93°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Devotion grows into sweet obsession

Updated October 25, 2018 - 11:10 am

Blame it all on Candyland.

Designed to be a simple game to teach children colors and good sportsmanship, I think it actually starts a lifelong addiction to sweet treats.

To play the game, children, starting as young as the age of 2 or 3, are asked to move their gingerbread men markers along a colorful path through an assortment of delicious sounding places and past equally tempting landmarks: Peppermint Stick Forest, Ice Cream Floats, Gumdrop Mountains, Molasses Swamp and Crooked Old Peanut Brittle House.

Sweetening our lives even more are movies like “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” While the entire movie centers around delicious and decadent treats, there is one scene in particular that feeds into our love of candy and all things sweet. Wonka has created an entire pastoral setting where everything is edible. The highlight of the room is a river of chocolate.

In the 1971 version of the movie, Willy Wonka, so adeptly portrayed by the late Gene Wilder, sings “Pure Imagination” as the visitors to his candy factory are invited into that room where tree branches are candy canes, mushrooms are spotted with dollops of whipped cream, giant gummy bears hang in place of fruit and daffodil-like flowers are candy tea cups that you can eat after sipping what’s inside.

These childish infatuations develop into more serious cravings as we get older and access to treats becomes unrestricted by parents and other authority figures (with the exception of strong warnings from medical professionals who caution about eating too much sugar).

That’s when two men — Ben and Jerry — become integral parts of our lives. It’s hard to resist their cold creations with names that are almost as much fun to say as they are to eat. There’s Chunky Monkey, Chubby Hubby, Gimme S’More, Oat of this Swirled and Urban Bourbon among them.

I know I am not alone in my love for sweets.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $2.6 billion this year just on candy for Halloween. It’s not uncommon for families to buy enough candy to ensure there are leftovers to enjoy in November or to buy two kinds: one to give away and another to eat.

Plus, there’s no doubt that as retailers start displaying their Halloween candy earlier and earlier in the year that people buy a bag or two and then have to buy more as the holiday approaches because there is nothing left by the time Oct. 31 rolls around.

Everyone has their favorite fall treats. In Nevada, old-fashioned candy corn is tops this year, with people buying nearly 340,000 pounds in 2017, according to Candystore.com, an online retailer of bulk candy that recently revealed a map that showed the top candy by state for 2018.

For the past two years Hershey’s Kisses were the favorite, but they fell far behind with only around 200,000 pounds consumed. That’s still a lot of love for the chocolate drops wrapped in shiny foil.

These figures don’t lie. We take our candy seriously. When it comes to sweets, there’s no playing around, unless, of course, you’re up to a game of Candyland.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Challenging times inspire creative solutions

It’s been 1,728 hours — 72 days — since Nevadans were first asked to work from home and begin isolating themselves from others to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Meaningful thoughts pass test of time

I enjoy well said, meaningful sayings. Thoughts that are well-spoken, especially during a time of confusion, desperation and perhaps, situations that seem impossible, are often priceless.

Political choices dictate nation’s economy

Since March 16, I’ve been at home on the computer sharing educational materials as much as possible with as many folks as possible on social media sites, sending them personal messages and calling them. I’ve done this because, believe it or not, I’ve seen education work wonders.

Science smashes coronavirus conspiracy theories

Baseball legend Yogi Berra famously quipped about a 1973 pennant race, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Berra’s oft-repeated observation couldn’t be more apt for the current public health crisis, as governors (Republican as well as Democrat) lead efforts to contain the nationwide devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Berra’s Mets did eventually come back to win the division title that year. The U.S., and the world, must take decisive, even unpopular steps, to ensure that the coronavirus doesn’t also make a huge comeback.

Who is that masked man?

The other day, my husband and I had to run out to the grocery store to pick up a few things. In these days of COVID-19, it was certainly a different experience than it had been before.

Virus was scam to get political control

After three years of historic economic growth, record unemployment and a proliferating middle-class lifestyle, the anti-Trump cadre, without missing a beat, migrated from their failed three-year impeachment circus and transformed a pandemic into a gigantic economic demolition derby.

Make your mom proud

Sunday is Mother’s Day. To all the moms (and dads who fill that role) out there, I wish you a happy day and offer gratitude for what you do.

Sense of normalcy slowly returns

We are beginning to look toward making a way back to our normal lives. More likely, we will find ways to a new normal. It does not appear it will be done quickly as the COVID-19 virus threat still exists.

Little love, luck help us through quarantine

I hope you are among the lucky ones who are quarantined at home with someone you love. I can’t imagine the feelings of loneliness that would come with being truly self-isolated.

News organizations need your help

The newspaper or news website you are reading is in trouble. Like many other businesses, the COVID-19 crisis has eliminated most of its revenue but not its expenses, delivering a body blow to a business model that was already under pressure. But it continues to publish, providing your community with timely, accurate information about the crisis.