Saturday, January 10, 2004

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Let me start by saying that this has nothing to do with the fabulous book and/or movie about Charlie, Willie Wonka and candy. It just has to do with the candy part. Well, sweets in general. And the fear that folks today seem to have of them.

This afternoon as I was walking up to my apartment, my friend noticed that there was a little baggie on the step containing a sample of a new product. Maybe it would have been put in the mailbox if I didn't have a skinny upright mailbox - I dunno - but there it was on my step. It was for a new energy bar brought to you by... Snickers. Because Snickers have become the new health authority. I especially like that this energy bar, packed with 16 vitamins & minerals and 13 grams of protein, is also filled with "chocolaty caramel and peanuts." Back in my day, we'd steal money from our dad's pants pockets to get one of these at the local convenience store - we called them "candy bars."

I don't know about you, but I still think that if you are gonna break out when you eat a chocolate bar, you're still gonna break out if you eat a protein bar covered in chocolate. And if this baby has got enough protein to keep you energized, I'm betting its 7/11 equivalent has enough sugar to keep you charged up too.

So this reminds me of a story...

When I was in college, there was a place that all the sorority girls would go to get their special snacks. (Now I have nothing against sorority girls, it just seems like they were this place's exclusive clientele and staff.) It was called Yogurt Park. The gals would get their gimangous cup of yogurt, cover it in sprinkles or mini gummy bears or whatever, and be on their merry way.

One day, a challenger to the Yogurt Park empire opened up. I believe it was called the Golden Spoon, or the Golden Panda, or the Frozen Panda, or something like that. People started trying it out, and lo, the yogurt was good. Much tastier than at Yogurt Park for some reason. So soon, the girls were starting to gather there, and Yogurt Park was not quite as giggly. It didn't last long however... A few months into their existence, Golden Whatever was exposed for what they really were: an ice cream joint. Turns out they were selling soft serve ice cream instead of frozen yogurt.

Now I don't know if this was a smear campaign on the part of Yogurt Park, or how much psychological counseling the girls who flipped over to that place had to receive once they realized they were actually eating something "fattening," but it just showed me how obsessed people are with the whole idea of eating certain things and certain ways to stay slim. I mean, these kids still put enough candy crap on top of their yogurt to negate the whole idea of a lo-cal snack anyway. Just get the ice cream already! It tastes much better, especially with sprinkles and/ or mini gummy bears on top.

Excess and lack of exercise is the main problem people, not the fact the the yogurt was soft serve ice cream. I have a friend whose mother cut soda out of her life and dropped a pile of weight right away.

As a friend of mine once said, there's nothing wrong with a little poison. It's when you have a lot that you get sick. So I'm gonna chuck this protein bar filled with chocolaty goodness, but maybe I'll have some peanut M&Ms later. Mmmm...