starting this off by declaring myself an Anglophile. Then, after giving
it some serious thought (eight seconds), I realized that's not entirely
accurate. I have no real interest in the history of England. Nor am I
interested in the architecture or most of the culture. I simply am an
avid consumer of British entertainment. And I also find the Union
Jack's aesthetics to be wonderful. I also really wish I had an English
accent, but some things are just not meant to be.
My three favorite musical acts are all
British. The Beatles, The Smiths, and Depeche Mode. If I had to count
Morrissey separately from The Smiths, he'd be in the four spot. Hell,
probably the majority of my top ten acts are probably British as well.
Except I don't have an official top ten. "Favorites" list that are
officially ranked past the first five places are uncivilized.
I first saw my favorite currently
running show, Extras, after downloading episodes that aired on the BBC.
Even just saying "BBC" is fun. "What's on the BBC tonight? 'Are You
Being Served?' Ugh. Well, looks like I'll be reading a book!" Awesome.
Which leads us, of course, into the
subject of English candy. When I was in London, I bought a Big Kat,
before they were introduced in the US. I am rather surprised they made
the trip "over the pond" (awesome), because Big Kats are awful. You
completely screwed up the chocolate to crisp ratio, Hershey! Some
things are simply too delicate to be messed with.
Point being, my history with English
candy is not an entirely great one. Until, that is, about a year ago
when I first saw the wrapper for the Yorkie bar. I didn't care what
kind of candy it was. What drew me in was the wrapper, which is
attention grabbing to say the least. Next to the Yorkie name, was a big
picture of the symbol for the women's bathroom, in a crossed out circle.
That's a horrible description. Is there an official term for those
crossed out circle things? That sounds like a child describing it.
Beneath the name and symbol, is the tag
line "IT'S NOT FOR GIRLS!" What the hell?
Upon seeing this, thoughts raced
through my mind. What kind of food is this, that makes it unacceptable
for girls to eat? Is it made of synthetic testosterone? Beard stubble?
The next thought I had was, imagine the
whirlwind of fury that would occur should this be released in the US.
As humorous as the tag line is supposed to be, we all know that
Americans have no sense of humor about humorous things. Taken at face
value, the tag line is quite offensive. What if it said "IT'S
NOT FOR JEWS!"? "IT'S NOT FOR THE HANDICAPPED!"? "WHITES
But of course, people who aren't
ignorant or involved in politics realize that the "IT'S NOT FOR
GIRLS!" slogan is meant completely in jest. It's not offensive. If it
is, it's offensive in the same way Mountain Dew's advertising is
offensive to the elderly or out of shape. Or in the way a BMW ad is
offensive to poor people. Or, most accurately, it's as offensive as
calling a large TV dinner a Hungry Man. Actually, I take that back.
Hungry Man TV dinners are offensive. How dare they insinuate
that I would reduce myself to eating something like that? I'll stick to
my string cheese and ramen noodles, thank you very much.
As is often the case, all of this
excitement faded, and my interest in this curious item waned fairly
Until the day one arrived at my door. Without
I literally had no idea it would be
arriving. I was expecting a package from someone, and this had been
thrown in there as an extra accompaniment. As if something of this
magnitude could be "just something extra". The inclusion of the Yorkie
bar was described by the sender as "a surprise". An understatement of
that magnitude borders on perverse. Having this sent to you unannounced
is a surprise on the level of finding out your father is actually
your own son. Yeah, it's that deep.
And there it was. In my hands. Its
shiny blue wrapper, filled with delicious misogyny. But what do I do
with it? That answer wound up being rather simple, and pretty
inglorious: leave it on my desk.
I will admit, I am usually awful at
making decisions. My answer to where I want to eat is "I don't know".
My answer to a yes or no question is "I guess". I don't know what I
want to order from the drive thru until it's my turn, forcing me to go
into a panic, and order $12 worth of food from Taco Bell. It also
happens at restaurants; I don't make up my mind until the waiter asks
me, which results in me hurriedly picking something, and being filled
with immediate remorse.
Given that enthralling history lesson,
it is understandable that I didn't do anything with the Yorkie bar.
What could I do, eat it? Absolutely not. Then I couldn't show it to
people. I couldn't show it to girls and say, "You can't have this; it's
not for you." I know what you're thinking, but don't be too
surprised... sometimes my humor does get that intellectual.
Eventually, I gave up. I couldn't
resist. I had to know. What lay beneath the confines of the
wrapper? Was it a hulking mass, awkward and lumpy like a Baby Ruth? In
fact, that's the only thing I thought it could be. What better shape
for a manly candy bar than the shape of man himself: awkward and lumpy.
It would be a deep, rich brown. With lots of pieces sticking out. It
will contain almonds, peanuts, Twizzlers, bolts, entire Brazil nuts.
This is what must make up such a glorious, manly piece of food.
So I did the unthinkable... I disrobed
the mighty Yorkie bar.
It's hard to describe my reaction to
the exposed bar. How do I put into words the complex feelings making
the emotional round-trip commute from my heart to my mind? How can
human vocabulary somehow seem so ineffectual, so... limited? I pondered
this, and after making a movie-montage effort, I came up with this to
describe the way I felt:
: - \
Come on, are you kidding me? The
legendary Yorkie bar was simply a bland looking series of boxes?
My disappointment was great, but it was
not yet at boiling point. It was gently simmering over medium to low
heat. I still had hope for the candy itself, but the initial blow of
disappointment was proving hard to recover from. Steadying myself, I
trudged on. I hefted the admittedly heavy bar, and went for it. This
time, my feelings and emotions were clear:
IT IS PLAIN MILK CHOCOLATE.
I give up.
Then I became self conscious. Was I
feeling this disappointment because I was not meant to enjoy this? Was
I somehow breaking their "NOT FOR GIRLS" commandment? Were they
demeaning my masculinity? Well screw that. At least I'm not the
one that tastes like crap.
When I get a Hershey assortment, the
first thing I do is what every other sensible person does: immediately
try to get rid of the plain Hershey bars. Whether that means giving
them to someone who doesn't know any better or throwing them out, it
doesn't matter. Just get them away from me. And Krackle barely makes
the cut; it gets the chocolate GED.
So don't tell me that I am expected to
take a mound of milk chocolate and like it. And don't you DARE tell me
that not liking it makes me less of a man. Trust me, there are many
more things in my life that make me less of a man. Distaste for awful
candy bars is not one of them.
England, you may have your creative
music, your wonderfully dry humor, your adorable accents and phrases,
and a overall better way of life. But if you think you have superior
candy output, you're crazy. A Take 5 bar kicks the Yorkie bar square in
the nuts. Oh I forgot, it doesn't have any. OH SNAP.
God Bless America!