Last Friday at 1 a.m. — as the Halloween debauchery began to wind down and the skanky Disney princesses/skanky woodland creatures/skanky mavericks went home to shower and barf — I stopped at Gourmet Heaven to buy a candy bar. This was mainly on the grounds that I had eaten almost no candy that night (as far as I’m concerned, anything “fun-size” doesn’t count), and I needed my annual fix. But I swear: my intentions were pure. All I wanted was a modest block of chocolate, hopefully involving some goo and maybe peanuts.
But when I stared down those rows of cocky Hershey’s bars and dopey Reese’s Cups, what I saw instead were some disturbing candy trends. I don’t know whether they’re recent or ongoing — whether they’re caused by the numbnut Milk Duds in the product design department or by the moronic Mars Bars hired as taste-testers — but regardless, it seems that all is not well in Candyland.
In the first place, all the candy bars appear to be on steroids. At least an inch has been added to most of the standards (Twix, Snickers, Milky Way), not to mention several ounces in overall heft. Kit Kat is the real Hulk of the bunch. The Big Kat has ditched that classic wafery twigginess and now roughly resembles a baseball bat. So okay, fine, Americans are fat and the candy people know it, but doesn’t anyone find it frightening that I could bludgeon you to death with a Twix? Or that you can no longer risk being a butterfingers with a Butterfingers, because if you dropped it you’d cause an earthquake?
Scarier still, this chocoflation is justified across the board by the sinister exclamation, “King-size!” King-size? This is a democracy. No kings allowed. And even if we did have kings, any monarch ogreish enough to snack on a Snickers the size of a nightstick needs to be usurped, stat.
A possibly bigger problem dwells in each brand’s bajillion bizarre spin-offs. Why does Twix suddenly have peanut butter in it? Who decided we needed white chocolate Reese’s Cups? And what — to deviate slightly from the bar form here — is a chocolate-flavored Skittle? Sweet Jesus. The candy bar aisle has become an orgy of different flavor combos, each a stranger corruption than the last.
The effect of all this is that my head basically explodes when I try to pick a candy bar. I love caramel, and I love Reese’s Cups, but would I love caramel Reese’s Cups? Or, for that matter, would I love them in stick form? Or speckled with crispy rice? Why have my delicious friends turned on me? Is there anything in this world that I can rely on anymore?
It just goes to show that life is cruel and traitorous. My sweet simpleton candy bars have become Frankensteinian beasts, cobbled together from bits of each other into vast clumsy monsters. The end of innocence: exhibit A.
And the best part of all this is: I bought my megalithic candy bar and towed it home and ate it all at once. Because you know what? It was Halloween, national fright night. And what’s scarier than a Kit Kat bar that could break off a piece of you?