a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I gets weary from that ol' man candy

By Scott Beveridge

My story about old-man candy began with a somewhat-spoiled 20-something female who once sat beside me in the newsroom.

It was Halloween season. I noticed bags of Goetze’s Caramel Creams in a convenience store and they reminded me of treats people tossed me along the Halloween parade route when I was a kid in Charleroi, Pa. With sweet memories of childhood innocence floating in my head, I decided to buy a bag of the confections and share it with my coworkers at the Observer-Reporter newspaper in Washington, Pa.

“Don’t be bringing us old-man candy,” my young podmate said about five years ago as I placed the bag in the lazy Susan snack tray that had become the centerpiece of our gathering of four desks.

I remember saying something like, “How can you not like this stuff? I love them, but only when they’re fresh. And what the hell is old-man candy?”

Basically, it’s anything people might find in the candy dish at their grandparents’ house, she replied.

“You know,” she said. “It’s like when gramps says, ‘You better get in on this stuff before it’s gone,’ and when you look, it’s chocolate-covered raisins.”

I had just crossed into my 50s and had to admit the caramel creams dating to 1895 were over the hill. I was surrounded by much-younger colleagues, who have been accustomed to many, many junk food choices, items including the magnificant Sour Patch EXTREME Soft & Chewy Candy.

This guy grew up on Pixie Dust, red licorice and those gross papery flying saucers filled with colored sugar pellets.

However, for the record, the photos I have been posting of old-fart candy on Facebook have generated many comments from people who either love or hate the stuff. Those posts seem to have touched a nerve.

“Really??? Old lady candy??? I have those in my pantry right now. My kids and I LOVE those things,” commented a mother in her 30s under a photo of pastel pink and green mints produced Gene & Boots Candies.

Sorry Facebook, but I thought I smelled Jasmine perfume as I put that candy on the counter at work where we typically place free edibles. Some of that same candy was still there the next day, a rare occurrence when there is free office food.

I will leave you with one of the funniets posts, one offered by Jason Togyer
under a photo of Necco wafers.

It’s sung to the song, “Ol’ Man River,” by Jerome Kern, from the musical Showboat.

Old man candy
That old man candy
It must be somethin'
But I don't taste anythin'
It just keeps hangin'
It keeps on hangin' around

Younger folks want chocolate bars
Made by Hershey's and by Mars
They don't want peppermint twirls
Butterscotch wheels or root beer barrels

I gets weary
And sick of chewin'
That hard, tough candy
My teeth it's ruinin'
But old man candy
It just keeps hangin' around

1 comment:

Rebecca M. said...

Even after reading this article, you still can't convince me that Necco Wafers and Caramel Creams are old man candy.