Like all good assistants, mine should have a candy dish. It should be filled to nearly overflowing with all the candies I crave now and then, and especially now.
Things like circus peanuts. No matter how small the bag, there are always too many circus peanuts, and while I find the first one or two or three of them ineffably delicious, there is a definite tipping point beyond which they become inedible, although I will keep on eating them until they are all gone, and then rue the day I first popped one into my mouth. Anything that looks like a big ol’ peanut but tastes like a — well, hmm, what do they taste like? (It’s like trying to tell a stranger about rock n’ roll, but the taste is magical.)
Also, dark chocolate M&Ms. There was a time when they were available at every gas station between here and Omaha, although I’m pretty sure they only came in dark when paired with coconut, which I didn’t find a problem. Now I think you can get mint dark chocolate, which is okay, too, although I rarely see them anywhere but the grocery store, where they come in bags too big to have around the house, anywhere at all in the house.
Baby Ruths are good in limited quantities, the one-bite Halloween miniatures. I have noticed that these bags of supposed Trick or Treat bites are put out in stores earlier and earlier, until you could begin stocking up for late October beginning on the 4th of July. Yes, I know these bags are in stock constantly in the candy aisle; I’m talking about having their own special orange-and-black themed section, which begins with red for Valentine’s Day, then various pastels for Easter, then — I don’t know, are there red, white, and blue candies for Patriot’s Day? — and Halloween and beyond. I try not to darken the candy aisle on an ordinary grocery shopping foray, but if they’re out there in the main aisle where they can jump into my cart as I head for the so-called Health Market, with its candy bars masquerading as quinoa/spinach/organic chocolate chip “power bars,” then I will. I do.
The president’s secretary at one of my former workplaces had a crystal bowl laden with those big white Lifesaver’s mints, presumably in only one minty flavor, and they were good, although I learned the hard way what my tender dental tissues thought of them. And really, mints are not candy. Things without chocolate may occasionally be candy — circus peanuts, Boston baked beans, lemon drops — but I have found that, as a raging chocoholic, if I try to sate my dessert-seeking taste buds with those, I still feel I must have some chocolate, any chocolate, to consider my meal really done. I do not mean white chocolate. White chocolate is not chocolate. It may come from the cocoa pod, but that’s like saying cornsilk is corn on the cob. I mean, come on.
So, my assistant can stock his candy dish with the things I crave, and he craves, and we’ll be fine. He should probably position this dish somewhere far from my desk, though, so I can justify the indulgence as a fit compensation for walking All That Way and back just to grab a fun-size 3 Musketeers. Or three individually wrapped Rolos. Do they make individually wrapped Rolos? God, I hope so.