The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Mini Candy Bars
The reigning czar of empty calories, "fun-size" (apparently fun is about an inch square) candy bars are highly processed, excitingly packaged, and about the only way to get halfway decent chocolate (as opposed to, say, Tootsie Rolls) in your Halloween pillowcase. I completely dig on these, even the crappy little Mr. Goodbars, and even today when I give into tradition and hand out goods to urchins instead of going and catching a movie, these are the treats I buy, mostly for the leftover value. A

Bit O' Honey
What is this? Is this candy? As I remember, each year I gave these the old elementary school try, only to be convinced anew that they were the product of the twisted mind of a mad confectioner. "I've done it!" I can see him screaming to the empty walls. "I've combined the unsettlingly wholesome flavor of honey with the inedibility of old bus-seat gum! And they called me seriously unbalanced and in need of a competent therapist! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!" Bleah. D

Mmmm. Time-release sugar. High on sucrose and vibrating at 450 Kilohertz, suckers were a great way to keep the party rotating. And such festive colors! Such intense flavors! It was like freebasing Kool-Aid. Even today I occasionally get a jones for artificial grape flavor that would not be believed. It puts one in the mind of a Saturday morning cartoon version of "Trainspotting." B+

Bubble Gum
Each year, perhaps the surest sign that the hedonistic sugar frenzy was coming to an end was when I gave up and started chewing the gum. The candy bars were a distant memory, the suckers had been reduced to damp sticks, and even the Smarties had been poured down my throat like so many Smurf vertebrae, and I set to the task of chewing the piles of organ-pink Double Bubble and Bazooka Joe, more out of a sense of duty than actual desire. Such are the trials of childhood. C-

Oh, hardy har har. One wag on the block always figured Halloween for a good time to spread an important message about dental hygiene. Like we didn't have toothbrushes at home. Granted, a shiny new toothbrush is kind of nifty, but it's the principle of the thing, dammit. D+

These are basically little cavity factories. They enter your mouth, they latch onto your teeth and they do not let go. I think I still have Jujyfruit attached to my back molars from the last time I ate them, which I believe was the 1989 Spike and Mike animation festival. They were out of red vines. In addition, they insist on adding licorice and mint to the otherwise palatable selection. And finally, they're shaped like, what? Corn? Asparagus? Eggplant? Spleens? C

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