I don’t really like Twizzlers. I mean, I like them okay, but that’s just not how you’re supposed to feel about a piece of candy. If you’re not excited about it, then what’s the point? But at the same time, it technically is candy. You can’t just throw out a piece of candy. Hence, every time I somehow acquire one of these little red sticks of disheartening mediocrity, I get stuck in this terrible stalemate with myself—unable to eat it, unable to throw it out, able only to regard it with a disdainful, “Eh.”
That’s why, when someone gave me a Twizzler two years ago, I didn’t eat it. I didn’t throw it out. Instead, I stuck it in the pocket of my winter coat to forget about. Last winter, a year ago, I noticed it was still there. Once again, I faced a familiar dilemma—couldn’t eat it, couldn’t throw it out. I just went, “Eh,” and tucked it back into my pocket.
This winter, I found it again. I took it out of my coat, looked at it with quiet disappointment, and was about to stick it back in there, when it suddenly occurred to me! The answer to my two-year stalemate:
FEED IT TO SOMEBODY ELSE.
Of course! Why hadn’t I put it all together before?! It was the perfect way to get the accursed rod of licorice out of my pocket, while also proving an opportunity for a small bit of hilarious evil.
The only problem was, no one was gonna want to eat a two-year old piece of licorice. I could’ve omitted the two-year-old bit of information when I was offering it to potential victims, but that didn’t seem right. I had to tell them what was wrong with it at least once before they ate it. Otherwise, it would hardly be sporting. Plus, where was the challenge? Hence, I knew this would have to be a long-term project. My winter 2011-2012 goal: to tell one of my friends that this piece of licorice is two years old, and get them to ingest it for me anyway.
So, I offered Katie the licorice in late November and told her it was two years old. She declined to eat it.
I offered Grant the licorice in mid-December and told him it was two years old. He, too, declined to eat it.
But there I stopped my search for potential victims, and lay in wait like a patient spider who had just finished spinning her web. Before the winter was out, the flies would come. It would be Katie or Grant. They would get hungry, they would be drunk, they would forget just how old it was… One or all of these factors would unwittingly lead one of them right into the licorice trap.
This brings us to this past Monday, January 9th, 2012. Katie and I were walking to meet a friend in DC. She was hungry, it had been over a month since I had offered the licorice to her… She wasn’t drunk, but still, things were falling into place. The following scene shortly took place:
Katie: I’m so hungry! Where is Jamie? I want dinner!
Ann: How hungry are you?
Katie: I’m really freaking hungry!
Ann: Well, in that case, do you want a piece of candy?
Katie: Candy? Yes! Give it to me now!
Ann: (Offering Twizzler from pocket) Here you go.
Katie: (Hesitating) Wait. That Twizzler. What’s wrong with it?
Ann: What do you mean?
Katie: I can’t explain it, but I feel like something’s wrong with that Twizzler. Did you tell me something was wrong with it?
Ann: Well, it’s a Twizzler, so that’s what’s wrong with it.
Katie: I dunno… (Pause as she vacillates between common sense and reckless abandon.) Well, okay! (Taking the Twizzler) Thanks!
Ann: You’re welcome.
Katie: (Biting into it) Oh, sweet Jesus! It’s rock hard! What’s wrong with you? How old is this?!
Ann: TWO YEARS OLD! IT’S TWO YEARS OLD! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’M FREE! I’M FINALLY FREE!!!
Ann: Do you hate that I’m your best friend?
Katie: YES. BECAUSE YOU’RE TERRIBLE.
She got over it, though.
Now, for the sake of those I love, no one had better give me any more Twizzlers.