But Percy was so cute — until he started haunting me.

21 Jul

I’m a candyholic. Until about two years ago, I thought it was completely normal for adults to eat at least one package of candy per day. I still think that the pocket-life of a container of TicTacs is approximately 10 minutes, a sleeve of LifeSavers should last 20 minutes, and a bag of Skittles is lucky to see 30 minutes — and that’s only if I’m consciously TRYING to make them last.

I’ve always marveled at people who offer me an Altoid or pull a tube of Certs from their glove box. WHAT?! You walk around with candy reserves on your person? Or in your glove box? How is this even possible? Does not compute!

At least I seem to come by this trait honestly: my dad has a sweet tooth like no other. He finishes dinner (and often lunch) with a cookie or donut — or both. In a car, he will offer you a hard candy from his bulk-sized Ziploc baggie every time he fishes one himself — which is approximately every seven minutes. And at night, while reading, he mindlessly consumes Halls “Vitamin C” drops — which really have nothing to do with vitamins and everything to do with sugar — by the handful.

And the good news is that — with 30+ years on me, Dad has yet to show any signs of diabetes. SWEET. I’m keeping fingers crossed that this is one more lucky draw from the gene pool.

I tell you this merely to explain why, after visiting Alan in London this spring, a suitcase full of British candy came home with me. I could not stop myself in the checkout line at the Marks & Spencer. Fruit Pastilles, Wine Gums, Fruit Sherbets, Jelly Babies, Very Berry Smoothies, Milk Bottles, Midget Gems, Miracle Comfits…

SERIOUSLY?? Does Willy Wonka run this grocery store? And do the British not have the same sensitivity to the word “midget” that we Americans have?

After much deliberation, I ended up leaving with what I thought was the CUTEST candy on the stand: bags and bags of Percy Piglets!

Cute, right? I loaded up, ate a few packages there and brought a few home with me. Originally, I thought I would share them with my nephews, but in my typical fashion, ended up gorging myself on them and rolling around pounding the floor screaming, “Why, God, why?” with all the drama of Scarlett O’Hara as I clutched my distended stomach.

Fast forward to this weekend. I found a random bag of Percies in my kitchen cupboard (clearly hidden behind something else or it would’ve been gone by now). I opened it, and commenced chewing.

And then I made a HUGE MISTAKE. I started reading the ingredient list.

Glucose syrup… Sugar… Pork gelatine… 

WHAT?! Stop the presses! Are you shitting me? I’m smiling at cute little Percy on the bag while I’m actually eating ground-up pig hooves?

I’m not easily put-off by food (and I love me some pork!) but this just seemed evil. My mouth opened mid-chew and a disfigured piglet face fell off my tongue. ACK!

Seriously. Let’s think about this. Finding actual PORK in your cute candy that is shaped like a pig is just wrong. That would be like making:

  • Gummy worms with real worms
  • Nerds using brain fluid
  • Bottle-shaped cola gummies using shards of glass
  • Jelly Bellies out of stomach acid

So maybe my reaction is a bit strong. I’ve always thought I enjoyed British humor (humour), so maybe this is just an extension of that funny bone, just a grand leg-pull, where the word “gelatine” is actually code for “you gullible shit!”

Or maybe there’s some bitter chemist working up the recipes, chuckling to himself saying, “You ARE what you eat, you dumb cornholes!”

In any case, I’m glad that  Sour Patch Kids, Three Musketeers, Baby Ruth and Jolly Ranchers are made in America. Because I’m not looking to become a cannibal anytime soon.

7 Responses to “But Percy was so cute — until he started haunting me.”

  1. popdialectic July 21, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    That explains the malicious gleam in people’s eyes when they try to persuade me that “spotted dick” is actually a great British delicacy.

  2. Kim Pugliano July 21, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    I totally thought you were going to say you were allergic to dairy and you couldn’t eat them anymore becuase of the huge note that said, ‘MADE WITH COW’S MILK.”

    Boy was I wrong.

    • pithypants July 21, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      And I’m not even a picky eater. I can’t imagine a vegetarian’s reaction to it!

  3. Allyson July 21, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Hate to burst your American candy bubble but did you see Jamie Oliver’s program? Eeeew!
    I found a link…

    • pithypants July 21, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      Allyson: woof. For lunch I think I’ll just munch on my own belly button lint. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Julio Ibanez July 22, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    I lost it at “disfigured piglet face”! I haven’t laughed that hard at a written piece in awhile! Thanks for that. 🙂

  5. Doug Zorn July 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Whatchamacallit – now that is frightening!!

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