break room candy.

One thing you can be sure about in this world, that's free candy in the break room after Halloween. I think the parents steal it from their children. I'm not sure how it works, really. The parents might stealthily take some of the candy after the kiddies have gone to bed, thinking that they'll never notice that they now have a grocery bag less than they did the night before. Or maybe they charge a "Mommy Tax," forcing the children to donate some of their haul. Maybe the parents take it all away, which seems sort of cruel. Why go trick or treating at all? If I were that kid, I would have a hard time putting any heart into it at all. "Trick or treat. You might as well give me the licorice, because I'm not gonna get to keep any of it anyway." If the parents are really good, then the kid might think that is the point: to get candy and then give it to your folks. "Yes, dear, Halloween is an ancient tradition where the children go out and collect candy for their parents. It pays tribute to the fact that the parents have to buy things all year long for the children. Now give me the Smarties." As long as that kid never talks to any other kid ever, it could work. Something to think about, homeschoolers.

In any case, the break room candy definitely seems to be the result of a night spent begging on front doorsteps. It's a wide assortment, so it's not as if some parent bought too much candy for the evening. If that were the case, they'd be all Hershey bars or all chewy Wonka candy. But you've got a little bit of everything, and it's all sitting in a plastic grocery bag on a table in the break room. The parents must be very concerned about the sugar intake of their little ghouls. However, they obviously couldn't care less about the sugar intake of their coworkers.

When I was little, I was under the impression that adults didn't really like candy that much. I had a lot of stupid ideas about being an adult. What's worse, I knew that my mom had candy hidden in her bedroom. But being a child and therefore very self-absorbed, I thought she was just hiding it from me so I wouldn't eat it all in one sitting. Which is true, she was hiding it from me so I wouldn't eat it. But I figured the reason she didn't want me to eat it was because it was bad for me. In actuality, she didn't want me to eat it because then there would not be any for her. That sort of thing never occurred to me.

And so for those of you out there who labor under the impression that adults do not eat candy, well, it's just not true. We can eat the heck out of some candy. But we do it differently from children. If you set a bag full of candy in front of a group of children, it won't last long. Leave the room for five minutes, when you come back there will be a bunch of noisily-munching kids with sticky fingers surrounded by a bag with only a couple of pieces of licorice inside. However, adults pace themselves, either out of will power or out of shame. Me, it's all shame. I don't want to be caught taking twenty pieces of candy from the bag in one go, so I just grab a piece or two, a mere piece or two!, every time I go in the break room. Man, I sure seem to have a lot of reasons to go into the break room lately. And then I have to unwrap each piece very stealthily at my desk, in case my neighbors might notice the amount of cellophane crinkling going on. Luckily, I grew up in a proud, church-going family, so I have years of practice in this art.

You gotta hop on the good stuff first, because they won't last at all. Of course, as the bag gets lighter, what is the good stuff changes. The first day, there might be mini Heath bars in there, and you're not going to waste any time with Starburst or Blowpops when there is toffee to be had. But the next day, when all the Heath bars are gone (perhaps into your own belly), you may reassess the Starbursts. Some things never seem to leave, and by the end of the week, you wonder if the poor little packs of licorice feel like three-legged puppies at the pound.

And now, because I can't think of a good way to finish this post, I'll leave you with a little joke I read on a piece of Laffy Taffy:

Q: What did one ghost say to the other ghost?
A: "Do you believe in people?"

That's some very advanced humor for a Laffy Taffy wrapper, folks.

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