I inherited precious little from my father, a graduate of Duke University and Columbia Law School.
Indeed, my dad, who passed away almost a year ago, enjoyed all the things that smart people liked. He read Plato and Aristotle for fun. He not only enjoyed opera for how it sounded, he understood what the heck they were singing about. He claimed—and I have no reason to doubt him—that he had a streak from 1952 to about 2006 when he completed every New York Times crossword puzzle. In short, my dad was beyond intelligent.
I, on the other hand, know how to make flatulence noises with no fewer than six different body parts.
My father was not perfect—far from it—but he did pass along one thing to his youngest offspring: his prodigious sweet tooth.
It’s not hyperbole for me to say that I have yet to come across anyone who loved dessert more than my dad. No lie. Right after I was admitted to the Connecticut Bar, my friend Joe and his wife wanted help closing on their first house. I brought my father along for backup. To this day, Joe talks about how he constantly had to keep refilling the candy dish that my father kept emptying at an unholy rate.
You’d think someone with an affinity for consuming sugary confections would be morbidly obese, but he was thin as a rail. He smoked and inhaled a pipe, ate whatever he wanted and did a lot more to abuse his body, yet he lived to be 78. He was a miracle of science, really.
Anyway, apparently he and I were joined at the sweet tooth. Sweets are my kryptonite. Indeed, I have such a special relationship with the stuff that I can honestly say that I am a candy ninja.
I’ll never know how many licks it takes to get to the end of a Tootsie Pop, but I’m pretty sure I know how many of the delicious lollies it takes before I get the Type 2 diabetes (about 312,769).
Speaking of which, some of my favorite memories of my father centered around Halloween. Some people get psyched for the dressing up. Others for decorating their homes. My father was a non-practicing Jew, but even he would admit that his Christmas came every Oct. 31 because the stores were awash in candy. Sweet, delicious candy.
When I was little and returned home from trick-or-treating, he was the first one at my bag, unloading the contents on the floor so he could pick out the Tootsie Rolls, his personal favorite. You read that right. My father, the corporate lawyer, stole candy from a baby. [Insert mean lawyer joke here.]
As I got older and Halloween approached, I would stand incredulous in the supermarket aisle as dad loaded up the shopping cart in anticipation of what he claimed would be a steady stream of kids at our door. As I can recall, in the 15 years I lived in Stamford, we never had one trick-or-treater stop by the two houses in which we lived—one being way too remote for cars to even know we were there and the other right off a major thoroughfare in town.
Anyway, I have a lot of fond memories and strong opinions associated with candy, all of which you will read right here every month—in addition to having to listen to my superego/arch nemesis, who will hereinafter be known as “The Yogurt Siren.” But while this monthly column will gravitate toward my personal views on the stuff, I’d love to hear from you as to what your favorite, and not-so-favorite (Necco Wafers, anyone?) candies are.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below.