N Candy AA: Round of 64, Flight 3
October 20, 2010

I finally get my act together to get Halloween decorations for Henry and Target is cleaned out. Three huge long shelves: totally bare. They still have costumes, they still have stuff for parties, but nothing to tape on the windows. No fake tombstones for the first tiny lawn we've ever had -- NOTHING! I had to content myself with a Smith & Hawken brand metal pumpkin candle holder and decorative gourds from Trader Joe's that I can't even manage to arrange decoratively because I do not have that kind of eye.

However, we did get a ton of candy and a plastic pumpkin to put it all in. Dr. Mathra's all worried we got too much. I'm worried we'll run out. Besides, even if we have leftovers that we don't want to eat (Mathra has already decreed we're not giving out the Reese's PB cups to anyone but ourselves), he always dumps our leftovers on his students.

Confused? Hungry? Searching for answers? Look no further. Bracket is here, voting is now.

1 Skittles vs. 16 Bit O'Honey. Really? How is a "bit o'" anything even acceptable as a candy? When I eat candy, I don't want a "bit o'" it -- I want massive, huge, very large amounts. Also: I hate honey and I love Skittles (current creeptastic commercials notwithstanding), so this is a no-brainer for me. As it should be for you. Vote Skittles and dump the stupid non-candy on it's bee-hind. (YES I WENT THERE!)

8 spice/gum drops vs. 9 Sour Patch Kids. I treat these candies almost exactly the same way. I suck all the sugar off until they are slippery little pieces of gelatin in my mouth and only then do I chew. I was completely obsessed with Sour Patch Kids for awhile and I still love them even if their sourness makes my teeth squeak when I eat too many in one sitting. ["Even thinking about them floods my mouth with fire-extinguishing saliva. I love them, but: SO SOUR." -- Bunting] However, I think I love spice/gum drops more. Of course, at the risk of some serious childhood TMI, my love might come from a...well, I'm not going to say Pavlovian because that would be seriously scary and seriously incorrect. Let's just say, I have a specific potty-training memory whereby my reward was gum drops, and I actually remember thinking, "That's ALL I have to do? NICE!" So: yeah. Sorry. That had to come out. (So to speak.) SORRY! I'm done. (Hew.)

5 circus peanuts vs. 12 Jujubes. Granted, circus peanuts might be the most hew-ful candies ever invented -- both for their weird banana-ry flavor and for their suggestive shape and name -- but I just can't stop eating them. I'm actually disgusted AS I eat them. Yet as soon as I'm done with one, I have to have another to see if it's really that gross and then I'm caught in the same downward spiral that compels me to watch bad rom-coms on Netflix Instant. (Not good-bad, either, BAD-bad. I'm talking When in Rome bad.) It might be their weird "not quite soft, not quite hard, not quite cake" texture, which seems like it might be an unholy mélange à trois of fondant, marshmallow, and nougat, that compels me to eat one circus peanut after another. Or I just might be a freak. I'm willing to accept both, because I do think circus peanuts are the Hew Grant of Candywood. In more ways than one.

...and I don't have much to say about Jujubes. They're hard little pellets of candy pain. They're like mini-Dots but without the satisfaction of enough of a mouthful of "fruit" flavor. (I adore Dots for all their cavity yanking.) Also, what's with the spelling, people? What was so wrong with calling them "Jujubees"? As it's spelled, it looks like "Jupubes." ("Jujubee from RuPaul's Drag Race is awesome, proving your point." -- Bunting] Circus peanuts will triumph, but it's anyone's guess how long they'll stick it out. (Hew.)

4 Life Savers vs. 13 Mentos. One of my most cherished memories is finding the classic Life Savers storybook in my wooden shoe on Christmas morning. SO MANY ROLLS! SO MANY FLAVORS! If I recall, we got two rolls of regular rainbow Life Savers, two rolls of peppermint, two of wintergreen, and one each of butterscotch and wild cherry. They would last for DAYS! I do love all flavors of Life Savers (the rainbow ones sometimes had a surprise pineapple in the form of a very pale yellow one, which was awesome), but cherry might have been my very favorite. I know they started getting into tropical fruit combos and stuff, but my heart is with the classics. Sigh. Why don't I buy Life Savers anymore? Cute Canadian commercials aside, Mentos -- the candy that seems to give you massive amounts of pluck -- can't compete. I had them once or twice, and they were fine, but nothing I would ever seek out. (Not like how I'm going to Safeway right now and getting me some Life Savers.) Life Savers, for sure, but it may be closer than we seeded.

6 Gummi/Haribo fruits, animals, etc. vs. 11 Spree. I used to love Gummi Bears. But then I read that Ramona book when Mr. Quimby loses his job yet still brings home a bag of Gummi Bears for his daughters, who are terrified about what will happen to the family, and now they just taste of tears to me. Sad, unemployed, drawing-his-foot, working-in-frozen-food man tears. I don't have strong feelings about the rest of the Haribo menagerie, but I know a few of you do, so have at it. Spree, on the other hand, take me back to summers at the St. Louis Park Pool, where I ate tube after silver tube of them. And then never did again. So, my memories of Spree are chlorine smells and stained hands (they did bleed), which isn't all bad, but it's never made me seek them out as an adult, either. Gummi and Co will last for another few rounds, but not much longer.

3 Reese's Pieces vs. 14 caramel creams/bull's eyes. I rocked Dr. Mathra's world when I broke the news to him that his cherished Pieces don't contain chocolate. I'm fairly meh on RPs myself. I went through an E.T. phase (didn't everyone?) when I gobbled piles of them just so I could make the noise E.T. made when he ate them. There was something very appealing about the clicky-crunchiness that, for some weird reason, M&Ms couldn't satisfy. I've never had a caramel cream or a bull's eye and I don't plan on it. They sound and look weird and gross. ["They really do. And…are. And…love!" -- Bunting] Reese's Pieces won't be phoning home any time soon.

7 Blow Pops vs. 10 Jolly Ranchers. I don't care who wins this. All I care about is that both Jolly Ranchers and Blow Pops come in a despised watermelon flavor, and I was always very mad if I got stuck with it. Technically, Blow Pops are more fun. They have a stick -- which is usually more fun than no-stick -- and they have gum. No matter how crappy the gum or lousy the resulting bubbles, kids always think they're getting more candy bang for their buck when they get a 2-in-1. Jolly Ranchers are fine. I love their sour apple and I love their cherry, but they're sort of boring by comparison. Blow Pops will take this easily.

2 Red Vines vs. 15 sesame candy. As much as I want Red Vines to be Dead Vines because they are merely a waxier, more shallow-flavored version of my beloved Twizzlers (yes, I know them's fightin' words), I can't argue they be knocked out in favor of the weird-ass sesame candy. When I got sesame candy in my hauloween, I mentally equated the houses giving it with the same annoying houses who doled out toothbrushes, fruit, or other candy "alternatives." For some reason, there was a whiff of downer about sesame candy. Like it was "healthy" candy or something. There's something very bird-feed about it, too. Maybe I'm really off base with my analysis, but I've never been motivated to go back and try it, so Red Vines lives to see another round. (But then it must die.)

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