Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween and the World's Scariest Candy

Brothers, Sisters, and Transgendered Comedists Everywhere,

For those who will be in the Baltimore area, I'll be appearing at T.Brad Hudson's "Drink 'til We're Funny" at Damon's in Hunt Valley Sunday night. The show runs 9-11. Love to see those who can make it.

Halloween came and went. It's always a tough time for us because TheWife and I are those parents everyone is glad they don't have. You know, those vegetarian organic tofu for dinner parents. The "we keep our kids away from candy" parents. So, Halloween is a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, you want them to have the experience of trick or treating, but on the other hand, for kids who can't eat candy, it is kind of like taking a eunuch to a brothel on customer appreciation night.

So, we take them trick or treating. My son had an eye patch and a bandana, a fake parrot and a sword. He went as an investment bank CEO. Unfortunately, all the homes we visited were soon foreclosed upon afterwards because only one person in the neighborhood actually bought candy, all the others just bought insurance against running out of treats before the end of the trick or treaters, the unregulated so-called candy default swaps. If you buy one from your next door neighbor, they call you an across the hedge fund. Everything was going fine until Mr. Lehman ran out of M&M's, and then the whole house of cards came down. All the kids started calling in candy iou's for the next few Halloweens and it got ugly. On the upside, our last stop was the Paulson's and the kids came home with 780 billion fun-sized Milky Way bars.

Gotta love candy. "Almond Joy's got nuts, Mounds don't." I always wondered what this chick Joy was doing was nuts. Shouldn't she be the one with the mounds? Candy jokes never get big laughs, but good ones get a few snickers.

Have you heard about the newest candy on the market? From the Vosges' Chocolate Company, there's Mo's Bacon Bar. Yup, three ounces of milk chocolate with crispy pieces of Applewood smoked bacon inside.

I don't blame Mo for this. We all have ideas that seemed good at the time. I blame the second person. We all have a second person, someone we excitedly take those ideas that seemed good at the time, the person whose job it is to say, "Ummmm, no." The person who keeps us off the Darwin Award list, who keeps us from ending up like Wile E. Coyote. This was a failure of the second person. I would love to have been in that corporate meeting room:

"O.k., Mo. What do you folks in R&D got for us this time?"

"Follow me, Mr. Vosges. The key to success in the food industry today? Synergy. Think fast-food. Bacon. Chesseburger. Bacon-cheeseburger. Think ice cream and Pop Tarts. Graham crackers. Chocolate. Marshmallow. Synergistic smory goodness. So, what can we do to move ahead in this market? We need to outsynergize the synergizers. Take the bacon-cheeseburger and the smore and synergize.

Stay with me. Graham crackers. Chocolate. Two slices of bacon. Instead of a marshmallow, a big piece of fat back. What do you think, Mr. Vosges?"

"Mo, I like the concept. But my father, the old man Vosges, didn't build this company up from nothing without knowing something about the business and he always said to me, 'Simplify, son, simplify.' So, Mo, can you simplify?"

"O.k., Mr. Vosgas. Simplify. Let's take away the graham crackers and the fat back. Just chocolate covered bacon!"

"Mo, you're a genius. Now, how are we going to market it? What can we call it?"

"O.k., we have bacon from a BLT and chocolate from an M&M, we'll call it BM. No, no, no. We have crunchy chocolate and pork, like a Crackle and Scrapple. We'll call it Crapple, no, Scrackle."

"Simplify, Mo, simplify."

"O.k., we have a chocolate bar and bacon, we'll call it a Bacon Bar!"

"Mo, you're a genius. This'll sell better than our fried shrimp candy canes! In fact, we'll make our big push around Valentine's Day. Sell them in a heart shaped box for lovers. We can write on the box, "Want to pork something sweet? Put a little oink in your boink."

"Mr. Vosges. That's why you're the boss."

"Thanks, Mo."

Happy Halloween everyone!

Live, laugh, and love,

Irreverend Steve