Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fannie Mayhem

We were like a class full of Pavlovian dogs.

My 4th grade teacher had set a large plate of lifesavers on her desk while we were at recess. It was part of a lesson plan illustrating the concept of "mouth watering".  And it worked.  Those 15 mouths could have generated enough hydro-electricity to run a BMW plant for 7 days.

That’s how I felt when I saw the Fannie May candy bag.  

Because I love Fannie May candy.

There was a Fannie May candy store in my local Wisconsin mall that sold the richest, most delicious, heavenly chocolates known to mankind. When I was feeling extravagant, I would treat myself  to 1 or 2 pieces. The Fannie May lady would put them into a  miniature white box and place the box in a white paper bag.  (And they would be gone before I got halfway to my car.)

Yes, Fannie May candy made me salivate.

One time when I was flying from Milwaukee to Buffalo I noticed a Fannie May candy bag sitting on the floor in front of the empty seat next to me. I looked around for its owner, assuming somebody would return for the stash. I mean, I’ve left stuff on planes before, but nothing as valuable as a bag of Fannie May candy. Who would do such a thing? (That would NEVER happen to me.)

After a few minutes, the flight attendant began her announcements and a little immature voice inside my head started chanting: "finders keepers, losers weepers."

I smiled my most guilty smile.

Then I realized with disappointment that the candy probably belonged to the person sitting behind me. I looked over my shoulder. Yep. She looked like she enjoyed chocolate. She probably didn't realize that it had slid under the seat.

I looked back at the bag. I wondered what kind of candy it held. Fannie May Peanut Butter Smoothies make Reese's peanut butter cups taste like spam. Green Mint Melt-Aways would also be good.

My lips were watering. Just like in my 4th grade class.

Why is it when you're trying to take your mind off something, it's impossible to do so? I glanced at the bag again. I guessed that it contained 6 individual pieces. Wait a minute, I thought! There could be fudge in that bag- maybe peanut butter fudge!

Then I began to have my unclean thoughts. I began hoping that, if it did belong to that lady, she would forget about it. She was overweight and she probably had border line diabetes. Chocolate was the last thing she needed.

I would be doing her a favor by taking her Fannie May candy.

We finally landed. I was on pins and needles, waiting for the owner of the candy to claim it. I pretended to be packing up my backpack when it was my turn to get up. The woman behind me lumbered by without a sideways glance.

Why do I always feel guilty? I mean, nobody was claiming this candy. I found it. It was mine.

It must be my Catholic roots.

When the only people left on the plane were me, 2 unaccompanied minors, and the flight attendants, I nonchalantly bent down to pick up the loot.

That's when I noticed that it was full of a liquid.

Reality struck hard, like a two-ton brick. That was no candy bag.

It was a very full air sickness bag.

After an involuntary gag I realized it would be okay.  I wasn't really hungry any more, anyway.

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