Enchantment Oct. 22, 2020 No. 30 – Peanut M & Ms


“ONGoodness!” was a recent translation by way of my grandson Robert. Really how else to make use of the ubiquitous OMG in the world of a five year old? And because we are enchanted by 5 year old minds, it is oh so easy to find ourselves slipping into their world by means of tactical candy.

I share Robert’s love of Peanut M & Ms. James Gordon said, “It’s not what you eat. It’s how you talk about it that counts.” So many ways to love this candy: line them up, share them, sort them by color or size, trade them, make crunchy noises, sneak them out of the pantry late at night, steal them from your children and then sadly your grandchildren’s Halloween stash.

Just like Billy Joel sings it – I didn’t start the fire, but it was always burning since my Father insisted that I wasn’t allowed candy until all my permanent teeth had completed their appearance. My Mother reluctantly went along with the idea until they found a hoard of birthday-party confiscation in the back of my lavender chest of drawers.

And so for many years hence, my story tootled along with the occasional Butterfinger, Reese’s Cup or Chic-O-Stick. Actually my sweet tooth is usually corralled into hot fruit or custard categories, but every once in a while the candyman needs a cohort and then the original haunting of possible deprivation shows up and I’m off. Or on to be precise.

Just like back in the day when I was dating the campus movie star. He was very much my type – great smile with a love of chocolate (and beer). While I convalesced after an illness, he sent a sack of groceries to my room with a note that said … “think about how sick you’d be if you ate all of this.” Among other digestive challenges were canned chili, Fritos, canned tamales, chocolate milk and packages of Peanut M & Ms which I immediately devoured.

Bender. Thank you football dude, the yellow package hath rattled ye ole chain ever since.

Fortunately this elicit affair is an on and off thing. I could say that I hadn’t considered them for months, even years and then the candyman showed up again around March. 2020.

To be clear, for years I’d purchase the occasional personal fun packets reminding myself that they weren’t really that worthy. AND THEN, after dinner one night D mentions that he bought PEANUT M & Ms to top his nightly dish of ice cream. I went for a nonpartisan look in his direction.

Much later when he was soundly asleep, I crept to the pantry and spotted big yellow on the tippy-top shelf – an economy sized bag of you-know-what. Good news though because researchers have placed them on the healthy candy list! Basically a package is 90 calories – 5 grams of fat and 9 grams of sugar with a tiny bit of fiber right there in the nut.

I remind myself they are not even that tasty. It’s more about the crunch of the peanut, the suggestion of chocolate that satisfies. The candy coating? Take it or leave it. There is dye in every bite.

Luckily in this house there’s a slow down involved until the bag is empty. I must lug a step stool to access the desired hand full. And then another. Ok, another.

I know truly delicious chocolate. This is not that chocolate. Could it be a form of anxiety chomp that drives the mandatory intake?

So instead I invited D to buy one of the many commercial cookies on the market to compliment his ice cream. Perhaps the Fig Newton which is not my cup of tea.

Following up on my request, he calls me into his up-to-date ice cream emporium. “I have something new for you,” he grins and holds out two Keebler Chips DELUXE with M & Ms. He is a cute pusher – expresso mid-morning, Peanut M & Ms at night.

What’s a closeted yellow bagger to do? For me there is no substitute for the deeply troubling male-instituted, sugar/color coded infatuation with a tad of nutrient. The only way to stop the madness is to suggest an alternative hidey-hole for the yellow bag. Will D go along with this certifiable plan?

Alas in the meantime, what will stand this year for our trick or treaters here at 1070 Rolling Fields? Surely we would never stoop so low as to offer those soft candies with God only knows what mixture of sour chemicals that causes a child to make a face like Voldemort.

Certainly they cannot qualify for ONGoodness the way the Peanut M & M can-can.

And just for the record you might consider that Forrest Mars, the original candyman, having ushered Peanut M & Ms onto the market in 1954 died at age 95 (net worth:4 billion) and he had NEVER-ever once tasted the candy claiming a peanut allergy.

As the great Buffalo Springfield (and D as frequent quoter) said: There’s somethin’ happenin’ here but what it is ain’t exactly clear.

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights at the Alter