Candy corn: threat or menace?

Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 10/30/19

Our country is deeply divided and polarized.

No, the issue isn’t Trump or political tribalism.

It’s candy corn.

Let’s, um, triangulate. You either love it or hate this …

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Candy corn: threat or menace?

Mann Overboard


Our country is deeply divided and polarized.

No, the issue isn’t Trump or political tribalism.

It’s candy corn.

Let’s, um, triangulate. You either love it or hate this stuff. There’s no middle ground on this Halloween issue.

Candy corn is the lima beans of candy. It’s usually the last thing left in many trick or treaters’ bags every year, and much of it gets tossed. I cannot abide the sight of those accursed little isosceles triangles, leave alone their gooey taste and the cheap and overpowering sugar rush they impart. But, hey, that’s just me.

I hated the stuff as a kid, even though I like both candy and corn. But surprisingly, candy corn, at least judging by Twitter, has many defenders (#candycorn) as well as many of us haters.

Volcanic comedian Lewis Black asserts, “Nothing proves just how dumb we are collectively as a people as candy corn.” (Well, maybe not everything). Black is selling candy-corn-hater T-shirts.

I dislike candy corn as much as I loathe not being able to turn on the radio this week without hearing Bobby “Boris” Pickett singing “The Monster Mash” endlessly.

So, in the interest of informing the debate, here are…

Four things you didn’t know about candy corn:

1. The CIA has been using it for years as an “enhanced interrogation technique.”

Among the many classified documents leaked by Wikileaks was a largely overlooked report detailing the CIA’s forced-feeding of candy corn to suspected Al Qaeda prisoners. The documents reveal that it proved far more effective in getting sensitive information than waterboarding ever did.

2. Dental staffs loathe candy corn.

You may be surprised, however, by the reason. The little buggers are loaded with sugar and many people keep their dentists on speed-dial around Halloween. True, it’s good for dentists’ cash flow. But…normal dental tools and office air compressors won’t get the stuff completely off patients’ teeth. In fact, some dental hygienists rent industrial power washers to effectively remove all of it from patients’ sucrose-encrusted choppers. This unwieldy process is often performed in dentists’ parking lots.

3. There are landfills devoted entirely to surplus candy corn.

Candy corn is non-biodegradable, and most waste-management companies won’t touch the stuff. It must be carefully sorted and then trucked to a few special sites around the country in remote areas – e.g., the one at the federal nuclear storage site out in Hanford. EPA officials say they’re as worried about candy-corn leakage into the aquifers as they are about nuclear-waste seepage.

4. Most candy corn was manufactured around 1943.

Candy corn is the unwanted byproduct of a failed wartime manufacturing experiment that extruded food-like substances to make flotation devices for U.S. troops. (But there was a war on, and few noticed this failed experiment.) The Defence Department was literally stuck with tons of excess sugary material. It was briefly used as ballast for the U.S. Navy during World War II, but when the sugary substance began rotting the hulls of warships, the government quietly sold its stockpiles of the yellow-and-white goo to candy purveyors, who embraced its unlimited shelf life. Candy companies now sell their extra inventory to Third World Countries. They use it to pave roads.


Eating With The Undead Head

Zombies have been the hot thing in horror for years. Fake zomboids lurch around college campuses “eating” other students, and cable’s “Walking Dead” has been TV’s highest-rated scripted series.

I didn’t see any of this coming years ago when I lunched with actor Bruce Campbell, famous for his Ash Williams demon fighter in the seminal zombie flick  “Evil Dead,” and later, in Starz’ series “Ash Versus The Evil Dead.”

I had no idea who Campbell was. I knew he’d done “Evil Dead,” but I assumed it was just another small-budget “splat” film with chainsaws.

Campbell was on a publicity tour for an NBC TV-movie. He was pleasant enough, and as soon as we started lunch in a pizza place in Petaluma, near San Francisco, other diners began coming up to our table and gushing, “Are you Bruce Campbell?” Obviously they’d seen “Evil Dead.” I had no idea it had achieved cult-film status. He dutifully signed autographs.

Back out on the street, same deal. Total strangers kept walking up and asking excitedly,  “Are you Bruce Campbell?” and asking for autographs. So what was I, dead meat?

Oops, wrong question.

(PT humor purveyor Bill Mann is, as yet, undead.


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Justin Hale

You should have gone to the lunch dressed as a Pizza Zombie, although in Petaluma you might have passed as one of the locals.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019