Bumped due to news event!
I (Maynard) am bumping my old Halloween post due to a connected news report (Tweeted by Tammy).
Owners of an old-school soda shop in St. Paul, Minn., are being warned to kick the habit and stop stocking novelty candy cigarettes.
City inspectors threatened a misdemeanor citation and $500 fine if Lynden’s soda fountain is caught selling the fake smokes again. The Star Tribune reported Wednesday that the offering violated an ordinance barring the sale of candy smokes and cartoon character lighters…
This is the totalitarian mindset at work. First Amendment? What First Amendment? Oh, yeah, we’re protecting children, so it’s okay. I suppose that argument might make some sense, except that so many aspects of our culture are an open sewer — drugs, broken homes, degrading and dehumanizing entertainment, etc. etc. — that these ridiculous flashes of fascistic intervention into bits of harmless fluff merely highlights the madness of our political leadership.
In my original article, I joked about being prosecuted for distributing these goodies. It seems the joke may be on me.
Original article: Why be normal? As part of my ongoing protest against everything, I’m again ordering old-style candies to disperse on Halloween. I figure my “free candy” campaign will echo ironically against Obama’s “free money” program. Except, of course, that I’m selfishly giving away my own candy, whereas Obama generously gives away my money. But I guess that’s only fair, since I’m a rich privileged parasite. Anyway, until I get my time machine working, I’m forced to obtain this unusual contraband from NostalgicCandy.com. This year my selection consists of candy cigarettes (of course!), Chick-o-Sticks (dunno what they are, but they look interesting), Lemonheads (been around since 1962 and they seem pleasant enough), Pumpkin Seeds (these positively ooze nostalgia), and a smattering of Smarties (bulk filler). How could I go wrong?
Bumped again. I got through last year without getting strung up, so I’ll let them have another shot at me. I briefly contemplated adding to the controversy by passing out tea party candy (if only I could figure out what that might be; kids wouldn’t be much interested in tea bags), or possibly this odd little offering. But why push it? No, I’ll stick with what I’ve got.]
A year ago during the run-up to Halloween, I was contemplating the possibility of passing out politically incorrect candy. I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t prosecuted or sued. So I figure I’ll press my luck and try again.
My main offense against humanity is to give out candy cigarettes. They’re basically little boxes of cheap chalky sugar sticks. The display carton (24 packs) costs $5.50 plus shipping from NostalgicCandy.com.
I round out my offering with pumpkin seeds (36 packs for $8.00) and a tub of peanut chews (100 bite-size bars for $12.00 [but these don't seem to be available in 2010]). The former I selected for its old-fashioned appearance, the latter so I’d have something that I might actually like.
Why do I bother? It’s cheaper and easier just to go to the local supermarket and buy the same old same old. I guess I just need to do things differently (and preferably disagreeably). This seems to be a theme of my existence.
The following is my post of a year ago, when I first contemplated my folly. The older comments were posted in response to my query of whether I dared proceed:
I (Maynard) suffer from an unusual variant of Tourette’s syndrome. I am randomly compelled to commit acts of gross political incorrectness. This is a serious offence in California.
My immediate fall from grace started (as so many depraved acts do) with an Internet click. I stumbled across a source of nostalgic candy. (I subsequently found there are many such vendors.)
My immediate reaction was, “This is neat stuff!” But I didn’t rush to buy anything. What do I need candy for? I don’t really eat it.
Then the devil whispered in my ear: “Maynard! Buy a load of candy cigarettes and give them to children on Halloween!”
I’ve never been a smoker, but neither do I have anything against smokers. I’m glad there’s no longer smoking on airplanes. But other than that, I perceive smokers as having become one of our national whipping boys. There’s no compelling public interest to justify the legal harassment of smokers, and the excessive regulation of smoking sets a hideous precedent for other nanny-state-type controls. This is a vote-with-your-feet-not-with-a-ballot situation.
I remember candy cigarettes from the days of my misspent youth. Later they disappeared from the shelves. But I see they’re not really gone; they just were forced into hiding. And that ain’t right!
Should I pass out candy cigarettes on Halloween? Is this a funny thing to do? An amusing challenge to the excesses of the era? Or does it fall into the category of not fun and not funny? Crass and pointlessly offensive? Or maybe it’s fun and/or funny, but nevertheless a bad idea because somebody will shoot me?