Barb’s Kisses Win Me Over
Each year’s Laboratory Week celebration includes a “Guess the Number of Jelly Beans in the Jar” contest. I rarely bother to submit an entry for two reasons: 1) I am awful at that type of guessing game, and 2) the prize, that jar of generic Jelly Bellys, has no appeal to me.
Apparently, Barb does not share my poor estimating eye. She recently came home from a wedding shower with a huge glass canister of Hershey’s Kisses, that she had won with a right-on-the-money guess.
The prize, the jar filled with hundreds of candies in their shiny aluminum foil, sat on the kitchen island for a few days as we decided what to do with it. Barb definitely wanted us to keep the canister, but how would we unload all those candies?
Barb doesn’t care much for chocolate candy, and while I have told you of my cravings for chocolate-covered orange peels and Mini Snickers Ice Cream Bars, Hershey’s Kisses have never rung a bell for me. I have always felt they tasted waxy, no match for a good Lindt or Godiva Bar. So I wasn’t tempted. And another reason to get them out of the kitchen; if the ever industrious Cooper chomped down on one or two, it would mean a trip to the emergency vet for a complete stomach clean-out.
For a few days, we thought that maybe I would bring the Kisses to the lab, where I am sure they would be as welcome as Jelly Bellys are. A day later we reconsidered and thought perhaps we should bring them down to the basement where we could serve them at various Canasta, Mah-jong, and poker games we host.
And for all that time, the Kisses gleamed under the kitchen light fixture. And they began to whisper to me. “Try me,” they said. “You won’t be sorry.”
Finally, I gave in. I flipped the canister lid and I reached in. I popped a single candy out and I unwound the silver wrapping. I closed my eyes and popped the chocolate chunk into my mouth.
It wasn’t half bad! Maybe I have had an undiagnosed case of Covid that has altered my sense of taste and mouthfeel. How else to explain the way I enjoyed the waxy pseudo-chocolate flavor that melted across my tongue. Before I could walk away I reached into the jar and grabbed a second candy (and a third.)
It’s now been a few weeks since Barb brought that jar of chocolate delights home. It is nowhalf-empty (or is it half full?) Sorry lab, sorry poker-maj-canasta players. These kisses are mine.
Oh, and if you thought this column was going to be about that other kind of kisses from Barb, those are pretty good too. And after 43 years, I am not sharing those, either!
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Hi! I am Les, a practicing pathologist living in the North Suburbs and commuting every day to the Western ones. I have lived my entire life in the Chicago area, and have a pretty good feel for the place, its attractions, culture, restaurants, and teams. My wife and I are empty-nesters with two adult children and four grandchildren.
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