Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spambot Saturday 4/22/09 Offering

The Scrutiny of Jelly Beans

This year, the real Easter egg hunt began before April 12th, as shoppers scoured the local pharmacies, grocery stores and bulk warehouses for what have apparently become the latest scarce commodity in these economic hard times; jelly beans. Now normally, no one cares one wit about these rainbow colored sugar gel confections. Oh sure, they enjoyed popularity under President Reagan when Jelly Bellies were all the rage and a brief renaissance via Harry Potter’s Every Flavor Beans, but ultimately, they remain the third stringer in the candy world of Easter baskets.

This year, there weren’t any to be found despite multiple stops. I know it wasn’t just me, as I heard several other parents asking the store staff and calling out, as if they needed to summon these candies by name. Jelly beans were missing. The parents looked lost as they gazed at row after unhelpful row of pure chocolate candies. Jelly beans allowed one to stomach giving one’s offspring as much candy as Easter baskets provide without feeling totally indulgent. They’d get candy but one could be sure, they wouldn’t eat all of it. One adult summed it up perfectly, “No jelly beans…How could it be Easter?”

Leaving aside the lack of theological connections between rainbow colored peanut shaped licorice and the salvation of all our souls, I had to agree.

Those little colored jewels are life savers for when it’s ten o’clock at night and frankly, the Energizer Easter bunny needs a nap. Pour those suckers into the plastic eggies and boom, you’re done. Even better, they come in bulk, and thus multiple eggs can be filled in a short period of time. This is why the rabbit invented jelly beans. He had to get around the world in one night with no elves, no reindeer, he was both the UPS delivery guy and the truck itself. The poor creature needed to streamline if he was going to get to everyone.

Now I know perfectly well why those classic candies aren’t in the stores or on the shelves. It’s a conspiracy and I blame the children. While all kids love finding the eggs, jelly beans rank somewhere above lima beans but not by much. They’d stashed the bags somewhere behind tax software so that parents wouldn’t find them or be in a buying mood when they saw them. I went through the alternatives in my head. We could still fill the eggs.

Some would have money. Some could have chocolate or even malted milk eggs and Cadbury crèmes. I saw bubble gum eggs for sale, but consider that too adventurous. There may be parents out there who don’t mind cutting a lot of hair after Sunday mass, but I am not one of them. I was pining for the beans myself, not for eating mind you, I wanted my filler. But the absence of them made me recognize the reality of the life of a jelly bean.

Check any Easter basket two days post Sunday. You’ll find the foil remains of the bunny and no small number of wrappers from the malt, chocolate and marshmallow eggs. Beneath the green stringy grass, lurks at least a quarter cup of jelly beans of all assorted flavors.

Then, the sorting begins.

Three days after Easter, the yellow, red and pink ones have disappeared. By day five, the need for a sugar fix is still insufficient temptation to venture a bite at those black ones, though the purple, green and orange ones have all been sampled. Eventually, experimentation takes the place of voluntary eating, with jelly bean tooth pick statues, microwaved beans and dissected candy being amongst the most memorable alternatives.

As I lamented the loss of this bulk content piece from the children’s Easter baskets, there was a run in the store on marshmallow peeps. As I grabbed one of the last six packs of yellow chicks, a fellow mother had her hand on the bag. There was a brief tug-a-war, but I surrendered when she said, “Let my Peeple go.” It's Easter and you have to let these sort of things pass over.

Happy Easter Everyone!


MightyMom said...

Power to the Peeps!!

actually, I hate the peeps. and all jelly beans except the BLACK ONES!! send em all to me please!!!

I didn't fill the eggs. just put a baggie in each basket with some robin's eggs and some bunny shaped marshmallows. Along with the book each kid got from Mr Furry...threw the EMPTY eggs around the living room and called it good!!

my poor deprived children.

Anonymous said...

Let my peeple ... how many chocolate bunnies did you eat! loved it.
Texas Mom

Margo said...

what was with the candy shortage this year? I imagined a horrifying person in an Easter bunny suit raided every store in town. I managed to find some jelly beans, but my cadbury mini and creme egg craving is still unsatisfied.

maria mcclure said...

Apparently my kids never got the jelly bean memo. They are the first to go at our house!

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!