There are many things we did as children that didn’t quite translate to adult life in the way we had hoped. The thought of hopping on a bicycle and trying to pop a wheelie off of a makeshift dirt mound in my cousin’s backyard not only sounds terrifying, but I can almost feel my knee dislocate just thinking about it. You’re not going to catch a group of people in their mid-thirties clamoring to get together in a middle school gym to slow dance with each other, three feet apart and shoulders squared, to the enchanting sounds of Mrs. Shania Twain. And, as sad as it is, it is likely I have long since played my last game of backyard football. There is something, though, that no matter how old you get, will still be as thrilling as the first time you did it, and that’s taking a big ole bite of your favorite candy bar.
My family has always had a special relationship with candy. Of course, I’ve never talked to other families about their relationship with candy, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. I don’t think I am, though, and I’ll try and explain why in the next paragraph or so. You see, when I was a youngun, my Granny Bain basically raised my sister and me. We had fine parents and all. It’s just that they worked, and even when momma quit work to raise us, kids, we still kind of preferred being at Granny’s house. It wasn’t nothing against Momma or anything like that; hell, we were fine if she hung out at Granny’s too.
Granny always had a (fake) crystal candy dish that sat there in the middle of her coffee table. A coffee table that smelled like lemon-scented pledge 24/7 365. That candy dish was never not full and also never had anything resembling a name-brand candy save for some Werther’s Originals now and again. Still, those were primarily kept in her pocketbook for Sunday Service distribution. Granny’s candy dish was for them orange circus peanuts that most people say taste like packing foam… I love them. Then, of course, there were those little peanut butter-tasting Zebra-looking rectangles, an assortment of butter mints, and no Grandma’s candy dish would be complete without them strawberry-shaped strawberry candies filled with strawberry goo that I’m pretty sure they only make at the bank.
My Granny’s first job was working an assembly line at Brach Candy Company, puttin’ the cherries into Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordials. I know this because she would tell me every time we sat down to eat a Chocolate Covered Cherry Cordial.. which was often. I remember asking her if she ever grew tired of them since she was around them day in and day out. “No, honey,” she said with a smile on her face, “They still taste like freedom to me.”
That right there is the response you can expect from someone who lived through the depression and understood the importance of a dollar far more than I could. To me, that gooey little candy was just that.. but to my Granny Bain, it was a portal back to the first time she was able to go down and get a soda without her dad taking his belt out on her for wasting money they don’t have.
It wasn’t just off-brand candy we’d have at Granny’s but also homemade! I don’t exactly know what you call it, but she’d take sugar and milk and heat it up with some Vanilla Extract until it turns to goo, and then let it cool and break it up into bite-sized pieces. It was sort of like fudge, but I don’t think you technically call that fudge. She’d let me stick my finger in the bowl and get some of that goo before it cooled, and sheeeeew wee that was the good stuff I’m here to tell ya!
Yep, life was simpler back then. You could eat all the candy you wanted, and not an ounce of it would go to your thighs. Nowadays, if I even smell a Reese’s Cup, I have to wrap myself in plastic and do wind sprints in a sauna to offset the damage done. But when we were kids? Hell no, buddy! It was cheeseburgers at the ballfield and 25 cent airheads until you puked. Wash all that down with a full-flavored rootbeer, and then you were good and ready to hit the all-you-can-eat pizza Buffett at Pizza Hut because, by God, that’s what winners get!
I did not discriminate as far as candy and junk food were concerned during my childhood run in the ’90s, but one candy stood above them all, and to this day, none has ever come close to beating it, and I doubt one ever will. What succulent morsel from the gods was this, you may ask? I’ll pretend you are not stupid for that because it is not subjective in the least; it is a 100% unequivocal fact that the GOAT of all candies is, was, and forever will be the Butterfinger BB.
The Butterfinger BB entered our lives in 1992 when I was five years old. It’s like they knew I was ready. It was discontinued in 2006, the year I graduated High School. It’s almost like they were trying to tell me something. Whatever they were trying to tell me has fallen on deaf ears because I still consider it to be one of the greatest tragedies of my lifetime, and yes, I’m counting all the ones you are thinking about right now.
One time I got blackout drunk and called the Nestle corporation demanding satisfaction. If they could not bring my beloved BB’s back, then I at least needed them to look me in the face and tell me why. I know most people will say, “well, Corey they clearly weren’t selling… it’s all about money with these people,” and usually, I would believe you, but EVERYONE I KNEW ATE THE GODDAMN BUTTERFINGER BB’S WHO IN THE F*CK WAS NOT EATING THEM? It was the absolute perfect ratio of chocolate to crisp. And sometimes, oooooh boy, you get one that clearly went under the chocolate machine at least one more go than all the other BB’s, and my god was it, Mana, from heaven. Just when you thought you were about to bite into that crispity crunchety peanut buttery center, the chocolate pulled a Lee Corso…. “Not so fast, my friend!”. And like a Japanese steak knife through a block of cream cheese, so went your teeth through milk chocolate, sugar, and the face of God.
Well, my 3 AM phone call didn’t make much difference in the long run, I’m afraid to say. Sure, it wasn’t all for nothing… I received a booklet full of coupons in our mailbox within 3-5 business days, which kept me stocked up on regular Butterfingers for a while. And yeah, I was and still am a fan of The Butterfinger Crisp, but it isn’t the same. It isn’t even remotely the same.
We try to hold on to bits and pieces of our childhood if only to protect what little sanity the earth will allow us to have nowadays. Nostalgia is a drug just like any other; only it’s free and possibly more addictive and dangerous. In a world where they are bringing back everything from Vinyl Records to flip phones, is it possible that we will see the BB make its comeback……
Well, folks, guess what? IT WON’T F*CKING MATTER BECAUSE THEY CHANGED THE GOD DAMN BUTTERFINGER FORMULA IN 2019!!!!!
Yeah, that’s right! Just can’t leave well enough alone, can you, Nestle? You authoritarian sacks of shit. Is it not enough for you to try and own the F*CKING RAIN, but you have to strip away everything else we have to live for too? And you changed the formula DURING A GOD DAMN GLOBAL PANDEMIC????? When the people of earth needed familiarity the most, you sat on us like a toilet seat and shit directly in our mouths. For shame.
And no, I’m not going to look up whether the pandemic happened before or after they changed their recipe, but I DONT HAVE TO, because either one of two things is true: A pandemic occurred, and Nestle turned their backs on us when we needed them the most….. OR…..The Pandemic was caused because the original recipe for Butterfinger was the vaccine all along.
Which one is it, Nestle? Take your pick, you sacks of shit, because either way, I fucking hate you forever and hope you die.
You all wanna talk about Joe Rogan and Dave Chappelle? Butterfinger BB’s were ACTUALLY canceled, and I seem to be the only one who gives a shit.
I will be silent no more.
having lived to approximately twice your age, i can reliably inform you that life is a series of losses of cherished things
I remember one time going, “Oh shit, you know what I could do with right now that I haven’t had in forever? Butterfinger BBs. Where can I get some?” And then I found out. I found out the dark truth.
The sudden tonal shift from dewy-eyed “good ol’ days” country nostalgia to righteous belligerence in this post is great.