Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brother, can you spare a bar?

My siblings and I were pretty competitive with one another.  It didn’t have to be centered around sports or music either.  Take for example our candy competition. 

The race usually began around Halloween when we received our first windfall of candy, and usually lasted through Easter.  The period between Easter and the following Halloween was a kind of candy prohibition type period in our house.  I mean, we got some sweets, but usually strings were attached.  "Finish your boiled previously frozen tough as nails broccoli spear and you'll get dessert"..."Dad spent a lot of time making that cow tongue, try it, or no dessert"...That kind of thing.  As such, it was essential to hoard your candy to make it last through the candy Weimar. 

The youngest three kids fell out of the race pretty early.  They didn’t yet understand the strategy needed to ensure a bumpercrop of sugar through the dry months of May through September.  They’d pig out on their treats…gluttonous…needlessly squandering their sugar reserves without thinking about monthly allocations.

The oldest three of us understood the dry spell that was to follow Easter and planned accordingly.  Halloween night we would literally sprint from house to house to accumulate as much candy as possible.  Houses we knew threw out softball sized popcorn balls, balloons, pennies, and pencils were avoided at all cost..Shaved too much time off our trick or treat clock. 

Upon returning home, we sit around, do trades on candy bars we preferred.  Then we'd proceed to watch each other count their own inventory.  It was our way of keeping things honest.  My brother and sister knew how many candy items in my reserve, and I knew theirs.  This also let all participants know we had an exact count…any sneaking of each other’s candy and hell's fury would ensue. 

We’d then hide our candy somewhere in the house.  I remember hiding mine in an old Barbie clothing case.  It was actually handy as it had partitions to categorically organize my treats.  Chocolate items in this cubby.  Sweetarts, and misc. sour candies there.  Pixie sticks in the long cubby where Barbie once slept.  And Tootsie rolls, less desirable items in the bottom.  Very strategic...Hiding in plain sight if you will.  No one played with it and would think to look there. 

Keeping track of inventory was pretty intense.  Most days after school I'd sneak upstairs, and look around to ensure the coast was clear.  After carefully sliding my Barbie case from the corner of my closet, I'd crack it open, partake in a piece of candy then take a quick count to ensure I hadn't become a victim of a sugar shim sham.  It usually went as follows: “1, 2, 3….wait, I thought I had an extra Snickers…I’m gonna kill him!…No wait, I ate that Monday…OK…4, 5…”  You get the picture.

This practice would continue through Christmas and Easter.  It was after Easter things tended to get ugly.  We used to suspect the other had run out of candy and was jonesing for ours.  Dirty looks, fights over nothing because of something someone implied.  Taunting, threats...I was usually targeted because I had the most will power...and thus, the most candy.

Except one year.  I remember telling my sister I had finally run out of candy and she kind of smirked.  "You didn't win Trina," she said with a certain arrogant smugness to her tone.  She opened her top drawer and pulled out a handful of Sweetarts.  "See?  I've saved these just so you wouldn't win." She laughed...obviously pleased with herself.  "Hey," I said, "I don't believe you.  Show me again so I know those are real." She proceeded to flatten her hand, displaying the 6 round candies.  Her elation was short lived as I smacked the bottom of her hand sending the candy flying.  She was so stunned she could only watch as I gathered the sad remnants of her inventory.

Yes, I ate them as I picked them up...times were getting tough.  Sugar was no longer plentiful...

Anyone else do this?  Alternately, do you have a good shrink?....Later...


  1. "the dry months of May through September" this made me laugh so hard ... you've got willpower indeed, always knew you were that 6th Spice Girl ...

  2. Dominica - 6th Spice Girl..haha! "Hoarder Spice"