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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
that is) with an ice skating bear to recommend it. What you might not
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.