Friday, February 3, 2017

Candy Politics.

February 4, 2017

This week, on my Facebook feed one of my friends posted a picture of a Kit-Kat bar he was eating. Now to be honest, I don’t eat much candy and I rarely think about eating candy. I do have a few favorites though, anything with peanut butter tops my list, however; I do enjoy the occasional Kit-Kat bar as well. I’d say that I might eat six candy bars a year. I know, that’s not much. But, like I said, I’m not big on candy or sugar to be for that matter.

Now, getting back to my pal’s picture, it was of his hand holding the candy bar. He’d taken two good bites of it and posted it with words “Seeing how many people this makes crazy.”. Now, by the time I saw the photo on my feed there were about thirty responses from folks saying he was the devil, he was evil, a monster, a heathen and so many more names. I laughed as I read all the comments. Simply because I eat them the same way. I can’t ever recall eating one by breaking the wafers apart. That is unless I’m sharing with someone. Otherwise, I just eat the sucker. 

Then, simply because I’m curious by nature, I asked several co-workers how they personally ate Kit-Kats. Come to find out, I’m in the extreme minority. One co-worker simply looked at me in abject horror and said I was the kind of person that would love to watch the world burn. I didn’t contradict her. And, because I just can’t leave sleeping dogs lie, I asked how she ate her Skittles and M&M’s. She said she sorts them by color and eats them from her least favorite to her favorite. I told her I just throw a handful in my mouth and enjoy all the flavors and try to identify them as I consume them. Which brought up Jelly Bellies, I eat those the same way I eat all other small candy, just grab a handful and enjoy, she called me the devil. I laughed. 

All of this got me to thinking. About all sorts of things but before I get into that, my first thought upon us departing was that I needed to do an experiment. So I went and got my test subjects. Three brand spanking new Kit Kat bars. After procuring them, I went back to my office and laid them out on my desk and took a picture. Then I opened one and bit into it like I normally did. Then I took another bite, then a picture of it, then another bite and another bite and all that was left was a little piece. My mouth was screaming at me that the damn thing was too sweet so I washed my mouth out with water and then I finished the last morsel.

I looked at the second candy bar, I didn’t want to open it. I could feel the sugar coursing through my body on a collision course with my brain. But, in the name of science I opened the foil wrapper, separated the wafers and took a bite of each one, set the leftover pieces down and took a photo. Then I proceeded to finish off the last pieces. I was close to vomiting or going into sugar shock. Instead I drank more water and waited for my body to phase into another dimension from all the sugar I had just consumed.

But I didn’t. I sat in my chair, looking at the two crumpled up candy wrappers and realized that I derived the same feelings no matter which way I ate the Kit Kats. There was no difference in taste, satisfaction or side effects. Well, to me at least. I looked at the third candy bar. It sat next to the soon to be forgotten skins of its brothers in sugar. I wondered if the individual wafers inside the uneaten candy knew I’d just killed it’s comrades. I shook the thought from my mind and put the uneaten soldier in my refrigerator with no intention of eating it in the near or not so near future. 

Then I sat down and thought. Like Winnie the Pooh on his thinking rock. I thought about all the people who raised holy hell, good naturedly I assume, but they were adamant in their stance on the particular way they eat their sweets and I can only assume they are as picky about all the other food in their lives.

Also, if they are so picky about food, what of the rest of their lives? Are they that particular in their views, their dogma, their principles, their politics?

The answer I came to was yes. Yes they are.

The people I questioned about candy seemed also to be the most vocal and adamant in all aspects of their lives. Be it the placement of pens on their desks, the charities they give to, the politics they talk about and politicians they support.

Which turned my attention to the news of our country. Some people I know are screaming it is the end of days, some people are screaming it is the birth of a new era. All the while I’m sitting in the middle eating a bag of microwave popcorn and wondering when the next outrageous act of upheaval or intolerance will happen.

Because to me, it’s all a show. A game. A comedic performance. It is life and I am one that takes great joy in watching the comings and goings of everyone. Sure, some of the shenanigans hurts my heart, uncalled for death and destruction, extremism that leads to violence is something I take no joy in, but seeing people get riled up, standing up for what they believe in, well, that fills me with a source of pride. Seeing people act up in outrage and fight the good fight no matter how ridiculous I think they are makes me smile and laugh. 

We live in an age of instant gratification and microwave news. Everyone can see or learn anything at anytime. It’s great. So much so that like most television these days, our political arena has been turned into a reality show that is not only being broadcast on television but the internet as well. Our smart phones give us instant updates on everything and if you don't get an update, I’m sure you’ll get a text from a friend saying “OMG!!!! DID YOU SEE WHAT SO AND SO DID?” and you being the good American Consumer of all things, you click the link, or type in the words to google or go to your news feed. You watch in horror or applause in joy, depending on whether or not you agree or disagree with the shenanigans that just transpired.

While you and the rest of the world are doing this, I’m standing in the corner, you know the one, it’s the one that you pass by everyday, the one that has the shadow in it that no matter how hard you try to see into you can’t. That’s where I am, watching and being amused. It’s what I like to do. It’s what most people like me do. We are in the middle. We are the self educated knuckleheads who never really conformed to any one organization. We watch. Not in that perverted way, we just watch your reactions and enjoy the humanity you just shared. Then we move on with our life. We rarely interact simply because we don't interact with others too well.

All of this thinking has led me to a conclusion though… it is an odd one… What if, and this is a big “WHAT IF…’ what if all the extremists on both sides got together, at some sort of giant table, and they sat down at chairs, and on the table, there were bowls and bowls of candy? Kit Kat bars, Skittles, M&M’s, Gummi Bears, Snickers, Milky Ways, 3 Musketeers, Bridge Mix… and well, any and every sort of candy you can think of. What would happen?

I don’t know, I’ve an idea, but I’d sure like to be standing on the sidelines and watch the carnage of candy and listen to the conversations. After all, how upset can people be when they are eating their favorite sweets?

Have a great week!