Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I’ve found it! The sangréal of my all-too-recently forgotten childhood!

The miracle of which I speak is, of course, a packet of Runts candy that has no limes or oranges in it. Not only are there none of the horrid citrus candies (alright, orange isn’t so bad, but the lime’s just terrible,) but a majority of the little pink heart-shaped ones. Mmmmm! They’re the best ones by far. I just pulled it out of a bag of assorted Wonka candy that UrsaMinor brought over to my apartment and conveniently left there.

Runts and I go back a long way. I remember that as a child my grandmother would try to use them with my brother and me to convince us that the real fruits were more palatable. We even had tiny, Runt-sized baskets that you could do a tiny confectionary fruit arrangement with. Looking back, I’m not sure why she thought this would work. She was probably just at her wit’s end.

I think the best candy memory I have though, is of my very first baseball game. I was born in the Houston area, but we had moved several states away close to my fourth birthday. The summer I was ten, we started to go back to visit for a week each summer. We were still close to two families in the town I’d been born in, and they each had two kids apiece—a boy and a girl—all of whom were older than my little brother and me. One summer when I was still fairly young, we all went to an Astros game together at the Astrodome. The group was of all the adults, my brother and I, and one of the other girls, who was in at least middle school. I thought it was so way cool that we’d be hanging out together at the game. I’d brought my sweet new backpack which was yellow, fuchsia, teal, and bubble gum pink. The older girl had the best idea that I’ve ever heard to this day: FILL IT WITH CANDY. I don’t know whether it was because her family just had a lot of candy to get rid of, that you could get away with more if you had guest friends to blame it on, or if it was because her dad was a dentist, but that backpack was absolutely stuffed full of candy. I mean, we had trouble zipping it up kind of full. I think we even had overflow that we put into my pink, personalized child-sized duffel bag with the bunny head on the front, complete with big floppy ears. It was easily more candy than I’d ever seen even from a Trick-or-Treat haul.

We took our candy to the game, and we got in with it too. There were Runts, of course, and Gobstoppers—none of the candies you don’t want to have like leftover Christmas candies or the butterscotch or cinnamon affairs. It was all pure sugar Wonka candy. The candy, however, turned out not to be the best part of the evening. I am not even sure that we ate that much of it. I assume that we didn’t because I didn’t collapse into a diabetic coma at any point in the evening. The game was the best by far. We played the Mets and we lost, but I screamed myself hoarse and discovered that those terribly boring games my dad watched on TV were really quite a lot of fun if you were actually there.

To this day, I still can't watch a baseball game on TV, but I still cheer for the Astros whether the season is good or bad and eat my tiny fruit-shaped candies. Now, my sugar high and I are going to go find a tiny basket for the perfect bag of runts. Next: The perfect bag of Starbursts!

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