Harry Burnett Reese’s mixture of chocolate and peanut butter made the world a better place—and it gave his pal Milton Snavely Hershey’s company a better line of products after Reese went to see the Great Candy Maker in the sky.

My mom also struck gold by taking the cinematic angle. I never eat during movies, but I do like “movie food.” So, I appreciate the Raisinets and Goobers, though I have tried to boycott Nestlé‘s hungry evil empire for years. Besides their shameless exploitation of Third World miserables, why must the Swiss company swallow up all the small confectioneries around the world? I am no supporter of the Peoples’ Global Action, but neither am I a cheerleader of global capitalism. Willy Wonka’s Candy Company should be American as Quaker Oats, and Crosse & Blackwell should have remained British all along. How I love their Branston Pickle Relish! Yet, I suppose that corporations owned by investors who care only for their profits will freely and enthusiastically toss their traditions and legacies to the winds of multinational capital. Stocks have done much good for the world, but I wonder if private companies are inherently better. Their owners tend to be more concerned about the good of the company, its workers, its customers, and its products than random investors who could care less what they own as long as the dividends continue to enrich them.

Furthermore, my mother gave me delicious Andes Mints, now owned by Tootsie Roll. At least, they remain a Midwestern company.

Lastly, I received a tin-boxed gingerbread man from New Hampshire’s Original Gourmet Food Company. The tin was cute as was the man inside; so, the presentation was appealing. However, the happy guy tasted more like a sugar cookie than gingerbread. I am a gingerbread fanatic, and packaged weak-spiced gingerbread cannot compete with the fresh gingery taste of traditional Christmas gingerbread men. Local bakeries, such as Cincinnati’s Servatii’s, offer decent cookies, but the best treats are homemade. My brother Adam and his girlfriend made a wonderful gingerbread land this year, complete with village, castle, trees, and ginger denizens—that is real gingerbread.

All in all, my stocking was a resounding success. Thanks, Santa. You must be an Anti-Dentite.

Posted by Joseph on Thursday, January 8, Anno Domini 2009
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