Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Lemon Jolly Rancher - A Cautionary Tale

Once upon a time, many years ago, the greatest candy the world has ever seen was readily available.

I refer of course to Lemon Flavor Jolly Ranchers

Jolly Ranchers still exist of course, and if you're interested in that sort of thing you can find their web page here.  

Essentially a small brick shaped hard candy, Jolly Ranchers come in a bag of five different fruit flavors*. Currently those flavors are Cherry, Sour Apple, Grape, Watermelon**, and Blue Raspberry.

*Well, the real version of Jolly Ranchers.  These days there are no end of bastards and hybrid offshoots - you're gummy ranchers and your tropical fruit assortments and your commemorative wangs of the founding fathers with extra sour powder packs.  We're not discussing those here, because we are classy.

**At least that's what the label calls it.  The actual taste would be more accurately described as 'rancid ass', but to be fair I think all watermelon tastes like that.

That is the current assortment of flavors. 

But once, in those glorious halcyon days of yore, there was no crappy 'blue raspberry' to be found. 

No.  Once, there was instead... Lemon. 

And it was the best lemon candy ever in the history of the universe*

*A case could be made for Lemonheads, but they still exist and are readily accessible, so they lose through nostalgia factor.

And so it was, back in this glorious age when Lemon Jolly Ranchers walked the Earth, that a decree was sent out from the good people at HersheyCo that they were making a change.  Too many other lemon candies existed, they opined, and thus they were removing the Lemon flavor from the Jolly Rancher bag.  They replaced it instead with Blue Raspberry.

And a great despair fell over the people.

And in this hour of despair, did I run to the convenience store and buy one last bag of Jolly Ranchers that still had the precious lemon contingent. 

One last bag.

But such was my despair at the end of The Day Of The Lemon Jolly Rancher that I couldn't bear to open the bag, since I knew that it was the last one.  So I put it instead in the drawer of the living room coffee table where I could periodically take it out, look at it, and be reassured that this one last supply of the precious Lemon Jolly Ranchers was still out there.

And so it went for many, many months.  Until finally one day I cracked and opened the bag.  I had to have one of my precious final supply, I just had to.

It was at this point that I discovered a couple of essential truths.

The first is that hard candy does not, in actual fact, store well over long periods. 

All of the bag of Jolly Ranchers, lemon included, had morphed into some kind of horrifying half-jelly toxin that appeared to actively be trying to concur first the coffee table drawer, and later the planet.

The Second - If you wait to long to enjoy your lemon Jolly Ranchers, you lose your Lemon Jolly Ranchers.

What I'm really trying to say is that you should totally open that expensive bottle of wine now.

You're welcome.

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