“a real vacation, the kind where you get on a train and go somewhere“
December 31, 2019 5:33 PM   Subscribe

In the morning before I set out [from Harper’s Ferry], the innkeeper said to me: If you go into the olde-timey candy store in the Lower Town, the woman who runs it will ask you if you have been there before. SAY YES, YOU HAVE. This is very important. If you say no, she will start explaining the olde times to you and she won’t stop, and you will never be able to leave. She warned me this the way Marya Morevna in The Death of Koschei the Deathless warns Prince Ivan not to open a certain dungeon door in her castle, and if he does, not to do anything asked of him by a man he might find chained up inside.
This is an excerpt from the latest post on Wolf Tree. If you like that excerpt you’ll like the rest of this post and the other posts too.
posted by Kattullus (16 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
This is good and I sould like to sumcribm to yn nslttr
posted by mwhybark at 5:52 PM on December 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

Loved the first entry!

Confession: after I read it, I remembered that I still had a pack of candy cigarettes stashed in the Halloween candy my toddler acquired while trick-or-treating so I promptly retrieved it and ate two.

Though that led me to other questions: unlike the candy cigarettes I grew up with in India, these don't have red tips (they were the best for smearing on your lips and pretending you were wearing lipstick). Also, completely hard, not even slightly chewy - is this just how American candy cigarettes are? Enquiring minds wish to know.
posted by peacheater at 5:54 PM on December 31, 2019 [3 favorites]

The confectionery cigs of my childhood are now FADS Fun Sticks, mysterious white cylinders that only bear a vestigial resemblance to cigarettes.
posted by zamboni at 6:09 PM on December 31, 2019 [3 favorites]

It has been a long time since I had a candy cigarette, they went out of fashion even before I stopped trick-or-treating 40 years ago, but they were always chalky and dry, not chewy.
posted by tavella at 6:19 PM on December 31, 2019 [5 favorites]

This is great and all but my personal need is for queenofbithynia to do a relationship advice blog, because queenofbithynia advice is always like BOOM!
posted by HotToddy at 6:19 PM on December 31, 2019 [7 favorites]

These Phantom cigs were what I grew up with in India in the 90s. I guess they're still available in limited quantities.
posted by peacheater at 6:23 PM on December 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's great, except there were wolves in Julie of the Wolves, not lynx; and it was Ozma of Oz, not the Marvelous Land of Oz, and, obviously, I am a complete children's literature geek.

I'm glad the writer survived to write another day.
posted by dancing_angel at 7:42 PM on December 31, 2019 [4 favorites]

When I was a wee lad in Connecticut, there were two kinds of candy cigarettes: One was a chalky white stick with a dyed red end, which tasted like nothing, really. The cool, expensive kind were actually paper wrapped and had powdered sugar in them, so you could blow through them and get a puff of "smoke", at least the first time. They may have been chewing gum inside, but it's been a long time.
posted by maxwelton at 8:01 PM on December 31, 2019 [9 favorites]

The point of a candy cigarette was not that they could be eaten, but was that a new out out of the package could be blown through to produce a candy "smoke" because they had some kind of very finely powdered sugar on them and their texture allowed air to pass through them. It only worked once, maybe twice, but that was the point of a candy cigarette.
posted by hippybear at 8:03 PM on December 31, 2019 [3 favorites]

5. Jeroboam, Rehoboam! Jeroboam, Rehoboam! Jeroboam, Rehoboam, Goliath!

Rabelais weeps about candy corn Papier-mâché cigarette's crafted by Pantagruel inc.
posted by clavdivs at 9:03 PM on December 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

The cool, expensive kind were actually paper wrapped and had powdered sugar in them, so you could blow through them and get a puff of "smoke", at least the first time.

Wow, this memory hit me like a ton of bricks.
posted by Literaryhero at 9:06 PM on December 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm gratified to discover that Zoe Selengut wrote a couple of things for The Toast back in the day.
posted by smammy at 9:18 PM on December 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

a. the candy cigarettes I mean will dissolve in your mouth if you wait long enough, but you can eat them right up like a stick of chalk if you want. they are not hollow in the middle that I am aware of and they are not made of literal paper, they just taste like it. they are very pure and there is no gimmick to them. the idea is they make your carnal desire to eat them fight with your spiritual desire to seem and be seen to be smoking.

b. with respect, it certainly is lynxes and not wolves that you trade candy cigarettes to if you get lost in the woods and want any help starting fires. wolves understand about looking sophisticated but they don't have the same kind of barter system.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:22 PM on December 31, 2019 [26 favorites]

she would have changed me into a tiny jar of rose petal confit and I would have been imprisoned on her shop shelf forever, because nobody is ever going to buy a jar of rose petal confit, why would they.

It’s just possible that someone would buy rose petal confit, probably because they aspire to be a contestant on the Great British Bake Off, where there is always some doomed soul drawn like a moth to the Taste of Rose, nevermind that any schoolchild could tell you that Paul Hollywood does not like rose flavor.

Of course, in this scenario, you get eaten up in test bakes by a deluded dreamer who is destined to get no more than a skeptical squint for their troubles. So lose-lose.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:27 AM on January 1, 2020 [6 favorites]

Well, this is not fair. I have been in that shop and I admitted I had never been there before, and I got in a conversation about peppermint and after a while agreed to use the powers of the National Agriculture Library periodical data base to find out something for her and it was fine. That woman knows candy.
posted by acrasis at 8:39 AM on January 1, 2020 [5 favorites]

This was a cool and strange and sorta oracular non-story. I liked it, very much. Thanks for posting.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 1:13 PM on January 1, 2020 [2 favorites]

« Older Litla Dimun has a fluffly little cloud cap, and...   |   Have you noticed I have changed lately? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments