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Candy Bar Tales

June 22, 2009


I am decidedly not a creature of habit.   I’m more a creature of pattern and routine.  Please don’t ask me what would be the difference between them conceptually.   I don’t know the answer, but I’m determined to find one.

Consequently, I’m entering the seventh month of unemployment and as I’ve stated many times, boredom is my biggest adversary.  I have no problem living bare bones. In broadcasting you learn how to do that early on, what with all the lay-off, mass firings because of a format change and different owners running through the building with what amounts to a huge bottle of Massengill, cleansing and purging the old and squeezing in the new…

…and younger and cheaper.

So Monday, I did as I always do.  I opened my Sandman encrusted peepers to a cloud of dust and cat fur around 5:25 am. I got out of bed to a chorus of  cracking bones and popping sinew.  Then I cursed the process of aging; grabbed a Coke (I don’t drink coffee) then turned on my TV and computer in that order.

I answered a few e-mails.  Then checked my blog, then sat down to a screen full of jobs I’ll never get.   I’m a finalist for a position with Harris County (which is essentially the entire city of Houston) and I probably won’t hear from them for a few more weeks.     I lost my most recent job (well, actually it ended on Halloween of ’08) and I’ve not been employed full time since then.   I did some investigating  and I do believe that in that time spanse,  I’ve sent close to 500 applications and resumes to various corporate entities here in Houston, Ft. Worth and San Antonio.

The response?    Resounding silence.

I’ve only had two, one-on-one interviews and that’s all.   Around here, I’m seeing these jobs advertised, yet never filled from outside sources, because I do believe most of them are EEOC cover ups  for well thought out in-house promotions, which I think is Latin for nepotism.   And even though I’m a finalist for the position I mentioned earlier, it’s far from being completely in the bag,  so I keep looking…just in case.   

After applying for every position with with the word ‘media’ in its description, I got this overwhelming jones for chocolate.   Those who know me know that’s unusual.   I’m not much of a candy freak; chocolate either,  but this morning, I knew could injure somebody if I didn’t get a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar with Almonds in my pie whole soon.

I removed what was left of last week’s makeup, put on something loose  that would hide a multitude of evils, and schlepped across the street to a grocery store.

Now,  seeing that I hardly eat sweet stuff, I actually had to look for the candy counter things near the registers.  Once I got there, I was blown away by the size of these things.   They’re hardly as large as they were when I was a kid.   And no, that’s not because I was smaller then and everything seemed much bigger.    Not in this case at all.   The size of these bars had shrunk.

Hershey bar outside

I grabbed one, paid for it, then walked back in the heat and oppressive humidity of a Houston summer morning, unwilling to wait to open it until returning to my tastefully appointed home with it’s ethnic tiles, hardwoods and conditioned air.

I took a bite as I walked and much to my surprise, I got a mouth full of chocolate and a few tiny pieces of almond.    What the hell was this??

The last time I had one of these  Hershey bastards, it was not only larger, but chock full of whole almonds.   Yes, WHOLE almonds,  but not these.  These were  shards.    I took a look at my candy bar with it’s crescent shape bite taken out of it and I saw for myself:  it contained a mere essence of almonds.    Microscopic pieces.


Don’t let this Madison Avenue concocted Hershey bar photo fool you.  Like my ex, it’s a fake, a fraud–chocolatey lie.  The bars pictured above are photo diddled; or perhaps the product of a special batch that makes them look thick and rich and just as almondy as hell.    Mine looked NOTHING like that.  It was flat, hardly as shiny and nut free as far as I could tell.  I ate well up to the “R” before I bit down on any semblance of almond.

And again, let me reiterate:  I couldn’t believe how small it was.  It fit in my  hand with a little wiggle room.   And my hands are small.  Just under six 5.5 inches from the tip of me Nasty Finger down to the first wrist wrinkle.   And never you mind how I know for a fact that my palm is five and a half inches from bow to stern, alright?

Well, I went ahead and ate the damned thing, but I resented every second of it.

Then,  that got me thinking about something  my oldest sister Babs did relating to candy bars  that I only recently found out about in the last ten years or so.

Babs is just over seven years older than me.   We weren’t that close growing up, but we’ve made up for that as adults.   Anyway, the Sisters Poltiss were raised in a small berg in South Central Texas.    We weren’t as cosmopolitan as our big city brethren like kids from Fashing, Coy City or Gillette, so we had to learn about life and all its periphery glory as best  we could.    TV was our main link to the outside world, but we only watched that when we couldn’t play outside.  

Babs has always loved toffee and milk chocolate together and the classic Heath Bar by Hershey allowed her to get her fix whenever she needed it.     You’re familiar with Heath bars, right?


See the bar? ?  Nice wrapper, right?   Well, this is a contemporary candy bar casing.   It was a little different back in the 60’s when Babs was in grade school and cravin’ Heaths.    See the two “H’s” at the beginning and the end of the word?   They’re rather pronounced, while the E ,  the A and T are wedged smaller on top of the blue arc thing.    Back in the days of, Car 54 Where Are You, Hazel and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, the style was different.  It was written out in a large,  New York Times print font and the two H’s were far  larger and more in your face.

Well as a result,  my sister Babs in all her precious innocence, never knew it was called a “Heath” bar.    She thought (by virtue of it’s spelling)  it was an “H-eat-H”  bar.  Yeah, as in one H would cannibalize the other.   So, bless her heart, she’d get a hankering for one, then saunter over to the Rexall drug store, the 7- 11 or any other purveyor of chocolatey goods and ask the person behind the counter for an “H-eat-H” bar.   That’s all she’d say.   She’d look them dead in the eye and simply say, “H-eat-H” bar.

To their credit, they never said anything or tried to correct her, but eventually they understood it was a candy bar that she wanted.

Babs has fond memories of her youthful days with chocolate covered toffee bars, but what she doesn’t know is that the populace of our hometown was convinced  she was mentally retarded until about age  23…not long after my sister finally learned to speak, spell and count with her feet..


12 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2009 6:23 pm

    With this heat, you really had no choice but to eat it on the way home.

  2. June 22, 2009 7:41 pm

    Three Musketeers! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . creamy nougat.

  3. Blanche permalink
    June 22, 2009 7:44 pm


    If I’m writing under an assumed name, so are you. You are now Blanche and Babs is Babs.

    You are married to Luther. Babs is married to Homer and I am still righteously single. But if I were to find the future Mr. Poltiss, on this blog he would be called “Rudyard”.

  4. kevinemmons permalink
    June 23, 2009 12:31 am

    Thank God your back!

  5. Blanche permalink
    June 23, 2009 7:28 am

    Got to take Homer to get blood work done and hospital paperwork completed for his knee surgery. Heard that’s awfully painful and recovery is hard. He needs a total knee replacement.

    Any comments on this?

  6. Blanche permalink
    June 23, 2009 7:29 am

    Sorry, did I say Homer? I meant Luther. teehee

  7. Chris permalink
    June 23, 2009 3:40 pm

    Ultimate product shrinkage: Premium gasoline $3.03 per gallon, last time I checked the past week.

  8. June 23, 2009 4:55 pm

    Not only did they used to be bigger, they were a nickel apiece! And if you bought SIX, you got them all for a quarter.

    Those were the days.

    They tasted better then, too. I think they add way too much paraffin nowadays. Makes ’em last longer and keeps those summertime worms away, but you lose out in flavor and consistency.

  9. Luther McLeod permalink
    June 24, 2009 6:56 am

    Wait, what happened? Did I miss something?


    No, fear not….we’re just borrowing your name.


  10. Blanche permalink
    June 24, 2009 10:12 am

    Sorry, Luther, Laurie’s fault.

  11. Luther McLeod permalink
    June 25, 2009 7:52 pm

    Okay, LK and Blanche. As long as I don’t have to walk over any tin roofs. They’re hot you know, and not the delightful kind.


    Luther Honey,

    How did I know you’d get all “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” on me? I knew you would. Was it my “Big Daddy” reference?

    Or did you mean Blanche (my sister, Karol) from another another southern based Tennessee Williams play…”Streetcare Named Desire”?


  12. Luther McLeod permalink
    June 28, 2009 12:43 pm


    I plea temporary Alzheimer’s for my abuse of metaphor. And it was Blanche, not ‘Big Daddy’. Course now that reminds me of Sugar Daddies just to get things back on topic. Another candy that was better in the old days.

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