Sugar, oh, honey, honey
You are my candy girl
And you got me wanting you
-“Sugar, Sugar”, The Archies
Many of you know I have an affinity for candy corn. OK, maybe more like a major addiction. This year, the yellow, orange and white kernels seemed to appear earlier than usual in the Halloween candy selling season, like right after Independence Day. As a result, I may have single handedly helped Brach’s have a record selling season.
Then I swore off the stuff on Halloween.
That lasted three days until my wife came home from shopping, proud of her purchase. “Seventy-one cents at Target. Got you one,” she announced and handed me a bag of candy corn. Ah, the old clearance shelf.
To keep peace in the house, I sacrificed and ate the whole bag. No, not in one sitting. I think the bag lasted four days on my desk at work. After that, I finished off the rest of the Autumn Mix bag she’d also purchased.
So, I guess it is time to admit the obvious. I have a problem. I’m addicted to sugar. There, I said it.
Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s Gone
When you left me all alone
You left me cryin’ on my own
Tell me, tell me what you gonna do
Tell me pretty baby, ’cause I’m still in love with you
(Won’t you come back to me?)
-“Come Back” , J. Geils Band
While candy corn may be my current weakness, it is not my all-time favorite confection. That honor goes to the Double Lollie or just Lollie. Maybe you remember it.
The original version I remember was a lollipop with no wrapper. They were sold out of clear plastic containers where you’d just stick your hand down in and grab a few. I think they were usually ten cents a piece, perhaps three for a quarter. Eventually, they appeared with clear wrappers. Maybe someone realized it was a tad gross for everyone to be sticking their hands in the candy jar.
The Lollie had a several unique features. First, it was two-toned, with an upper color and a lower color. The different colors were different flavors. My favorite was the pink and orange combination. The texture was chalky and eating too many in one sitting would rub the roof of your mouth a bit raw, but that never stopped me. Besides great flavor, another unique feature of the Lollie was its hollow plastic stick. It was too small for spit balls but great to chew or blow bubbles in your Coke.
Somewhere along the way, Lollies and I lost touch. It wasn’t anything intentional on my part. Maybe life changed, and I just didn’t notice them much anymore. I really think they disappeared from store shelves.
One day in the late ’90s, I came across some Double Lollies in a candy shop. Memories came flooding back, like seeing an old high school flame at a class reunion. I grabbed a few, but noticed something was amiss. The colors weren’t quite right – some more vibrant and even a blue! And the stick was… PAPER!. That’s weird, I thought. I bought them anyway and tore the wrapper from the first one as soon as I paid. I put the Lollie in my mouth, expecting a rekindling of the great relationship we once had. “What is this crap, Beavis?” The taste was nothing like my memory. It was awful. Had I changed or was something more sinister afoot?
I had to get to the bottom of this. With some digging, I came to find out my beloved original Lollies were made by an English company called Swizzels Matlow. While the company was still in business, turns out they sold the USA naming rights for Lollies to the Smarties company. Lollies in the States were now but a crummy copy of the original. The name was the same, but Smarties was using their own recipe for the candy. Bummer.
Back then I also discovered I could order Lollies through the Swizzles Matlow website. Since I needed to get the bad taste of the Smarties version out of my mouth, I ordered one container. After a few weeks, the Lollies arrived from across the pond, and I enjoyed reuniting with my old favorite. But paying something like $40 shipping for $20 worth of sugar did seem a little much, and I didn’t do it again. Eventually, Swizzels Matlow quit shipping to the States. I suspect the Smarties lawyers had something to do with that.
Thanks to Amazon.com, while researching this post, I found a company selling 20 original Lollies for under $6. Shipping was also under $6. So, for less than $12, I have Lollies on the way. I’ll have to ration them and probably share with the family, but maybe I can make them last for a week or two.
Merry early Christmas to me.
Here’s the link if you’re interested:
PS. I really should do something about this problem, but has anybody seen reindeer corn yet?