All children love Easter. If someone tells you different then they are a filthy liar and should be exsanguinated posthaste.Another holiday season is fast approaching and you can tell by the usual signs; massive overwrought displays for said holiday at your local department store and lame decorations going up at lame people's houses. I'm not talking about Saint Patrick's Day either; I'm referring to Easter, the second largest candy holiday next to Halloween. The custom of giving baskets of candy to children on Easter dates back to biblical times. After the crucifixion, the Romans or the Aztecs or whoever nailed Christ to the cross, hung his corpse from the rafters and beat him with poles at a festival. Expecting to be showered with delicious human entrails, the evil Aztecs were instead cursed with foul-tasting candies that spewed forth from his ruptured body. That's just one of several super-powers God has; the ability to change human organs into candy. Not knowing what else to do with it, the Aztecs put the candy into baskets and sent them down the Nile River to Egypt where the Pharaohs would soon find themselves overwhelmed with candy treats. My Bible knowledge gets a little hazy at this point, but I think God then turned the candy into a plague of locusts that swarmed over Egypt; another one of his super powers.
Since that time man has evolved a sweet tooth and cannibalism has fallen out of vogue, especially amongst children. Now we fill our baskets with candy for the kids to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or just to give them candy, whichever you prefer. For those of you not in the know about the resurrection, after being crucified Jesus came back from the dead as a zombie, but as a good zombie, not a brain eating zombie. Like a voodoo zombie only he could still heal people I think.
All of this religious digression aside, this holiday really is about candy and Easter eggs, and being a big fan of candy myself I thought I would take an analytical look at some of the sweet confections offered up at this time of year. There are basically six types of candy offered up, seasonal or otherwise, and they are chocolate, chocolate filled with something, chocolate covered with something, gummy candy, chewy or marshmallow candy, and crunchy candy. That seems easy enough, but to address something of such monumental importance as candy you must take a closer look at the minute differences that separate say peanut butter filled chocolate eggs from nougat filled chocolate eggs. They both fall into the same category given, but the two candies could not be more vastly different without including live spiders in one of them.
Chocolate - Pure sweet chocolate. It occurs naturally within the earth from decayed dinosaur remains that have been compressed and reduced to molten states by tectonic movement. Without sugar chocolate is bitter, but add some sugar and you have a sweet confection. There are three sub-categories of chocolate; milk chocolate (this is standard chocolate, usually lighter colored and creamy), dark chocolate (less sweet, this comes from evil dinosaurs), and white chocolate (very rare and expensive, only albino dinosaurs produced this type of chocolate). Mined in the mountains of Peru and Colombia and other nations where we don't care about the lives of impoverished workers, chocolate is big business. It is often used as a sensible starting point for various other candies, as you will soon see in the next two categories if you haven't gotten all bent out of shape by the Jesus Zombie comments like some sort of pussy.
A 9 yearold picture in a turn of the century nougat mill. Chocolate Filled with Something - When you're buying candy and it isn't a holiday of some sort, this is the most commonly seen type of sweet. It includes a wide variety of so-called "candy bars" like Mounds, Snickers, Mars, Charleston Chew, and the highly prized 100 Grand. If you're like me, you've always wondered "how do they get that filling inside the chocolate without breaking it?". To find an answer I went to the Mars Corporations Nougat processing facility in Logan, Indiana and spoke with James Coverstone, head of Mars' public relations. He took me on a tour of the massive plant which churns out something like 5 billion candy bars a day. Back at the turn of the century, child laborers with very small hands were used to fill the candy bars with nougat, peanut butter, and various other fillings.
Unfortunately, child labor laws led to a break down in the industry until technology could catch up with America's demand for filled chocolate. In 1963 Mars reopened their factory using a machine called the Nougat Injector. Basically this was a live giant squid suspended in a gelatin solution whose brain was wired into a simple computer. When a chocolate bar passed in front of the squid it would be jolted with electricity and spasmodically penetrate the bar with its small beak. Special organs grown in labs and filled with natural nougat would then contract and the squid would literally vomit the contents of these "nougat bladders" into the chocolate casing. When the giant squid received endangered species status in 1988 Mars was again left without a means to produce their candy bars, while competitors were using technology like the Nougat Bear and Nougat Wasps.
Seeking an inorganic method to inject the nougat, Mars set their sights on the circus, where expert knife throwers could hurl a blade a second with great accuracy while blindfolded. Engineers developed special throwable hypodermic needles filled with nougat while Mars hired dozens of knife throwers to train a cadre of workers. By 1990 production was up and running again and Mars again had an edge on the competition. This all leads to the great knife thrower shortage at the circuses of the early nineties, but that's an entirely different story.
Chocolate Covered with Something - In the intervening years between the enactment of child labor laws and the development of the nougat squid, Mars and other candy producers sought alternatives to chocolate filled with various types of crap. A pioneer in the industry by the name of Werner von Reese, who ran a small plant in Berlin that had been forced to shut down production of their "peanut butter cup", was the first to happen upon a solution. By combining a small amount of milk chocolate with peanut butter and non-ferrous metal fillings, he discovered that he could subject them to an advanced thermodynamic process he had developed called sugar encapsulation. Pellets of the mixture were propelled at syrupy slurry cascading like a waterfall in front of an accelerator barrel. When the pellet passed through the slurry it would be coated in a sort of crunchy candy shell creating the precursor to what we know today as a Reese's Piece. Refinements in this process were made by Reese until it was discovered that peanut butter sans metal fillings proved to be a much more suitable filling to the candy shell. Others attempted to emulate this technique, and while some success was achieved by Mars with their Manheimer & Mollenwait confection, no one ever fully reverse-engineered the Reese's Pieces process.
Years of scientific work have produced crude approximations of Sir Alfred Gummi's creations. Gummy Candy - The mid-eighties were a time of great upheaval within the candy industry. Long dominated by chocolate, sugar and gelatinous confections occupied a fringe role, an oddity that was tasty but never consumed in bulk. That is until 1986, when Sir Alfred Gummi of England unveiled his terrify Gummi Bears at the World Candy Fair, sending shockwaves through the candy making community. Gelatin had until then been produced by stimulating a culture of amoebas with electric shock into maintaining a covalent bond with each other. These bonds often deteriorated over time and amoebas would sometimes even aggregate into a single large amoeba that would attack people trying to eat the candy. With the advent of Gummi's Bears, Gummi unveiled a new and secretive method that did away entirely with amoebas. Between 1986-1991 he unveiled a new and increasingly complex creation each year at the World Candy Fair. In 1988 it was an entire translucent human body, anatomically correct and complete with Gummi hair and orgains. In 1991 he arrived at the fair in a two-cylinder Gummi car, fully functional with Gummi radio and Gummi cruise-control. In 1992 however, he was shunned by the world when he brought along his Gummi wife. Visible in her Gummi vagina were disturbing smears of Gummi's semen, and she spoke in a horrid keening wail that was at once both loathsome and terribly sentient. She was rent asunder by an angry crowd and Gummi was never heard from again, although it is said he lives in his castle, assembling a Gummi army to reap vengeance on an unsuspecting world.
Chewy or Marshmallow Candy - Predating the discovery of the first chocolate vein by prospectors in 1845 the candy world was almost entirely reliant on a mixture of chewy or marshmallow candy and crunchy candy. Chewy candy usually consisted of a mixture of amoebas and molasses and was popular but hard to produce in a consistent quality. It was being phased out completely by the time of the great chocolate rush in the 1850s, but marshmallow candy remains fairly popular to this day. Around Easter you can see one of the most gruesome marshmallow creations of all, the ancient and hallowed "Marshmallow Peep". These artifacts of a bygone era date back to the time when baby chickens ruled the earth, preying on hapless dinosaurs, giant ancient dogs, and early man. So deep were the scars they left on the psyche of developing humanity that tens of thousands of years after the baby chickens had been wiped out by the giant foxes, mankind was still creating effigies to ward off their evil spirits. Eventually the fear subsided to a dull pain in the thighs and medicine doctors believed that by eating an effigy of the chick the pain would subside. Marshmallow, which grows in the primordial bogs and swamplands, was harvested and used to fashion these crude idols, which were then devoured to cure thigh ache. It worked and to this day marshmallow "Peeps" are being made. Also, when black people say "peep" they mean other black people, so do not say it on their "turf" or you will get "shot".
Yeah, it's all fine while she's sucking it, but sooner or later she'll bite into it, then OUCH.
Crunchy Candy - Pox upon the youth of today, crunchy candy is a fashion statement designed by the elderly to lure children into actually trying ribbon candy. Crunchy candy is almost always too hard to eat without hurting your teeth. If it isn't too hard your teeth will still adhere to the top and bottom and it will pull out your fillings as surely as a Nazi interrogating a captured OSS agent. I strongly advise steering well clear of these types of candy, even if they put a hip marketing spin on them like "Yo, our candy will BLIZZAST your teeth out the BIZZACK of your HIZZEAD!!!". Unless, of course, you're an old woman who just wants to fill a bowl with torture candy.
Easter is a couple weeks away still, so I hope you take my information to heart when you go out shopping for your candy baskets this year. I know I sure won't when I buy my usual Easter basket full of pornography and alcohol and then wall myself into my basement like "The Cask of Amontillado".
The Something Awful Forum Goons have been up to their usual Photoshop antics of making innocent and unsuspecting images into comedy fodder. So naturally we're cashing in! Check out what happened when the Goons decided to abuse their skills and mutilate a bunch of classic advertisements! If this doesn't spread your butter, well then maybe you should switch to margarine or something.
What are you waiting for? Click, click, click!
Semi Automatic Turban, our favorite world fusion musicspewing pals, recently held a remix contest in the SA Forums. While some would say that messing with the S.A.T.'s pure traditional sooth rhythms is a crime against nature, I personally think most of the Goon submitted remixes were better than the originals! But don't take my word for it; listen to the multimedia for yourself! Here are the top three entries as judged by the band and myself:
Drop The Mic (SydBarrett Remix)
A friend of SydBarrett with winner of remix of our songs! Enjoyed of factory workers in homeland and listen time is happy of great expect. This is why AMERICAN says that rape who you sow. Friend!
Schfooba (Grok! Remix)
Friend Grok! with exclaimnation remix as well! No use of drums of other electronic crutch! We respect of great measure for pure dedication to the dreaming and hut is available for wife as well.
Kapow! Razzle-Dazzle! Tappa Tappa Tappa!
A friend named Toasterhead say we come to remix your music? This is the remix of the music! Slap knees in double alternative because this is a groove city lacking mayor! Toasterhead! He is the DJ!
It's music the whole world can enjoy! Except Iran, since they're in the axis of evil.
Natural and supernatural horrors mount on an expedition to an island music festival for the wealthy.
With college finals approaching, it's time once again for Microsoft Word autosummaries of all the old, boring books you were supposed to read.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.