Friday, October 29, 2004

WWJD on Halloween?

Mic brings up an interesting question in her comment:

"Any comment on the 'controversy' of Halloween occurring on a Sunday this year? I heard some good Christian towns are losing sleep over this! Call me crazy, but I believe that Halloween has occurred on a Sunday before...."

Actually, this kind of gantseh megilleh has been going on for some time, particularly among evangelical groups. What to a lot of us is celebrating a fun and harmless holiday (despite the cavities and occasional egging or stolen treat bag) is to some superstitious types just asking for the occult and spirit world to notice you, and to some ultra-religious folks a veritable PACT WITH SATAN! has all kinds of excellent information on how Americans of different faiths in general view Halloween. For example:

A poll of visitors to the website as Halloween for the year 2000 approached showed that there is a wide range of beliefs about Halloween:
Belief % Response
"It's a fun holiday for kids and adult parties. I don't take it seriously." 42%
"It's a wonderful time to remember the dead and celebrate the end of the year." 28%
"We shouldn't celebrate it because it has occult origins and morbid overtones." 12%
"I celebrate it as a Christian holiday, the eve of the Feast of All Saints." 9%
"It doesn't mean anything to me one way or the other." 9%

In advance of Halloween for 1999, Focus on the Family, a Fundamentalist Christian agency conducted a poll of their web site visitors concerning their plans to observe Halloween. Results were:

30% Avoid it because it is evil
29% Enjoy costumes and candy
29% Turn it into a fall festival
9% Ignore it for lack of interest
9% Observe it as Reformation Day -- a recognition of the founding of Protestantism.

One of the most outrageous responses to Halloween is the Hell House, a house of horrors put on by Christian groups (and usually staffed and acted out by teenagers) that leads visitors through tableaus of “sinners” suffering and going to hell for commiting such acts as pre-marital sex, abortion, suicide, doing drugs and- heaven forfend! – engaging in homosexual acts (we gays all get the AIDS, y’know). Even just going out dancing or reading a Harry Potter book can set you on the road to much-deserved rape or slaving in the service of Satan. If you haven’t seen it, the documentary Hell House is a fascinating look into this phenomenon. One of the most telling aspects is how much the teenagers enjoy and compete for the chance to act out the goriest or most disturbing scenes. How old testament of them! Our own lovely M has witnessed these charming diversions herself as a child of the Southern bible belt (now that’s scary!).

So, what do I think? It’s just one more thing I don’t get or agree with the religious right on. And, generally, whereas I do think that it’s every person’s right to practice his or her religion as long as it doesn’t hurt others, there’s a lot of latitude in the concept of “hurt” for interpretation. If they don’t want to observe my favourite holiday, fine, but the type of small-mindedness that sees any practice or observance not set specifically down as acceptable in a literal interpretation of the bible can be more than a bit frightening. Banning Halloween is just another little symptom of the extremism fundamentalists of all faiths can resort to when they become convinced their particular rules are the only right ones and should be law. And the most disturbing part is, this type of furor only seems to building every year.

Can you say fatwah, anyone?

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where, Oh, Where Has My Little Bomb Gone? - Part II

Update: The NY Times reports that Iraqi employees at Al Qaqaa said that when they tried to report the looting of munitions from the site to American troops, they were told this was not the soldiers' responsibility.

Col. Anderson of the 101st Airborne division I mentioned before, said that

...he thought... Al Qaqaa was of no importance to his mission...and he was unaware of the explosives that international inspectors said were hidden inside.


"Mission accomplished," indeed...

Where, Oh, Where Has My Little Bomb Gone?

Explosives madness! In Michigan yesterday, Shrub got all testy about those pesky missing munitions. According to the NYT:

President Bush broke his silence on Wednesday on the disappearance of 380 tons of explosives in Iraq, accusing Senator John Kerry of making "wild charges" about the missing explosives and of "denigrating the actions'' of troops in the field.

Mr. Kerry quickly responded that while "our troops are doing a heroic job, the president, the commander in chief, is not doing his job."

And good ol' Rudy G chimed in on the Today show with:

"No matter how you try to blame it on the President, the actual responsibility for it should be on the troops that were there. Did they search carefully enough?"

"John Kerry wants to pretend we do know what happened. We don't know what happened. The best possibility is that those explosives were gone even before the troops got there … at least it's an equal possibility. John Kerry hasn't admitted that. Instead, John Kerry became an attack dog."

Smooth move, Ex-Lax. Who's denigrating the troops, now?

Meanwhile, The Little Station That Could out of Minneapolis seems to have dug up some footage that shows the 101st Airborne Division finding explosives - possibly these very ones - early in the game and leaving them unguarded.

Ruh-roh, George.

Were those darn troops just sleeping on the job again? Perhaps Sgt. Bilko sold those things off to pay off some gambling debts. All we know is, the President and his administration had nothing to do with it. Just like it was a few bad apples that caused all that trouble up in Abu Graihb.

Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back IN...

P.S.: The good news is, I finally think I know what I'm going to be for Halloween...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Civil War II: Electric Boogaloo

Is anyone else in a complete state of angst over the upcoming election? I mean, of course, a lot of people are, particularly the politics wonks out there. But I mean those of us whose daily lives are more concerned with earning our livings, caring for family and what's for dinner. I smell a lot of tension out there, and it's not just among the cultural élite.

So, on top of dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (why are those friggin' sun lamps so expensive?) and some recent hormonal issues that may send me to the doctor yet again, I've got this to worry about. That's right, not only could W win (I think I just threw up in my mouth a little), but it's possible that we could have an electoral college tie. That would mean that the decision of who becomes president would be up to the House of Representatives. And guess which way they would probably vote?

The worst thing is, if this were to happen, I'm not sure which outcome would be more depressing: the nation rising up in an endless chain of lawsuits possibly escalating to violence and/or governmental breakdown, or the American people shaking their heads, shrugging and getting back to trying to earn enough to buy that stuff at the mall for Christmas.

Is there a middle ground? Certainly the mystifyingly high incidence of "undecideds", along with those who already think their vote doesn't matter, contrasted with the true believers on either side of the fence nowadays, who are looking pretty rabid, allows for... something. I must say, however, that the combined whackiness of all of this, despite what some people say, has led me to discover myself humming "O, Canada" under my breath quite frequently of late. Oh, and then there's the universal health care and gay marriage.

So, forgive me if the stress is getting to me. I feel like I'm breathing it in every day. And you know a storm is brewing when the semi-Buddhist peacenik gets cramps in her jaw from clenching and has vivid daydreams about levelling everyone involved in the higher levels of politics with a large automatic weapon. Just invest in Tums and don't look for me on Election Day. M & I will be volunteering in various ways before then, but on that day, after voting, I intend to run screaming to the most removed, meditative spot available on my budget - or at least hide under the covers.

Oh, and P.S.: Jon Stewart for President.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A Star Is Aborted?

So, last night was the fundraiser for Betsy's awesome film about hair. I've been having some... hormonal difficulties lately, as has my beloved Marci, so we were not such a great team full of get up and go to get out and party. Marci kept warning that if she felt really bad things could go TERRIBLY WRONG, whereas I was in one of those moods where suddenly there was nothing, anywhere, ever that I could wear that could possibly look good on me. You ever get in one of those? Where you look in the mirror and, consciously, you know you're 30-something, working two jobs and eating take-out almost every night, but some voice inside of you suddenly starts screaming "WHERE THE HELL WENT MY 20-YEAR-OLD BODY?!" Not that I appreciated it back then or put it to much good use. Mainly I tried to destroy it with never sleeping and consuming way too many illegal substances - which, hey, I guess it worked. But I'm just saying. Sometimes, when Autumn descends and it's suddenly dark and cold all the time and Halloween means wearing jeans, watching children parade and being in bed by 9:30, as opposed to dressing up for a sackful of candy or a drunken night of anonymous dirty dancing, it's a little depressing.

Anyway, M downed a bottle of Advil and I solved my problem by incongrously falling back on something I might have worn in 1985, which, fortunately, is somewhat back in style right now (at least I hope), and on we went.

I must say I was impressed with Betsy's ability to pull together a party. No mere "I've got some costumes and a barn, let's put on a show!" affair, this thing was in a swank Soho clothing store-cum-art gallery with a delicious and varied spread, free beer and wine and a lot of happening and interesting folks. And, most striking was the fact that she got it all donated. Go, Betsy. And if you have some time, would you like to coordinate a rent party for me?

Anyway, a bit of wine and good conversation tempered my angst somewhat, although I was still a bit manic. I did greatly enjoy the ten minute trailer and the performance of Nelson doing his "electric chaircut" thing, because who knew a haircut could not only be blatant (as opposed to subconscious or unexpected) bondage and masochism, but it could sound like a cross between Led Zepplin and Pac-Man?.

Still, it was a little weird, because all evening people kept coming up to me and saying "oh, I saw you in the previous version of the movie! You were sooo funny. I just don't understand why you were cut out." Um, so what am I supposed to say to that? "Oh, thank you" and "me neither?" I mean, the truth is that I agree I was pretty funny in the movie - I worked kind of hard on it. But then, I suppose that took away from the genuineness and/or drama of my sections. I mean, perhaps the world is too blasé to notice the subtle interior pain of the sad clown... or maybe I'm just not that interesting. But in actuality, I do believe Betsy's explanation that, as it sometimes happens in the film world, something had to go and I just happened to be it. After all, it's not as though I came out to my parents or overcame substance addiction during the filming. I just overcame my addiction to loneliness and opened my heart to my one true love and a healthy relationship. Sad, sad clown...

Anyway, thanks to all who tried to bolster me by telling me I should have still made the cut. I hope I didn't make you too uncomfortable as I stumbled through my reactions, trying to blithely acknowledge the unpredictable nature of showbiz and reaffirm my friend's right to remain true to both the constraints of editing and her artistic vision, while inside I was thinking "are you just trying to make me feel better? Do I look desperate for attention to you? Because, really, I kinda am. But hey, I was in the Village Voice, did you see me? Did I look fat? And I might be another movie, sometime! Or not, because I'm well adjusted and not a famewhore and really am just following the path that All That Is/the Higher Truth of the Universe has set out for me. Ommmmmmm..."

And keep raising money for Betsy's movie, 'cause that's what's important.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Definitive Classic Halloween Treat List

Well, here we are, nigh on All Hallow's Eve, and my mind turns fondly back to those thrilling days of yesteryear... the Trick-or-Treat seasons. When you were a kid old enough to go out and do it and not too old to feel it would make you look "babyish," what treats did you most look forward to in your bag, bucket or sack? Sure, they may make you vomit now, and blanch in our low-carb age, but don't you still secretly yearn for a horde of sweets? Here's my list of the classic standards. If I've missed one you remember, let me know.
$100,000 Bar Chewy caramel, milk chocolate and crispy crunchies. Later changed to "100 Grand," which annoyed me, 'cause I liked the old jingle.
3 Musketeers
Puffy nougat covered in milk chocolate. Light and sweet. The major appeal for me was the cool Musketeers emblem. I always wanted to be a Musketeer.
5th Avenue Probably my favourite of the crunchy peanut stuff in chocolate variety, just because of the swank name and wrapper design.
Almond Joy & Mounds Because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!
Have I mentioned I really dig coconut?
Apple Watch out for razor baldes!
Astro Pops I know a kid on Gun Hill Road who got his eye put out by one of those things!
Atomic Fire Balls The classic hot cinnamon ball of the time. Only a quick burn before you got to the sweet part.
Bar None bar A brief-lived chocolate, wafer and nut bar. Pretty good.
Baby Ruth Nuts, caramel and chocolate, in a fetching red-white-and-blue wrapper. The most interesting thing about this candy bar is the controversy over its name.
Bazooka gum
Rock hard and covered in powder, an American classic. Came with cartoon strips that were never funny, and offers for items in exchange for 7 bajillion wrappers. Did anyone ever send in for those things?
BB Bat Hard taffy on a stick, like a fruity Sugar Daddy. Acceptable.
Beeman's gum (Blackjack, Clove & regular) VERY rare in my era of Trick-or-Treating but classic. Either you love 'em or you hate 'em. I fall on the loving side.
Big League Chew "The Original Tobacco style Bubble Gum!" Shredded gum in a pouch originally invented to turn ballplayers off from tobacco, but actually a great way to train your kids for the weed and the throat cancer. The best part of this was the ad campaign of ball players playing ball and blowing huge bubbles, and the drawings on the pouches that looked like they were by one of the Mad magazine illustrators.
Bit O Honey Almond bits blended into a honey flavored taffy. A danger to your fillings but sooooo addictive! If you were lucky enough to get a whole bar of these divided by the distinctive interwoven wax paper, you might try to save some for later - but always fail.
Blow Pops The classic sugary bubble gum inside a lollipop. A bit sweet for me, but fondly remembered.
Bonkers Your basic extremely artificial "fruit chew". Like Starbursts, but cheaper and waxier.
Boston Baked Beans Mere candy coated peanuts, yet somehow better than the sum of their parts. The colonial brick-style packaging whispered of patriotism in the bicentennial era. Seriously awesome.
Bottle Caps Sugar candy shaped like bottle caps. Some people loved 'em. To me? No big whoop.
Bubble Gum Cigars Another training device for smokers, these were generally made of low-class gum, although the banana variety was intriguing. Chocolate cigars also existed, but were rarer in Trick-or-Treat bags.
Bubble Yum One of the many of the multi-variety gums that came out during the 80s bubble-blowing-contest craze. Innocent times, man. Probably my favourite of the type.
Bubblicious Another of the big bubble gums.
Butterfinger A version of the crunchy peanut bar covered in chocolate. A bit crisper and sweeter than some of the others. Maybe too much so for me.
Butterscotch An olde-timey favourite, whether in disks, rectangles, balls or squares.
Candy Buttons Dots Oh, yeeaaahhh! Suckin' the nasty cardboard-y sugar from the soggy paper! Rock the f**k ON!
Candy & Bubble Gum Cigarettes Came in all different kinds of packaging designed to look like popular deathstick brands. Tasted like crap, but they made you look too cool and grown-up to resist.
Candy Corn
Dare I say it? THE ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN CANDY. Brach's is the hands-down favourite version, made softer and richer with a touch of honey. "Indian" candy corn and even pumpkin and other novelty shapes are acceptable for kitsch value, but the standard orange, yellow and white type is still number one.Which section of each kernel do you eat first?
Candy Necklaces and Bracelets The number one way to be stylin' AND chip-toothed.
Charleston Chew Sort of a taffy-ish nougat in vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, covered in chocolate. They were a favourite with my older siblings, especially frozen into cement-like blocks. Not high on my list back then, but bring some nostalgia.
Charms Square hard fruit candies. Whatever. Good name, though.
Cherry Clan
Ooh, me so racist! Later renamed to "Cherryheads" to go with the other varieties in the Lemonhead family, but who can forget the slanty eyed-little buggers in straw coolie hats? I think I was horrified even then.
Chiclets The name and advertising made them seem so fun, but really? Just little rectangles of hard gum. What a disappointment.
Chick-O-Sticks Apparently, these were quite popular with some people. I don't know if I ever ate one, as the once or twice I got one I mistakenly took it for a cylindrical form of Chicken-in-a-Biskit and traded them off.
Chocodiles Yes, one did occasionally get snack cakes in one's treat bag (or jack-o-lantern shaped plastic bucket, as the case may be), and if one did, it was most likely these, due to their popularity and the fact that they came in single packets. Basically a Twinkie covered in chocolate, but definitely a product kids of my generation were screaming for after seeing the lovable cartoon crocodile mascot, "Chauncey."
Choward's Violet gum and candies Not common in trick-or-treat sacks but a classic nonetheless. Taste like that perfume you were given as a kid. No, not the Love's Baby Soft, the Violet! Duh.
Chuckles Your standard sugar coated jelly-gum drops. Bleah.
Chunky Ah, yes. Your basic huge block of chocolate. My favourite was the raisin and nut variety. Open Wide For Chunky!
Circus Peanuts Evil. EEEEE-VIIIILLLLL!!!
Clark Bar Another one in the vein of 5th Avenue and Butterfinger. I believe this is the earliest version, though. Nice wrapper.
Cow Tails I didn't get many of these, but they are basically a long version of the Goetze's Caramel Creams. I never was sure whether I found the name attractive or off-putting.
Cracker Jack Not usually found in treat bags as the boxes were pretty big, but OH BOY if you got one! Slightly over-caramelized sugar on popcorn with peanuts, AND a surprise treat with a joke or riddle. Too bad the surprises have been getting lamer and lamer as time goes by.
Dentyne What the…? You've been given adult cinnamon gum! KAAAAHHHHHNNN!!!
Dots Another gum drop incarnation of the slightly firmer type. Meh.
Dubble Bubble Remember when you used to, like, blow a big bubble? And then, no wait, you would, like, blow ANOTHER big bubble INSIDE of that one? Yeah. You could do it with any other bubble gum, too.
Dum Dum Pops Does it get any more iconic? Root Beer and cream soda flavours were high on my list, but who could resist the mysterious ? flavour?
Freshen Up A gum with a syrupy liquid inside. The commercials made it look like a huge burst of flavour. Not so much.
Fruit Stripe Gum Yipes, stripes! It's Fruit Stripe gum!! SOOOO awesome. That zebra! Those stripes! That strikingly tart-sweet fake fruit flavour that fades in seconds! And later on it came with temporary tattoos?! Bow before their majesty.
Garbage Pail Candy Hard, sour candy shaped like various pieces of garbage that came in a small replica of a garbage can. Dig it.Not to be confused with…
Garbage Pail Kids Candy A chewy candy that came with a card featuring one of the popular 80s gross-out cartoon characters, the Garbage Pail Kids. These kids were a phenomenon born from an unholy union of Rat Fink and Cabbage Patch Dolls. Not my cup of tea, but very popular.
Note: and yes, there was a Garbage Pail Kids movie.
GatorGum Gum made to taste like Gatorade. Hmm. Do I hate it, or do I love it? Well, I'll keep trying it to make up my mind.
Gobstopper Otherwise known as the Everlasting Gobstopper. Balls made up of layers of candy that change colours AND flavours as you suck them away. Pure genius!
Goetze's Caramel Creams Now this is old school, son. A little carboard-y, a lot sweet, 100% memory lane.
Goldenberg Peanut Chews
I think I just had an orgasm. Again, like the caramel creams, a bit oddly carboard-y, but rich and addictive. Slightly bitter dark chocolate surrounding a fudgy chopped peanut filling. And who else has the guts to include a name like "Goldenberg" in their candy's moniker?
Goobers Chocolate covered peanuts. Better known as movie snacks. 'nuff said.
Good & Fruity Cylindrical fruit gummi chews with a resistant coating. See Mike & Ikes. Meh.
Good & Plenty Charlie says: Love my Good & Plenty! The much loved licorice in snazzy white and pink candy coating. Not the most decadent of candies, but very classy.
Gummi Bears The first of the multi-flavour gummi incarnations. At one time, they were positively ubiquitous.
Gummi Worms A later gummi item. Softer and more popular amongst some kids due to the gross-out factor. Gummi continued to spawn umpteenthousand varities, with no doubt some gummi gonads in there somewhere.
Heath Bar A nut toffee bar with a slightly burnt taste, covered in chocolate. A more adult item, which made one feel classy because it contained the word "English" in the description.
Hershey's varieties (milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel & various Kisses) Do I really need to elaborate, here? Standard fare. Big points for the special dark and Mr. Goodbars, especially since your friend at school told you that Mr. Goodbar was named after a dirty movie.
Hot Tamales Hot cinnamon version of Ike & Mikes… or is that Good & Fruity?
Hubba Bubba Another big-bubble gum, this time with cowboys in the commercials. I do think this one had the most flavours, though.
Ice Cubes Basically a cube of smooth, decent chocolate. Hmm.
Jaw Breakers Ow! OwOwOW! I bit through it!
Jelly Bellies jelly beans
A bit more of an Easter snack, but well loved for its many varieties, despite the fact that it got tied in with Ronald Reagan, somehow.
Jelly Rings Ew.
Jolly Ranchers You know you traded them at school. What beats watermelon? Sour apple, my friend. Sour apple.
Junior Mints More movie oriented, but enjoyed in your treat box.(Did that just sound dirty?)
Jujubes A firm fruit gum drop.
Jujyfruits <Coach Z voice> Jeeorrgyfruits! </Coach Z voice> A firm fruit gum drop, but I think shaped like fruits. I don't know, I always traded 'em.
Kit Kat Gimme a break! Wafers and milk chocolate. Not high up there, but the chocolate was deceptively good.
Kits Taffy Weird little low-quality taffy bits. Why did we love them so?
Laffy Taffy Kicks Kits' butt, if just for the name alone. Not to mention the greater size.
Lemonheads (+Grapeheads and Appleheads) A series of slightly sour hard sucker candies. Lemonheads was the first and most popular.
Lifesavers Oh, you know. The only cool part was when you got something like Wint-O-Green so you could try to make sparks in your mouth or Butter Rum so you could think "Oooh, I'm eating RUM and my parents don't know it!"
Lifesaver Lollipops Do they still make these? Remember when they came in swirled flavours? Good times. The Crème Savers are just not the same. Bring them back. And while you're at it, where the hell are the Pudding Pops?!
Lik-M-Aid Wait, you get a stick of sugar, and you get to cover it in spit and then dunk into different varieties of sweet-sour powder? I am SO THERE.
M&Ms (plain and peanut) Old faithful. You know 'em. But remember when they were tan and not red?
Mallow Cup Truly seems like a candy Homer Simpson would have invented.
Marathon 1 inch by 8 inches of braided caramel covered with milk chocolate. Delicious, but discontinued. Now available as the "Curly Wurly." Who thought that one up?
Mars Bars Kind of like a milky way with almonds. Originally more often found in the UK.
Mary Janes Most people hated them, but I loved them. That peanutty taffy goodness! That coy, come-hither look on the little girl's face! Definitely a treat for a developing lesbian.
Melster Peanut Butter Kisses Much like Mary Janes, but with no name on 'em. Oh, come on, you remember them. They came in orange waxy twisted wrappers. Yes, they had a name. Yes, usually old people gave them out. Remember now?
Mike & Ike See Good & Fruity.
Milk Duds Chocolate sacs filled with milky caramel goodness! What's not to love?
(Shut up, Bunche.)
Milky Way You got your nougat, your caramel and your chocolate. Next.
Necco Wafers Why? Why on God's green Earth are these so beloved? I would have used them as poker chips, if they didn't all break in the bottom of my bag.
Neopolitan Coconut candies I know, ew. But, kinda yum, too.
Nerds A box with two separated flavours and some cute little cartoons really sold this one. Admit it - you loved 'em.
Nestlé Crunch (Yawn.) Moving along…
Now and Laters Eat some now and save some for later? Yeah, right. These rocked with a severe righteousness. Also, you could build up a little business of selling off the singles from the packs at a ridiculous markup to desperate kids in the cafeteria. What? No, I didn't end up a Wall Street trader…
Oh, Henry! Kind of like a Goldenberg's Peanut Chew, but bigger, sweeter and softer. Another one that's had some controversy over it's name.
Palmer's Chocolates You know the ones. Those little balls or discs covered in brightly decorated seasonal foil wrappers. You open them up and… the chocolate is seriously foul. They also made those chocolate footballs - you know, the ones that always ended up at the bottom of the bag as the dregs? I hear Palmer's has improved a lot since back then, but for now all ridiculously bad and disappointing off-brand chocolates will retain the name "Palmer's" in my mind.
Pay Day Gotta love me some peanuts. Of course, you can simulate these with a bowl of candy corn mixed with Planter's.
Planter's Peanut Bar Your basic very peanutty brittle thingy. Satisfying.
Pop Rocks
Yes, they rocked. No, Mikey didn't die by eating them with Coke. Haven't you watched VH1?
Push Pops I don't know. These seem dangerous, somehow.
Rain-Blo Gum Er. Kinda lame hollow gumballs. Okay.
Raisinets Oh, you know.
Raisins Just... no.
Razzles "…first it's a candy and then it's a gum!" Unfortunately, the whole time it sucks.
Red Vines/Switzer's/Twizzlers Everybody has their favourite version of these, but they're basically red fruity "licorice". Only good in a pinch, as far as I'm concerned.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups ALL HAIL THE REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER CUP!!! So simple yet so perfect in it's salty sweet-ness, this was the number one sought-after item in my treat bucket. WOE BE TO THE MAN WHO EATS MY PEANUT BUTTER CUPS! I HAVE SPOKEN!
Reese's Pieces E.T…. phone home…
I'm sure Mars, Inc is still kicking themselves.
Reggie Bar Only memorable for having been named for Reggie Jackson.
Ring Pops Candy Bling!
Rolo You can roll a Rolo to your pal… but why would you? Save them all for yourself.
Root Beer Barrels Me and pappy used to suck 'em on th' porch at th' gen'ral store. Pappy liked 'em cause he didn't have no teeth.
Runts What was so good about pressed candy shaped like fruits? I don't know, but didn't you always save your favourite fruits for last?
Sixlets Gum Kind of like Rain-Blo but a bit better, and more attractively packaged, 'cause… there were six.
Skor Bar Another classy toffee bar variety, but this time with a harder butter toffee. And yes, I did know a girl who went on a Skor Bar diet in High School.
Sky Bar This candy bar is divided into four sections with four different centers... caramel, vanilla, peanut and fudge covered in milk chocolate. Pretty awesome, but it would be better if the candy itself were of higher quality.
Little rolls of pill-like sugar candies. A bit overrated, in my book, but much reminisced over in pop culture.
Smith Bros. Cough Drops What, you never got these as a treat from some cheap-ass jokester? Hey, they were really candy, anyway…
Snickers A Milky Way with peanuts. What will they think of next?
Snowcaps Nonpareils, mon ami. But of course.
Sour Patch Kids One of the first seriously sour candies. Frightening, yet compelling.
Squirrel Nut Zippers Another peanutty taffy thingy. Very popular in the South. Got a band named after 'em.
Squirt Like Freshen Up, but more hyped.
Starburst Probably the best known of the fruit taffy chews. Remember when they only came in the yellow wrapper variety?
Starlight peppermints Okay, whose freakin' grandma put these in here? No, I do not want fresh breath, it's HALLOWEEN for f**k's sake!
Sugar Babies Mini, even sugary-er Sugar Daddies. Wow. That's a lot of sugar.
Sugar Daddy A caramelly thing on a stick. You know.
Sugar Mama A caramelly thing on a stick. Covered in chocolate.
That's one sweet chocolate mama!
Swedish Fish Originally only in red, probably the first popular gummi animal. How… Nordic.
SweeTarts Like they say, sweet…and tart.
Tangy Taffy Another taffy, this time from Wonka.
Teaberry gum What the hell is a teaberry? I don't know. But I feel very sophisticated chewing this gum.
Tidal Wave Bubble Gum See Squirt and Freshen Up. Enough, already!
Toffifay Marketed as a premium chocolate, this one captured my snobby little heart with it's "European" flavoured advertisements. A nougat enrobed hazelnut topped with a dollop of chocolate and placed in a caramel cup, it even came in a gold plastic tart-pan setting. Niiiiiiiice.
Tootsie Flavor Rolls Tootsie rolls in different flavours?! Let me try that…
Tootsie Pop Mr. Turtle, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
I never made it without biting, ask Mr. Owl.
Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Let's find out. One… Two-whoooo… Three. CRUNCH! Three.
How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? CRUNCH!
The world may never know.
P.S.: My favourite flavours are orange and chocolate.
Tootsie Roll "The world looks mighty good to me, 'cause tootsie rolls are all I see..."
Trident Gum What the hell are you, a dentist?! See Dentyne.
Twix & Peanut Butter Twix I just love me some Twix. They came a little late for my trick-or-treating, but I've gotta include them. A cookie covered by caramel and chocolate? Right on. The peanut butter version? Equally good. I tip my hat to you, Mars, Inc.
Wax Bottles, Lips, Fangs, Mustaches, Harmonicas, etc. Fangs for the memories...
Ok, seriously, can there be any doubt that the wax fangs were the best? Oh, sure the bottles had liquid in them and the harmonica could be played, but WAX FANGS? Ruled.
Werther’s candies Relatively high-quality butterscotches, toffees, and the much coveted Reisen chew. How European!
Whatchamacallit Another great marketing campaign for this one, a crunchy peanut crisp wafer with caramel and chocolate. I was very much into them for a while.
Whistle Pops Okay, sugar that makes a piercing noise, and you give it to children. There is a Satan.
Whoppers I loves me some malted milk. I just do.
Wrigley's gum (Juicy Fruit, Spearmint, Doublemint, Big Red) Juicy Fruit was the bigger winner in my book, even though it lost its flavour pretty fast. Big Red, however, was popular and benefitted from some good marketing, as did Doublemint. Who knew there were so many blandly attractive twins in the world?
York Peppermint Patties When I bite into a York Peppermint Patty, I get the sensation that my teeth are rotting out… but I like it!
Zagnut See Clark, 5th Avenue, Butterfinger, etc. This one did benefit from a cool name, though.
Zero Bar Caramel, peanut butter, almond nougat bar covered with white fudge. Honestly, I rarely saw these things, but they do strike me as a bit weird. Um, okay.

You shrunk my apple head!

How awesome was the Vincent Price Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kit? Well, not so awesome if you took away the priceless cover art. (Except it wasn't "priceless" because... aah, nevermind.) BUT, I did get one when I was a kid and, boy howdy, did I have fun makin' me some shrunken apple heads!

Alas, the kit took forever to dry apples, and the craft supplies included ran out quickly, especially if you were the OCD-type kid I was and had to design complete outfits and accessories for your apple heads. But, with my sister's help, I later discovered that you could actually shrink apple heads in the oven!

For a quick and dirty lesson, check out this amusing article at x-entertainment. It may be a little TOO quick and dirty - I'd like to think my childhood creations were more impressive, but it might be just the thing for a drunken night with friends.

And while you're there, check out the article on Pet Costumes featuring a Mingo look-alike (only... less... husky). Great funny stuff on that site in general.