Thursday, November 02, 2006

I feel sick - Halloween hangover

I didn't do anything for Halloween this year. Which is unusual for me, as it's my favorite holiday. We were late home on Halloween night itself, but we stopped at the grocery store next to the Underground stop to pick up some candy - just in case. Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in England. I even heard less whining about it being "Americanisation" and the loss of "English custom". As to adopting holidays - my rule is a) is it fun b) is there good food and c) is there a frisson of danger (e.g. fireworks or hidden razor blades in foodstuffs or the possibility of being gored by running bulls) and d) will there be potentially embarassing photos later? If yes to all or most, then adopt the holiday. It's free candy, people, c'mon. And it's probably the one time of the year in London - where people actually give each other something for nothing. Seriously, Halloween's got more good will in it than Christmas.

It was almost 9 when we got home - so most little kids should have been trying to fight off the sugar rush in bed, but I did see three trick-or-treaters, or rather 3 kids in costume on the walk back from the store. Two little kids had their costumes obscured by coats. I thought about digging the candy out to give them some, but couldn't be bothered. Then I saw Darth Vader coming from the direction of my house - and I thought again about reaching into the bag and tearing into the packaging, but didn't.

And that was it. No one knocked on our door. We had bought not only miniature candy bars but also a large bag of peanut M&Ms (not the American "large" but the British "large" which is considerably smaller) which would be our treat once we'd given all the other candy away. I ate most of those M&Ms on Halloween night.

Even though it wasn't a huge amount of M&Ms - it was still enough to make me feel sick. It was still enough to cause words between the Vol-in-Law last night as we argued over who should have control of the bag. (He thought he should since he'd had almost none on Halloween. I thought we should share since it was a new night.) He maintained control of the M&Ms until his attention dropped when attempting to pet a cat and I wrenched the bag out of his hand.


In bed last night, we commented on the perceived change in peanut M&Ms. I probably hadn't eaten any in quite a while, perhaps over a year, perhaps longer, but they seemed different. The Vol-in-Law agreed. They seemed less peanuty and more chocolatey. It seemed like when I was a kid, it was mostly peanut with a thin layer of chocolate and then the colored candy coating. And we also agreed that the more chocolateness was to the detriment of the M&M eating experience.

And the colors seemed more lurid*, too. There were yellow and brown M&Ms I remember those colors. But there was also a cobalt blue (isn't cobalt deadly to humans?) and a vivid green and a glowing scarlet. Back in my day, it seemed to me that peanut M&Ms came in yellow, brown and green and that regular M&Ms came in yellow, brown, tan and green (tan was my favorite).

The Vol-in-Law piped up..."And red."
Oh no, I said, red had been banished in the FD&C Red food colorant #5 scare.
"We had red when I was growing up in Northern Ireland," he said.
Well, growing up in Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s- red food dye is going to be the least of your worries.

*A good blogger would have photographed these lurid M&Ms before snarfing down, but I had eaten all of them before I thought about taking pictures.


Vol-in-Law said...

I had had no M&Ms at all the previous night, that is zero. :)

jen said...

Tan was ALWAYS the best. I just can't get with these newfangled colours...