Thursday, August 29, 2013


My mom used to say I had "candy radar." She was right, of course, I do, but I can't take credit for it. I was born this way, it's my unique superpower. No other superhero can claim it--and I'm not sure they'd want to. No matter where I am, no matter what else is going on, I can always sense the presence of candy. I'm not kidding. Even if I was in a burning building, and a fireman threw me over his shoulder to carry me to safety, I'd be wailing: "Who's going back for the jar of jelly beans?" 

It's not like I go looking for candy, you know. Well okay, I do, but most of the time it just appears in my line of vision, with no effort on my part. But, before you recommend a twelve step program for my sugar addiction, you need to hang on a sec. I said I had candy radar--I never said I ate all the candy I came across. Think of me more as a divining rod, a candy psychic as it were. I'm a Tootsie Pop cop, a Baby Ruth sleuth and a gumdrop gumshoe all rolled into one, ha ha.

That doesn't mean I don't eat candy. Au contraire! There's nothing like the burn of an Atomic Fireball rolling around your mouth, or the mouth-puckering sourness of a Lemonhead on the tip of your tongue. And nothing compares to the perfect piece of dark chocolate, melting like butter in your mouth and sending happy thoughts to your brain. Of course, I have gone overboard once or twice. I'm not proud of this, but I once ate a half pound of Jelly Bellies while working at the register in my college book store (you can't really call it an "impulse buy" if you've been eyeing it for three hours). But those days are over. My teeth and my waistline now insist on moderation. 

Also, I need to set a good example for my kids. My oldest son doesn't care much for candy, but the younger one is another story. If I buy a pack a Sweet Tarts and stash it in my glove compartment, Josh will find it (and eat some). But it wasn't until the day that I took him to my office and he went straight for the dark office in the corner, opened the desk drawer and found a large bag of candy that had been placed there only hours before, that I knew. He had candy radar, too. 

Perhaps one day the world will need people like us for some higher purpose. After all, they can train pigs to sniff out truffles and they're even training dogs to sniff out cancer, surely, they can use people who sniff out candy. I only hope they use our superpower for good and not evil!

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