The candy that started it all:

Found on a bus bench in a stinky part of town, this bag of alleged candy is being guarded by a wary, basketball playing squirrel.

I used to be scared of squirrels, more than sharks, even, because they sit up on their hind legs like miniature kangaroos but their tails have no support mechanism. They will climb anyone with a peanut - which can't be good - and they chatter incessantly when you poke them.

But this squirrel was different. I saw it on the bus bench - I was on my way, on foot, to a bar with $2 pints of beer and a flashing neon Elvis bust on the wall - and I was not scared by the squirrel. Interestingly, I was prompted by the anti-advertising of it, because obviously these people don't care about how well their jujubes sell if they put crack-addled packaging like this around them. The concept of a basketball playing squirrel also entranced me.

Squirrels can't play basketball! Not if all they eat is jujubes! There's no energy in jujubes. Only sugar - and that will make little diabetic squirrels...but I digress.

When the squirrel revolution occurs, I will be well armed with bribes. What will you carry?

So, I thought the jujubes were a one-off. I almost liked them better that way, because that makes them even stranger. Then, one afternoon, I travelled across town to meet a friend and stopped at a grocery store to pick up garlic bread and donuts. On my way to the checkout, the corner of my eye caught this bag of jelly beans.
I don't even like jelly beans. But, as you can see, it's a chipmunk making a sand castle. She has her bucket nearby and a shovel, and she's wearing a green tank top with a flower on it. And with no further explanation, the bag says "Jelly beans. Bonbons haricots" The end.
The best part, though? On the back, at the bottom of the list of ingredients, in bold text reads: may contain traces of peanuts and/or other nuts.
An explanation! I think gleefully. The Squirrels and Chipmunks have obviously taken over the candy factory! They're making everything with nuts, even jelly beans, and they're using their children as models! That's why the girl chipmunk isn't smiling and why the boy squirrel (see above) looks as though he's been brainwashed. Child, er, rodent-baby labour!

Can you imagine an entire factory run by squirrels and chipmunks? I mean, think of the logistics -the machines would have to be their size, and the little hard hats, not to mention little steel toed boots and coveralls with their names stitched over the pockets...unless, of course, they're GIANT RODENTS!

I wasn't going to eat the candy in the first place, but I'm really not eating it now.

On another evening and another trip to the (same, I might add) grocery store, I made another quick trip to the candy isle. I was led by my observant eye to a packet of sour worms/vers surs with a coy boy raccoon eyeing a snail with his magnifying glass.

Is this the scientist raccoon? Is he the researcher who goes out in the field and reports back to the factory with "worms are good, snails probably not so much in a jelly candy"? Did he have to go to school and get a Ph.D in candy-ology to get this job? And what must the snail be thinking: "Man, that raccoon is really stoned"? or "When do I get my own candy package? I've been slogging it out in children's books for years?"

The other possibility, of course, is that the candy factory is not run by rodents (but is a raccoon a rodent? no, it's a little bear!) but by minimum wage-earning hippy mushroom eaters. The sales and quality control department was eliminated in the last giant purge and the $8.00 an hour kids are running the show. "Dude, let's put fucked up animals on all the candy packages. Who cares, man, no one even knows we're here."

Then, after all my theorizing about rodents and stoners and sugar, I realize it's not just about candy. It's about the domination of our species - the humans - by theirs - the rodents. What you need to know about the couponed item is that it is a cheese string product (whatever the hell that is) with an ice skating bear to recommend it. What you might not be able to see is the assortment of other hockey playing animals in the background.

This is cheddar flavour. The mozzarella flavour features a bear in a toga, wearing a laurel leaf crown, with the coliseum in Rome in the background.

No, I can't connect "bear" and "cheese" in my head, or "bear" and "hockey" (shouldn't he be hibernating...or on an all-night 'shroom binge with the raccoon?) but for some reason "cheese" and "hockey" are real logical. I guess I'm more Canadian than I thought.

now, more strange candy! go here now, please!

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