I was standing before a university vending machine today, pondering which confection I should purchase with my $1.70. Yes, $1.70. It's an outrage, at that price. Why, when I saw that expense, I seriously considered going back downstairs, packing up my books from the computer lab, bringing them back upstairs to my office, grabbing my coat, walking to the nearest convenience store and... yeah, way too much work to save a quarter.
So anyway, I was standing before a university vending machine today, pondering which confection I should purchase with my $1.70. The choices were considered with great care. I ruled out gum; too pedestrian. Chips, while a fine choice, delivered just enough salt and grease to furnish a craving for more. But what else? An Oh Henry? Too nutty. A Crunch bar? Too thin. A Turkish Delight? Not unless you're in Narnia. Then my eyes came to rest on item F2: Chewy Everlasting Gobstoppers. My moral outrage knew no bounds.
The chewy franchise is fairly simple, conceptually: you take something traditionally crunchy, and make it chewy instead. I quite enjoy chewy Runts. I'm even fond of chewy Nerds, though in practice what you actually get is chewy, almost-gum, given the size and quantity of Nerds in an average pack. But Chewy Everlasting Gobstoppers? It was an aperitive oxymoron. The gobstoppers derive their name from the Roald Dahl's series of Books to Terrify and Scar Children, specifically from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. Willy I'm-Making-These-Five-Kids-Compete-for-a-Chance-to-Come-Live-With-Me Wonka developed them with the notion that they could be sucked on indefinitely. The real-life brand, like so many Wonka products, is not quite so accommodating. But, being from the jawbreaker family of candy, they do last a long time. Making them chewy removes their chief appeal. They're certainly not jaw breakers any longer. Can they still be gobstoppers? The philosophical, philological, and physiological question before us: can they, in fact, stop a gob?
I pondered this question for a few minutes, and bought a Cookies and Cream bar.