In the immortal words of George “Kingfish” Stevens, “My luck is so bad that I invested in a pumpkin patch – and they canceled Halloween.”
Relax. Despite the perennial protestations of some religious groups that condemn Halloween as a pagan ritual or worse, the delightful day exemplified by free candy will go on Friday.
On the kiddie calendar of joyous events, there’s Christmas, birthday and Halloween, the latter being the day when, by merely knocking on someone’s door, you’re given candy.
Much of that candy will be one that provokes puredee revulsion in some people: candy corn.
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Me? I love it. There are websites dedicated to people who talk about their contempt for candy corn. It was invented in the 1880s, so somebody – and not just I – must love it. When was the last time you saw a Max Headroom, Snirkle or Reggie! candy bar? How about a cola-flavored Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum stick?
That’s because the confection world is unforgiving, and many candies have been shunted off to that dusty candy storage room in the sky. Yet candy corn, with all of its detractors, is still out there.
When you call the National Confectioners Association – the lobbying group for candy makers – several times and get put on hold, you hear, unsurprisingly, the song “Sugar, Sugar” by the animated faux-pop group The Archies and “Candy Man” by Sammy Davis Jr.
If Halloween is someday mothballed, it won’t be because of religious opposition and church-sponsored “Harvest festivals” serving soy-based granola bars and other heart- and soul-healthy snacks.
It’ll be from people who think sugar – and not just that found in candy corn – is evil.
Never had too much candy corn
When I had a real candy jones and was trick-or-treating heavily – I had to stop when people started calling the cops because there was a big, bearded man on their porch dressed like Elvis – I would trade bite-size Snickers and Butterfingers for the orange, yellow and white niblets of the gods.
Remember the country music song from a few years ago that went “I ain’t never had too much fun”?
That’s me when it comes to candy corn. I ain’t never had too much, neither for me nor for my former dentist. The dude drove a Lamborghini, and I’m sure my love of candy corn and the resulting dental work paid for at least the hubcaps.
I no longer buy candy corn, but not because of the taste or the demonized sugar or high fructose corn syrup that goes into it. I stopped because once I start eating it, I can’t stop and end up turning the bag inside out to get the crumbs hiding in the corner.
Susan Whiteside, a spokeswoman for the NCA, said I’m not the only one. “When we ask people nationwide what they think of it, 57 percent of Americans say Halloween is not Halloween without candy corn,” she said.
The rest, she said, “said they can skip it.”
More candy corn trivia
Whiteside also said Southerners of a certain age – my age – are the ones most likely to view candy corn as one of the essential food groups, while millennials comprise the age group least likely to like it.
Hey, aren’t they the ones who also made Justin Bieber a star?
From Whiteside, I learned more than anyone should ever know about candy corn, such as the fact that 43 percent of people said they “like to bite off the narrow white end first, 47 percent eat the whole piece and the rest eat the wider orange end.”
She also also said that most people at Halloween give their own favorite candy to trick-or-treaters.
You know what that means, right?
Don’t come to my crib unless you want some candy corn.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are people who don’t like candy corn. I’ve even met people who don’t like eggnog and fruitcake.