Thursday, November 5, 2009

Darwin, Halloween, and the Theory of Evolution

The week after Halloween is the ideal time to prove evolution.

Certain species of bugs have developed a really bad taste so predators won't eat them (at least, that's what I've read. I haven't personally done insect taste tests).

Did they actually evolve in that direction? What is the evidence?

Let's look in Dr. Grumpy's break room:

Post Halloween day #1: Everyone brings/dumps their leftover candy at the office. We put it in a big bowl in the break room. We are too damn sick of candy to touch it.

Post Halloween days #2-3: Predators (okay, me and the staff) arrive. The choicest (i.e., chocolate) items disappear first. Reese's PB cups, M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers, Kit-Kats, Twixt, Butterfingers, Three Musketeers.

Post Halloween days #4-5: Other stuff starts to go. Skittles, Laffy Taffy, Smarties, Starbursts.

Post Halloween days #6 and on: This is when we find the survivors. Just like the unpalatable bugs, some candy types will sit there for quite a while. Candy Corn, Circus Peanuts, Tootsie Rolls, hard suckers, and those horrible taffy things in black and orange wrappers (the latter, I suspect, were only made once in the 1960's and have since just been re-gifted. I think people who got them as kids now give them out as adults, and the cycle continues).

Granted, I have no evidence to suggest that Darwin's staff dumped leftover candy at the office. If they did, however I'd suspect that's more likely to have led him to the theory of evolution than a trip to the Galapagos.


Doris said...

Personally, I think Candy Corn is eeevil and tastes like death.

Once you have been infected, you turn into a candy corn zombie and spend the rest of your un-life dumpster diving for used candy corn,washing and recycling it for the Brach's Candy Company and Mausoleum.



The Lougeep Man said...

Could be worse. As a kid growing up in the Bible Belt, I always used to get Chick tracts. Granted, they still didn't taste as bad as candy corn.

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

Wow, candy corn is really getting ripped apart this year it seems. I could eat a bucket of the stuff.

We forbade people from bringing their kids' candy into the office. You tricked or treated for it. YOU eat it! And I don't care if it makes you obese. Better you than me, pal.

TranscriptionistTia said...

Don't forget about the heinous evil that is the black jellybean!

Anonymous said...

Tootsie Rolls are on the list of survivors?! How can people not like Tootsie Rolls? Those things are the best candy ever!

I also like "those horrible taffy things in black and orange wrappers". I never knew what they were called until I googled it and found out they're called Peanut Butter Kisses. They kinda taste like Mary Janes.

Candy Corn is disgusting.


The Good Cook said...

You've really got a bead on top candy scores for Halloween. I totally steal all of my kids Reeses Peanut Butter cups!

D said...

I'm VERY disappointed to see that Smarties fall into the "other stuff" days. That's not very Canadian of you. Oh wait...

Alpine, R.N. said...

I LOVE candy corn! (if it's fresh). Ooohh...butterfingers...i forgot all about those!

WarmSocks said...

I'd go for the skittles & starbursts first. Can't stand the smell of chocolate.

Julie said...

I'm with D ... smarties are the BEST ... umm, right, maybe it's because i'm an Aussie ...

The Mother said...

Interesting. I have to admit, I have never heard evolution described in quite such simplistic terms. And yet, compelling.

I'm sure the ID folks have an explanation for the candy theory. Can't wait to hear it.

ABC said...

hard suckers are left? SEND THEM TO ME PLEASE!!

J-Quell'n said...

Next time I teach a General Bio Class and have to touch on Evolution, I am so using this as a transition into the topic...hell, I've used Pac Man to describe lysosomes before, so this would be nothing.

But, I do have to say that I like the flavored Tootsie lemon and vanilla. I could take or leave the regular ones, but the flavored ones are so good.

Slings and Arrows said...

@The Mother: I can't speak for the ID folks, but I'm pretty sure that Satan invented Circus Peanuts.

P.S. I loooooove black jellybeans!

Anonymous said...

Candy corn must be passe this year. Heard similar statement for the first time ever when a bowlful of it sat forever on the window ledge. Maybe it's the thought of reaching into a pile of unwrapped candy and scooping it up with bare hands during flu season?

Nancy said...

Ha, Tootsie Rolls are the first things to go when the kids eat, then Smarties. I find mounds of illicit Tootsie Roll wrappers in the oddest places around the house, almost as if they're meeting to plot something.

I steal all the Kit-Kats, Whoppers, and various chocolates for myself. All peanut items (2 kids with this severe allergy) and week-old Halloween candy goes to the office to be picked over.

I'm in love with the song on Noggin that says, "And I don't. like. candy corn." and have sung it often enough that the kids chime in.

The Duchess said...

When I worked in an office, I used to bring in all the candy I wouldn't allow my daughter to eat. Of course, I always picked it over and kept "the good stuff" in my was my personal medication for dealing with "the public." I made an observation that all types of candy had its own fan club. The hard candies seemed to be favored by the smokers, the chewy/taffies by the blue hairs, and the really weird stuff (loose candy corn, half-wrapped taffies) were strongly favored by the crazees. I need to be paid for these observations, this is seriously viral information! :)

River said...

I love black jelly beans, but Reese's peanut butter cups are quite possibly the worst thing I ever put in my mouth.

Dragonfly said...

Tootsie rolls are things that I tend to put down to "only in America". The fact that the company survives is inexplicable, but I suppose diversity means that there are people who like them as much as I do not.

goddess63 said...

Candy lasting in a break room for 4 or 5 days? Wow. I work in an operating room and have noticed that nothing--NOTHING--lasts on the break room table longer than a day. You burn some cookies at home? bring 'em in and someone will eat them, declaring them fabulous. I'm pretty sure if I left a bowl of waxed fruit on the table someone would take a bite out of a couple. Well, maybe not---it's fruit after all and heaven forbit we health care professionals eat something *healthy*.

Anonymous said...

@D, Julie -

The US equivalent of Canadian/UK/
Australia and elsewhere is the
original milk chocolate M&M -
chocolate within a crunchy candy
shell. IIRC Smarties' candy shells
are flavored, M&Ms' candy shells are
there so "they melt in your mouth,
not in your hand".

Smarties here are little, sort of
pill shaped pieces of sugar with no
discernable flavor that come in small,
(pinky finger-sized) cellophane rolls,
not to be confused with East Coast
England favorite Necco wafers (disc-
shaped, flavored sugar candies in
large, wax-paper rolls). BTW, purple
Necco wafers are clove-flavored, and
black ones are disgusting.

@Slings and Arrows - anyone that
gives out circus peanuts for Halloween
must really hate kids...

HTH. HAND. (Dr Grumpy, I'm not
OCD, just reminiscing about
Halloween trick or treating with
my sisters...)

Verification word: wayst - how

Kimbra Kasch said...

"Left over candy?"


I just don't get that one.

Julie said...

Thanks Anonymous that clears up that ... we have the "little, sort of
pill shaped pieces of sugar with no
discernable flavor that come in small, (pinky finger-sized) cellophane rolls"
things here too but i've got no idea of what they're called and yep, i agree - they're awful.

I was seriously worried that people could not like (what we call) Smarties!

TracyKM said...

I'm glad to hear your "Smarties" are what we call "Rockets". Canadian Smarties are good; they have no artificial colours and are guarenteed peanut-free.
I love those Halloween taffies (warm it up 15 sec in the microwave) and Tootsie Rolls are also great! Send them to me!

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