Friday, May 13, 2005


If Hilary Liftin had a superpower, it would be the ability to eat amazing amounts of candy and not get fat or get cavities. And yet, because she has written a charming memoir about her love affair with candy, I don't hate her for it.

Mostly I am just in awe of the amount of candy she was able to consume on a daily basis in her youth. And when a person named "Cupcake" is impressed with your sugar intake, you know that you are no dilettante. For example, growing up, I would spend many an Easter at my Grandparents' house eating candy until I threw up. I would literally go until I threw up. It became kind of an annual affair. I remember one Easter at my Aunt's house when she gave me a plastic shopping bag as we were leaving "just in case" (... I had to hurl on the 20 min. drive home). Yet Liftin only succumbed to this fate once, after eating a large bag of mint nonpareils before a track meet.

Oh, and remember all those tricks you thought you invented? Like licking your finger and sticking it into a pouch of Hot Chocolate Mix? Guess what. As a Catholic School girl, Liftin had a seven pack a day habit. Packets of Cocoa mix, that is.

Liftin's favorite candy is
Bottle Caps, and she writes a compelling ode to them:

"Most candy is chocolate- or fruit-flavored. Chocolate is a primary flavor, a natural food. Fruit candy is a secondary flavor- candy made to taste like a natural food. But Bottle Caps have neither primary or secondary flavor. The genius of Bottle Caps is that their flavors are artificial flavors representing artificial flavors. Bottle Caps simulate root beer and cola beverages, which are already weird chemically manufactured flavors. Even the orange and grape Bottle Caps are genuine efforts at creating the taste of orange and grape soda, which are themselves approximations of fruit. Bottle Caps have tertiary flavor."

Now, strictly speaking, I have always been a chocolate girl myself, but after devouring pages of Liftin's saccharine musings, I developed a strong craving for the tart, boldly-hued novelty candies of my youth. So I stopped at the corner deli and bought a box of Willy Wonka's Nerds. Then I happily sat on my stoop, mixing the Watermelon and Wild Cherry flavored candies in my palm until it got dark and I could no longer see the green and red stains on my hand.

1 comment:

Sherri said...

You're funny....great sense of humor! :)