Starburst Halloween Mix! And Maybe More.

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Part of the fun this time of the year is the hunt. As rumors of what the 2015 Halloween products are become reality, its then a race against time to find them and write four hundred words in a hopefully grammatical correct fashion so we can say, “Hey internet! Look at this!”. I’m not being cynical, it’s actually a pretty fun hobby albeit a bit of a drain on the wallet. If it wasn’t for said hobby, I am sure this 37-year-old would not be the proud owner of eleven six-foot skeletons.

The hunt this early in the game was for the semi-elusive Starburst Halloween Mix. I first learned about these via Twitter and since that very second I have been scouring every grocery, drug and dollar store because when you take one of my favorite candies and make a Halloween Mix out of them, I am pretty sure I would travel to another time zone to obtain them.

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Boy, if this is any indication of what we can expect from the 2015 Halloween season, a meteor is welcome to smash the planet to Gorin dust after November first because I don’t think it will get much better. Frankenstein’s Monster graces the package in such a pleasing way he almost says, “Will, this was made especially for you since the stock price of Starburst is trading at an all time high thanks to your continuing loyalty and recommendation we melt all the yellows down and use them for eco-friendly fossil fuels.” Frank also appears to have lost the “Halloween Mix” sign in the dumpster and unfortunately came up with a possible  Kotex on his head. That sucks, Frank.

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Honestly, there has never been a better mascot/spokes-monster than Universal’s Frankenstein’s Monster. If you need more proof just ask Matt and Jay or listen to the first episode of the famous podcast, The Purple Stuff.

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The Halloween Mix is a combination of four different and spooky flavors, each with a pretty dang sweet character. We have “bewitched blueberry” with a cat, “batty blackberry” with an evil bird, “chilling cherry kiwi” with the fleshless head of Abe Vigota, and finally “mysterious mango” with a cute version of Captain Howdy. I must say, the careful consideration to not only come up with individual flavors and names but mascots too has me spinning in my chair and I am at the dinning room table! This is surely the work of the Devil and that’s alright by me.

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Peaking inside the individual wrapped Starburst we see the quite the pleasant hue but it takes away a little of the spooky magic. I think this time of the year it’s okay to just “Cinnaburst” these and eat them in the wrapper. (don’t do that)

There are so many variations of Starburst out now, I think a taste review would not make much of a difference because no matter what I say, they will be pretty fucking great. The root canal that comes later however, will not be but trust me, one Starburst flavor is as good as another. Unless you are King Cherry. Nothing beats King Cherry.

ALL HAIL STARBURST HALLOWEEN MIX! You did not disappoint and in fact, I will buy ten full packs and pass them out to the first ten trick-r-treaters this Halloween and let the rumors spread until I have hundreds throwing eggs at my house in disappointment. Kinda like giving a seagull your last hotdog bite at the beach and then getting swarmed. Kids are annoying birds.

In other news, we have another eye catcher! While I was doing the “Shimmy Slide” down the aisle of CVS, I saw a bag so Halloweenie, I could not just leave them. Oh no, with an orange and black bag full of ghouls, I had to have it, even if it was just fodder for another tattoo idea.

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Here we have Halloween Lifesaver Gummies “Spooky Shapes” with three really pissed off looking characters on the front. Honestly, these aren’t the cute and friendly characters this nanny state is used to. Oh no, these things look like they will chomp your bottom. Especially the cat. I have two and yes, they will chomp bottoms.

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The bag does have a lighter side to it because checkout this Lifesaver spider! HA!! Whoever thought of this should have a company day dedicated to them over at Lifesavers. Like Clive Barker said in reference to Jaws, “…some ideas are right there in front of your face the entire time.”

But as cool as the evil characters are on the main bag and the hilarious Lifesaver spider, all the great things come in small packages.

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Look at that! Have you ever seen so much Halloween put on one small bag of gummy goodness??? It reminds me of late September in elementary school when the teachers would start decorating the classroom with the classical Halloween decorations we grew up loving. You cannot help but get nudged just a little bit into the season by looking at this orange and black bag. I love it. I LOVE IT!!!!

Looking closer, however, those are the exact same ghosts, cats and bats from the Starburst wrappers. Oh well, it doesn’t diminish my love for the bags, wrappers, clip art or orange #5. If you need me I’ll be working off this sugar hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Ode To The Fall Fresh Market

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Lordy, I love The Fresh Market! It’s a place where normal people like yours truly can feel a tad sophisticated buying six cucumber sodas and a bag of cinnamon bears. Its warm and cozy with classical music playing overhead, lulling people into paying twenty percent higher for everyday items. Some say it is a snobby market and others brush it off as a specialty food shop, but I say it is a necessary Saturday morning stop to energize the soul and dent my wallet, especially now that we are a foot into the Halloween season.

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This is the place where you plan the best autumn dinner of your life. Every vegetable imaginable is available and if yours is like mine, they come from local farms. That is a huge thing for me. I can’t put my finger on it, whether it is the track lighting or the fact most produce and items are in barrels but you kind of skip around aimlessly in this market. It is a scientific fact most amazing things come in a barrel. And for that, I am sure almost no one sticks to their lists. At least I don’t. I went in one time for three steaks and left with clams.

Hmm, maybe it is a gas leak that is the cause of such aimless shopping?

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The free coffee station is one of the best parts of The Fresh Market. Every season they have a select coffee to try with a full station to garnish your tiny cup. I was excited to see what Fall coffee they were pushing for this year but it never fails that some old bitty would be crowding the coffee sample table, adding cream and sugar with the speed and purpose of an aquarium-ed manatee. I hate her!

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Back to the wacky produce! Tell me, where can you get dwarf squash these days? Think real hard. I don’t know where but at The Fresh Market, this time of the year, you can. It is the main ingredient for my “Little Squash Big People Soup”. If you want the recipe just email me. It is just right for rainy and cold October days paired with the right beer. And yes, I do feel a little bad for that insensitive parody of the midget show. I meant little people show.

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SON OF A BITCH SHIT! I turn around for two seconds and the old guy jumps in and proceeds to go all Cialis on the decaf. Dude is quick in them Foot Joys!

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Here we come to what The Fresh Market does so well and that is the Halloween display. Every year is a bit different but damn if it isn’t always impressive! They always have a crazy candy display throughout the year but they really turn the knob to high in September. I love the fact an entire three-foot wicker basket is filled with one pound bags of gummy ghosts. If that were to fall off the roof and kill someone, their obituary would be clipped and permanently added to my fridge. It’s a place of honor.

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I know this picture is a tad bit blurry but I had been looked at with some suspicion while I roamed around taking pictures of small squashes and old people. This one was taken with great haste.

I love the decor. It is such a throwback to when I was a little kid. Ghosts and pumpkin-headed scarecrows are hung from the rafters with orange and black streamers dangling, carelessly blowing with the central air. It is simple yet perfectly nails why I love this holiday so much. There is no hint of modern pop or Disney shows. Just the same decorations we loved for years and years.

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Holy shit nuts and gum! I can’t catch a break this trip!

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I know this isn’t very Halloweenie but I can’t go to sleep without yelling from the hills about how amazing their organic nut selection is. Every kind of nut, berry, mix and seed is available for you to buy AND sample. I can’t tell you how many bags of trail mix I have, which are most likely stale, in my cupboard. There is no helping help myself and it is not beyond reason that I buy over one hundred dollars in almonds a month. Don’t get me started on cashews.

Also, I am not entirely sure about the sample part. If someone stops me I’ll just do my best impression of the homeless demon eating crickets in Hellraiser.

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We have success! Even though I like to browse the aisles for the best Thai peanut sauce and vegan friendly pasta while drinking  a free shot-cup of seasonal coffee, beggars can not be choosers. It is an added pleasure to an already fun fall grocery shopping experience.

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Of course it is pumpkin spice! How could it not be?

I am telling you folks, go to The Fresh Market if you want to immerse yourself with autumn goodness. The smells, specials, free samples and specialty food items are enough to make you go home and get drunk on spiked cider while hanging skeletons from trees. It is that great of an experience for this time of the year. Sure you will spend five dollars on a box of Triscuits but that’s why you save that for lame-o Kroger. You buy cornish hens and seven-year old sharp cheddar from The Fresh Market, ya silly!

 

 

FLTO: Caramel Apple Filled Twizzlers

“…the Angel of the Lord came down from Heaven, and they were so afraid! The angel said, “fear not for I bring you tidings of great joy. For this Fall season, Caramel Apple filled twists from Twizzlers are here to stick to your molars.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 4.37.43 PMI spotted these a few weeks ago in a Kmart. Yes, there was barely a squeak of Halloween in the one of three remaining Kmarts in the North Carolina state but my weird sixth sense indicated there was something to be found. Like when Vader smells old man Obi Wan’s Force-stink on the Death Star. I sensed something I had not sensed since…

There they were! It has been a few weeks so today I will bust these out and try them just for you. I don’t have high hopes for these because I have never been a huge caramel apple lover. When you say the words “caramel apple” I always imagine funny ways the elderly lose their dentures. Other than that, it is nothing more than fair food you want to throw out thirty seconds after you buy one. Maybe in Twizzler form they would be more appealing?

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I will be honest, the first presentation of these are pretty eye appealing. It looks like a Peruvian pan flute if the Peruvian band covered Agent Orange tunes. The green of the licorice is a Gremlin-blood green while the caramel looks almost too perfect. The contrast is strikingly nice. But what about the taste?

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Wow, that is exactly a caramel apple blend! I don’t know what else I was expecting but the caramel really over powers everything after a second or two. It’s not that the Twizzler’s apple flavoring sucks or anything, it’s really just me. I grew up on the precursor to adding “sour” before anything “apple” when it comes to candy. When an apple flavored anything comes along that doesn’t have a zing, I am left with an overall blasé feeling. Like I said, it’s not the fault of Twizzler, I just keep chasing that dragon.

This season Caramel Apple is a contender for what Pumpkin has become. It is showing up almost every where from seasonal ice cream, candy corn, and coffee, to now Twizzlers. I don’t hate it and to be honest, if it wants to make a run for it, I wish it well. Just stay out of my beer. Unless…cider beer? Hrm. I am going to have to think on that one.

So, on a scale of one to ten severed Sleep Hollow residents heads, I give Caramel Apple Filled Twizzlers a seven. The lackluster green apple kept it from achieving a grade that would be hung on a fridge.

Go get some. They come in Halloween fun sizes too!

Junior Mints Pastels: Limited Edition

Junior Mints will always be the candy that Kramer accidentally dropped into the open cavity of a body undergoing surgery during an episode of Sinfeld. I have no real ties to them other than that and they seem to be the #3 choice for all movie-goers. Honestly, do people buy Junior Mints outside of the movie theater? I don’t think I have seen anyone walking around eating them in another environment.

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Well, regardless if Junior Mints are eaten in a movie theater or over an operating table, the Tootsie Roll Company has painted the deer turd-looking treat a pastel shade of blue and yellow in celebration of Spring and Easter. Whoopie! They have the same texture and minty flavor as the everyday Junior Mint but whether it is psychosomatic or the chemical makeup has changed, they are weird.

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To me, I think it is the choice of color. Yes, yellow is the normal Spring color but the blue kind of throws me and I think I know why. That shade of blue and the fact it has a mint taste brings me back to forced visits to my great aunts in Pennsylvania. I hated going there because for whatever reason, I had a fear of old people. And they were old!

I know this sounds like I was a cruel spoiled dick of a kid and maybe so, but sitting on a couch wrapped in plastic as my Mom and Grandmother talked with them about phlegm and bruises that won’t go away just really took a kids appetite and killed it for seven years. From the vaporizers to the electric chairs on stairs, I prayed for these visits to be quick. Also, I hate slippers.

Coming back to the blue mints, my great aunts also had bowls of blue mint candy. From what year, it’s anyones guess but I bet if the mints could talk they would tell you their vote was casted for Dwight Eisenhower. No matter what excuse I made, the aunts would not let me leave unless I had a pocket full of these dreadful pieces of candy. I had to endure this until the Japanese invented the Gameboy. God bless that wonderful country.

So, Pastel Junior Mints taste the same but their ability to unleash suppressed memories is pretty amazing. Congratulations Junior Mints! Now I am thinking of lipstick stained crumpled tissues.

Rudolph Red-Nosed Gummies

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It’s not often that I spend $3 on a box of gummy candies but this time of the year, I make a lot of exceptions to the rules. You are supposed to and if you don’t, Krumpus will eat your face. This particular box caught my eye in the candy section of Fresh Market a couple of weeks ago and if you saw the display, you know that’s a feat! Okay, I’ll show the display.

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See? That’s a heck of a box to rise above this holiday mess! But it did and as if I was taken over by a tortured soul who needed purgatory relief and it could only be found in a box of holiday gummy candy, I grabbed it up quick. I didn’t even check the price or look to see if it was made with baby seal eyes. I just picked up the box, threw it at the cashier and yelled, “SHNUWABABBABA!”. We both knew what I meant.

So, one Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer gummy nose box richer and $3.08 poorer, I headed to the house to eat, think and write. Some people write about health care and the looming Iranian nuclear crisis, I write about Christmas candy in the shape of iconic noses. Eh, it keeps me simple.

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Here we have the two flavors…of noses. One is watermelon and the other is red. I say red because for whatever reason, I believed it to be cherry and could not pull that flavor from the obvious not-watermelon nose. It was strawberry. You would think the process of elimination would determine strawberry but I really wanted it to be cherry. I am a fan of strawberry scent but just not a strawberry flavor. I blame Hubba Bubba circa 1984.

What can I say about an expensive candy that is a Rankin/Bass inspired body part? Awesome is what I can say! I love these tasty blops and to be honest, it’s the wrapping and I do think these should be a mandatory stocking stuffer. If for nothing more, you can do this to your wiener dog.

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Kinda like the dog in A Nightmare Before Christmas, no?

 

 

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