Wrong on Many Levels: “Grillz” Candy
Just when you thought candy cigarettes were beyond the pale, we get another frightening candy choice marketed to the unwashed masses. What’s so terrible about “Grillz?” you implore? Well here we go:
1. Appealing to “gangsta” culture, which is inherently inappropriate for children. I can just imagine the kids playing “Let’s Make a Dope Deal.” Why not just play “Hos and Johns and Pimps” too?
2. Undermining parents’ efforts at teaching dental hygiene. Eat this candy-rot out your teeth-get yourself a gold grille. That’s the message I’m getting here. I’m sure the dentist would love this one.
3. Check out the chick with the downright yellow teeth on the wrapper, as if she’s proud of it or something:
Now you could take it one step further and go directly from ghetto ho to trailer queen:
Still not a role model, even if she does look like your mama.
There’s a certain irony that I got this candy at the dollar store. They are getting the demographic right- let’s just say the “Baby Einstein” crowd does not generally shop here, and “designer” children aren’t eating candy anyway. While the One Percent’s offspring are eating organic fru-fru granola made with actual fruit, yogurt and grain, (have to say these days I’m right on that healthy eating train) here’s what the ghetto babies and neophyte rednecks are treated to.
I know my sisters and I munched a LOT of equally disturbing and unhealthy candy- candy cigarettes, Lik-M-Aid, Pixie Sticks, and other stuff that was just plain noxious on the sugar content alone. The 70’s were the Glory Days of candy though- Tootsie Rolls, Hershey bars, the cinnamon gum shaped like hot dogs, Bottle Caps, root beer penny candy and so forth, but probably the closest things to socially objectionable candy were the candy cigarettes.
In the 70’s, smoking wasn’t considered socially objectionable. You could tool right on in the supermarket burning one, and even hang out inside the hospital whilst enjoying a Marlboro Red. The Dr. I went to as a small child smoked cigars in his office. So nobody really thought the idea of candy cigarettes to be as abhorrent as people do today.
Just another motivational illustration on the “Steve-o, Stop Smoking Crusade.”
I hate smoking, but then the most militant anti-smokers of all are ex-smokers. He’s turning those lovely crowns (I paid dearly for) a rather nasty shade of pasty yellow, and that sort of torques me. Jerry, well, he’s incorrigible, but Steve-o is still young enough to ditch the cig monkey and get over it. He already doesn’t smoke in his car (doesn’t want to ruin the smell of whatever fine leather upholstery the folks at Audi installed in his ride) and doesn’t smoke in the house. Just take that next step and stop altogether already… but that’s probably my inner Joan Crawford going off again, except that Joan Crawford was a chain smoker. Never mind that analogy.
Perhaps it was a bit ill advised of me to let Jerry eat Isabel’s food Saturday. I let my penchant for passive-aggressive revenge get the best of me. That stuff is $1.10 a can. There’s cheaper things for Jerry to eat in that fridge. If he’d developed a taste for Miz Izz’s food it would cost me a fortune, when you figure that a can of tuna (intended for humans to eat) is only 70¢.
Over all I can’t complain about the illustrious offspring too much. I think I might just get him that rebel flag decal he wants.
Some things never change. You can’t necessarily take the redneck streak completely out.
4 thoughts on “Really? What Message Are We Sending Here? and Deliverance (Less the Mountains and Canoes)”
My internal reaction to Grillz candy is much like yours, but I have to say, in a way, I’m also delighted. Now, I wouldn’t let my children eat that crap (I mean now, when they’re at the age when I can realistically control most of what they eat; and I would strongly encourage them not to eat it later), but in this touchy-feely age of “everything good for you” it’s nice to see something so completely bad, but in the old-fashioned way–completely tasteless and lacking in redeeming value (think Garbage Pail Kids) and packed full of sugar.
I loved gum cigarettes. If I knew where to buy any locally, I’d have a pack. I really loved bubblegum cigars.
What you said about smoking in the 70s really speaks to the customs of differing regions. I can remember a time when smoking was much freer, including in some sections of restaurants, but I don’t EVER remember people smoking in supermarkets or movie theaters (although yours is not the only testimony I have heard to that).
I am also an ex-smoker, but not a rabid one. My problem was that I was unable to control the addiction, and it predicated many of my daily decisions (when am I gonna get to smoke?). I have a buddy who smokes one or two cigarettes a day.
I liked the gum cigarettes too, and the cigars. In a way it is sort of funny to see something so delightfully politically incorrect, (part of the reason why I had to buy a couple of them) but it also touched on two of my Mom buttons- dental hygiene, and my disdain of all things “gangsta.”
The anti-smoking movement didn’t really get entrenched in Ohio until the late 80’s. I remember in high school and college lighting up pretty much everywhere- in the supermarket, at the movies, at my desk at work, etc. until the mid-90’s, when the state banned smoking just about everywhere that could be seen as a public place.
On one hand I understand the addictive power of cigarettes all too well, but on the other I have wicked bad sinus and upper respiratory afflictions that are aggravated intensely by cig smoke. It’s one of those things where I really don’t care if you smoke, just don’t do it around me. I remember planning my day around having enough smokes and having the opportunity to smoke them all too, which is a pretty disturbing thought. I know that a lot of other people are still caught up in that trap and I feel for them, but I still wish Steve-o would give up that three or four a day that he still smokes. (Yeah, I know, I used to smoke two packs a day, so look at the pot calling the kettle black, eh?) 🙂
Grillz candy! I have never seen that! (I’m going to look the next time I go to the $ store – it is probably flying off the shelf around here…..) The grillz thing just simply gets on my last nerve…I see so many people sporting those and you can barely understand what they are saying with them in their mouths (had a Wal-mart checker once wearing one). I am a dreaded smoker….I do remember the candy cigarettes but was not aloud to buy them (my cousin and I would sneak and buy them anyway and pretend to smoke and play poker, hid in her bedroom). When I worked in cubicle life I had a class with a lady who had been with the company the longest. The instructor asked her over the 40 + years she had worked there what was the most significant change. She replied, ” I remember when everyone smoked at their desk and if you got pregnant you could smoke but had to quit when you started showing…” wow.
Priorities, priorities, I guess. It makes me wonder. I’m just not a fan of gold teeth. I don’t care if people smoke or not- unless they do it around me.
That’s why I get so upset with Jerry for smoking in my car. A smoker doesn’t notice how bad his/her car reeks, but to a non-smoker, a smoker’s car smells like a dragon’s colon. I end up having to hose it down with Febreze and wipe down the insides of the windows (that nasty filmy junk builds up on the glass) at least once a week to keep down the funk.