I’m sitting at my desk eating a fun-size Snickers that I purchased to give away to trick or treaters for Halloween. I just read that Snickers pack more fat and sugar into each chewy bar than almost any other candy.
Well yeah, that’s why they’re so delicious. I think I’ll have another (don’t tell my Paleo buddies — when you eat like a caveman, it only takes a sniff of carbs to send you into a full-blown sugar coma).
Now I’m thinking that whomever came up with the term “fun-size” is a marketing genius. I’m officially having fun right now — caramel is stuck between teeth, chocolate is releasing love endorphins in my brain that are making me want to hug my cat, and those peanuts are giving me just the little protein punch I need to finish writing this column.
I love Halloween. The modern day take on Samhain has given me an excuse to load up on crappy candy that I’d never buy otherwise. It also gives me the excuse to wear outrageous outfits and decorate my house with bones and dead things. In past years, I’ve written about child obesity and dental decay, costume drama and expense, and the dangers of letting one’s kids take candy from strangers. But this year, I’ve decided to let go and embrace the decadence of Halloween, especially since I live in the Cesspool of Sin.
As radio quiz show host Peter Sagal noted in his recent promotion piece for WCQS: “It took years of dedication and hard work by all of you pagans, cryptosexuals, heretics, pantheists, alchemists and textile artists, but you did it. You beat out Wilmington and Chapel Hill as the place no right-thinking North Carolinian would ever set foot in, even for a skinny latte at Malaprop’s.”
Let’s keep Asheville sinful, as Peter asks. And other than donating to WCQS (because we all know how dirty public radio can be), we can celebrate Asheville on the day dedicated to pagan rituals and dressing up as devils and such to ward off, well, devils and such.
My kids have noticed the Cesspool of Sin T-shirts adorning the bodies of many Ashvilleans recently and asked what they mean. I explained that N.C. Sen. Jim Forrester called Asheville that because of the town’s thriving LGBT community. My kids were appropriately shocked, because, thank the witches, it’s never occurred to them that some people consider homosexuality a sin.
My daughter asked, “How did Sen. Forrester get elected?” What an opportunity to explain the flawed two-party system and the deep divisions between Democrats and Republicans in this country. I didn’t take that opportunity, but it was there.
We did discuss how some folks (notably those lefties who work in radio) are smart enough to embrace a phrase that was meant to be demeaning. Of course, it helps that it’s a particularly well-turned and memorable phrase. Really, Asheville should thank Sen. Forrester for being so colorful.
There are many reasons I love living here. One being that so many folks here understand satire (and those that don’t often make me laugh as well). Two being that people here know how to celebrate Halloween (Zombie walks, parties, costumed crusaders for weeks leading up to the big night). A third reason for loving Asheville is because many of us embrace being sinners.
The difficult part of my conversation with my kids concerned the relativity of sin. Yes, there are black and white rules — don’t kill other people is one of them. But wait, doesn’t the U.S. government kill other people? Why yes, it does — both in wars and in execution chambers. OK, kids, so that’s a rule that holds true for most people, but not all, because … sheesh, Sen. Forrester, thanks for putting me in this position.
So I started writing about crappy candy and ended up explaining the death penalty to my kids.
Happy Halloween. Welcome to our cozy, confusing cesspool.