The better part of my life over the past three weeks has been spent looking for jelly beans. Not those gor-may kind. The ones I’m talking about are orange and black. Just orange and just black and they’re mixed together and you squish the bag around to make sure there are enough black ones. You know what I’m talking about: orange and licorice Halloween jelly beans. Last year you could find them in every store you walked into. This year…poof. Gone. Vanished. It’s a mystery.
I remember we used to get little twists of the beans all done up in an orange napkin with some ribbon when we were out trick-or-treating. Over the years I’ve hoarded enough bags to fill the hold of an oil tanker. This year I came up dry.
It would be one thing if one store didn’t have them…but…every store? I’m not buying it. Literally. Something fishy is going on.
It’s a conspiracy.
No one talks about it. No one acknowledges there were ever any Halloween jelly beans in stores. I get blank stares that kind of remind me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. An empty eye socket kind of stare. It’s odd, weird, unnerving. Like being on some other planet where no one ever heard of Halloween. Orange and black jelly beans and popcorn balls scream, “It’s Halloween!” to me.
This evening I visited store # 15. After going to every g’normus store logic would tell you was likely to have every candy ever dreamed up for Halloween and finding nothing and sneaking a peek at the 50% off candy in some off brand mom-and-pops and discount dollar stores in strip malls, I became convinced my old friends had disappeared off the face of the earth. You know, if they were people the feds would be all over this area.
But wait! The Internet has EVERYTHING! I’ll look there! Apparently the Internet also has a few online stores that will sell me just the orange ones in 5 lb. bags for nearly $20.00 plus another $10 for shipping. And…oh god no…not A-m-a-z-o-n. With prices ranging from $26 to a whopping $65, what just happened here? But wait. The black ones are even more expensive.
So, if I get the math right, I can go into sugar shock for about $60.00, give or take a pound or two. It’s not the sugar that’s putting me into shock.
I’ll tell you what happened. Another Halloween tradition disappeared in favor of the expedient mini candy bars and other junk from conglomerate candy. My orange and black jelly beans will never meet in a Brach’s bag again. Somehow I feel a wee bit sadder for that. And to think, they were only 99 cents. Oh, the Horror.