Dear Diary:

We're coming up to Easter, the holiday consecrated to the notion that Sugar Is Love. And as I stood at our local grocery store surveying the usual Easter treats, then turned to look at the candy counter, I thought of how deprived anyone born after 1965 has been.

You poor dears have never truly known what candy could be. I mean, I looked at those tidy little boxes ... so antiseptic, so safe.

Where are the carcinogens like Red Dye #2, huh? What about candy that doesn't just rot your teeth, but actually breaks them, like jawbreakers, huh? And what about Wax Lips? And the candy that made you feel grown up and urbane--Popeye Candy Cigarettes?

Gone, all gone.

How empty and meaningless your lives must feel.

The Devil's own powder. But one good thing has come out of this. At least you've been shielded from the crack cocaine of candy, Lik-m-aid. (A look of ecstasy briefly flashes over Marn's features.)

Yes, I was a Lik-m-aid addict. There is no secret too dark to reveal here in Diaryland.

My parents gave me 35 cents a week in allowance. I would go to the local corner store and eye the massive candy counter with the ravaged eyes of the true addict. Oh yeah, sure, I *pretended* I could do without my fix, that I could live without the stuff--but who was I kidding, really?

Certainly not the woman who owned the store, who watched all us kids with a world-weary "I've seen it all" expression and waited as we dithered over our candy choices.

A kid in my Grade 2 class dropped two of these in a fish tank and wiped out all our class goldfish.  It was a dark day. Look, I'll admit it, I was a candy slut. I wasn't always faithful to just one candy, sometimes I would buy other stuff too, like Fizzies. (Took 'em straight, didn't dissolve them in water, just let those puppies corrode my mouth. We all did. It was a rite of passage.)

Good N Plenty, Cracker Jack, Necco Wafers, Pez, candy necklaces--I had my way with all of them and more. But whatever else I might buy, I always left money for Lik-m-aid.

By the time Saturdays rolled around I was jonesin' for the stuff. It wasn't a question about *whether* I was going to buy Lik-m-aid, it was just a question of what godless flavour I would lose myself in that week.

Choice made, with trembling fingers I would hand over my money and furtively sneak back home to my room where I would indulge my dark need. I would peel open the top of the package and expertly wet the narrow licorice wand they gave you to dip into the potent, almost paralyzingly sweet/sour powder.

I took my first few hits from the stick, but once the sugar buzz kicked in I became an animal, wetting my fingers and shovelling larger hits of the addictive powder into my mouth. The dyes turned my fingers, lips, and tongue the unholy, fluorescent colours worn by all Lik-m-aid addicts.

I didn't care.

You could only take the stuff in small hits, but eventually I would empty the bag. The most pitiful sight of all was me eating the licorice wand to get those last few flakes. It wasn't pretty.

Eventually I kicked Lik-m-aid. I'm proud to say it's been years since I touched the stuff. But if someone was to wave a package in front of my nose ... well, I don't know.

I just take it one day at a time.


Old Drivel - New Drivel

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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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