My aunt and health guru always speaks of sugar as if it is some kind of awful drug. And I am beginning to believe her. Several weeks ago a large bag of miscellaneous “Sweet Factory” sweets of various types appeared in my house and such was the ferociousness of the various textures and colors and the vastness of the quantity there-in, I decided that, for the greater good of my son and any of his fellow hyperactive buddies that might be knocking about, I would hide the bag on my office desk. The jelly babies were the first to go. I like jelly babies. They are soft and, like talcum powder, they remind me of childhood. Everything else in there was stuff I didn’t like. So the bag just sat there among the other forgotten debris of my desk – cheque books, half packets of stick-on nails, sewing kits, out-of-date stamps, the wrong sized light bulb I keep meaning to change and really important documents that I think I have lost because I couldn’t possibly be sensible enough to file them on my desk. Like said documents the bag of sweets became something that I stopped seeing any more. Until earlier today.
Earlier today I was on the phone on the other end of a boring phone call. Someone telling me the gory details about their non life-threatening health “issue” of theirs. I won’t judge, we all do it, but as my brain was zooming out, looking for something more interesting to occupy it, it fell upon the bag with renewed curiosity. I opened it half-hoping to locate a missed jelly baby. There wasn’t one and somebody had opened the wrapped sweets put there for adult benefit and put the empty wrappers back in the bag (I will hunt you down). I mooched about for a bit while making soothing cooing noises about my friend’s bad back or bunions or whatever, until my hand came to rest on a jelly bean. I’ll give it a go, I thought. I know I don’t really like jelly beans but it’s only small. No harm.
It wasn’t bad at all and so, adventure having pricked my taste buds I decided to chance a mini-egg. One of those cheap chocolate ones they coat in a wafer-thin layer of speckled concrete. My friend was feeling depressed now – overworked – giving me the full lowdown on some woman in the office that had been giving her jip, so I decided to try the two together. Jelly bean, mini-egg – at the same time. I’ve got to tell you – it was fantastic. Well, not Gordon Ramsey fantastic, but fantastic enough to be getting along with. Fantastic enough for me to power my way through a Sweet Factory sack of them until my head was buzzing and my teeth fizzing. My phone companion had moved onto the general ennui of not really being sure what she was doing with her life. She was worried that hadn’t really reached her full potential. I mean, she was a creative person you know? Really, she should be writing, or acting, or painting or something? My stomach hurt a bit. A bit, but not enough to stop me from hoovering up the pretend fruit pastilles and plastic fried eggs at the bottom of the bag.
As I put the phone down, I felt terrible. At having eaten the sweets, not at my friend’s personal life crisis. Like blaming your parents, whinging about not being ‘fulfilled’ has a shelf life of about thirty. Having said that, the cut-off point for eating bags of sweets you don’t really like is ten.