SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

I'll vote for these Candy-dates!



October 23, 2016
Sunday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
Argh-tober is the bestest, most wonderfulest time of the year!

No, not because the rainsheets of autumn crash down upon us and sweep away all the tourist debris and eau de dead fish smell of summer. Although that is how I always value the roaring output of Ketchikan Creek in the fall; washing away that which needs to be washed away.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

And no, not because everything imaginable is "pumpkin spiced." I hate "pumpkin spiced" anything. When I was growing up, we didn't have "pumpkin spiced" smoked salmon or "pumpkin spiced" Spam or "pumpkin spiced" Viagra or any of those "pumpkin spiced, gluten free" items that are rammed down our throats (literally) this time of year.

No, this is the one time of year when it is okay for adults to gorge on candy.

First a disclaimer. Nutritionists say that we eat too much sugar and that a healthy lifestyle is one with less sugar. Heckfire, every time I turn around, someone has written one of those "my family went without sugar for a year" books or articles or columns. Well, goody, goody, (no) gumdrops for them!

Why don't they just say "hey, let's live in hell for a year and see how we like it?"

In some ways, life remains as Hobbes (not the cartoon character) saw it. Nasty and brutish. And short. Of course in his day, 35 was a senior citizen. Today we live much longer (no thanks to sugar, apparently). But, it is my contention, that without sugar, life remains nasty and brutish. And not short enough.

People always tell me that if I eat healthier, I will live longer. I reply that it will only feel like I am living longer. Life without sugar is like spending eternity in the waiting area of the Department of Motor Vehicles. (Now serving #1,264,195,314!)

But I digress.

This time of year, it's okay to eat lots of candy, (waste not, want not) and by extension, lots of sugar.

After all, what is Halloween without the candy?

Sure, sure a lot of you all seem obsessed with this costume thing. Halloween is the one time of year where you can let your inner superhero out and dress up in a manner that shows the real you. You wish!

It's amazing how many perfectly normal people become obsessed with dressing as zombies or politicians or other horrible deplorables. I get that the idea is to sort of mock mortality by cloaking ourselves in our worst fears. But, if the real you is a zombie, you might want to rethink all that "gluten free, sugar free" lifestyle rigamarole. Wandering the earth, condemned not to die, and yet craving the chocolate flesh of a Snickers Bar. Quell horreur!

More on Snickers Bars in a minute.

Speaking of costumes, once upon a time I was trick or treating with my son when he was younger and I was not in costume. Another smarty pants parent noted that I didn't look very scary. I told him I was dressed up as a Borough Assembly member who could raise his taxes. He made the sign of the cross and tried to drive a stake through my heart. Good luck with that. Politicians don't have hearts.

But I digress, again.

Anyway, back to the candy.

It seems that someone at a research company had too much free time and, so, this week at USA Today, they announced that different states have different candy preferences. Yep, there is something to all that Red Taffy, Blue Taffy, Purple Taffy preference dividing our Unum in this august political year. Of course, it is not as simple as Red Taffy, Blue Taffy. If you look at the list, it almost appears that each state has a different preference. Not quite of course, a few states share the same preference, but there are at least 35 different candies on the list.

Vive la difference!

Some "state candies" stand out.

Alabama and Washington prefer "AirHeads." Well, duh.

Delaware, named after an old dead white Anglo-French guy, likes "Three Musketeers."

Iowa likes "Twix," apropos of being in the middle of things, geographically.

Hawaii likes the pumpkin-spiced-Spam-flavored "100 Grand Bar." Which is also the monthly time share rental in Paradise.

Kansas likes "Twizzlers" which is what happens to any candy caught up in tornados.

Those kissing cousins Missouri and Mississippi both like "Hershey Kisses."

Colorado's "space cadets" are really into ""Milky Way" bars

Several states - Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Wyoming, South Carolina - like "Candy Corn." Thank goodness somebody does.

Kentucky is partial to "Whoppers" which explains it's political discourse.

Both Louisiana and Pennsylvania like "Swedish Fish." Something even the Swedes themselves don't.

Nevada like "Jolly Ranchers." Yee haw!

Utah likes "Nerds." Well, ditto duh.

North Dakota has a preference for "Sour (oil) Patch kids.

California, given its insufferably politically correct populace, naturally prefers "Lifesavers." Good luck with that. Although, if I am ever in need of having my life saved, I would prefer a sugar antidote be administered. Which is probably why so many people get better even though they are taking sugar pill placebos. It can't hurt. Unless you are a holier-than-thou nutritionist or a vegan obsessive (redundancy alert there).

Perhaps most odd is the choice of West Virginia. Oreos. Okay, I'm sure there is some sort of candy confection that involves oreos, but if you google Oreos Candy, the closest you get on line is "Oreos Candy Corn." Clearly the good residents of "Almost Heaven" didn't understand the question. But what do expect from a state where "Deep Fried Twinkie" is the state vegetable.

Anyway, you may have noticed that - as usual - I saved Alaska for last.

The researchers says that Alaska's favorite candy is - drum roll please - Snickers Bars. Maybe it's just my bias, but I don't think so. I think that Peanut Butter Cups are more popular. At least they are at my house.

Perhaps, Alaskans were also a little confused by the question.

Or maybe, they just naturally gravitated to anything with "Bar" in the title.

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Columns by Dave Kiffer

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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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