Thursday, August 24, 2006

Candyland


Vending machines are the bane of parents everywhere. Storeowners place them strategically where children are most likely to see them. Parents grasp their kids' hands tightly as they try to accelerate their pace in the vain hope that the little people won't see these beacons of tooth decay.

Fat chance. Every child I've ever met has vending machine radar. There's no way that he/she will pass up an opportunity to beg at the foot of these eye-level altars of sweetness.

So it was on a recent foray out that I came across one selling this particularly dentist-cringing gum (or is it candy? Who knows...) Our kids swarmed it. We refused to relent. They countered by saying they were just looking. The cynic in me says they were simply plotting their strategy for the next visit.

Still, it made for an interesting image.

Your turn: Is the vending machine an icon of childhood or is it something for parents to avoid at all costs?

13 comments:

Kiki said...

I don't have kiddies so I can't answer your question. However, when I saw that picture of the candy, my mouth watered just a little bit. Yum....candy! Maybe I'm like one of those kids, planning my next candy strike.

patricia said...

I loved them as a kid, but they're so expensive now!

My nephew lost $2 trying to buy some dumb candy from one of those hi-end candy machines, during the time I was babysitting him. Darn fool thing didn't work. And then he wanted to put in $2 more! I put a stop to that. I don't think his father is teaching him enough about the value of money....

Diva said...

Those vending machines are for children? Say it isn't so! That's my favorite part of going to the grocery store. (I personally like the little gadget prizes - not the candy - the best, though.)

A Woman Changed said...

Husband and I love to get the jumbo buble gum that rolls down a spiral slide inside the machine. We always compete for the lime green gumball and squeal when we watch it roll down to us. Yes, these machines are a childhood icon that are worth keeping. I remember thinking how awesome the toys were inside those big plastic eggs. Now, I see them as cheap chotskys. But they were magical to me through my eyes as a kid.

BTW, I think those are sweet-tarts in your photo. But to be certain, it would require a bit of field research and taste testing. Yum!

MsCora said...

I agree with Diva. These machines aren't just for kids; in fact, you don't truly appreciate them until you're older. I still check them out every time I pass by and--if I've been good--I will treat myself.

srp said...

Probably an icon of childhood although they are much more elaborate than when I was a kid. You did hear about the kid that somehow got into and stuck in one of those large contraptions where the child tries to snag a stuffed animal. Talk about determination!

Shane said...

heh heh. no kids you can't have any, but wait a second while I take a photo. Evil Carmi strikes again. Muahahahahahaha

srp said...

Here from Michele.

Are those sour candies, like Sweet Tarts? I was always a bit suspicious of those "loose" candies. Well, of course, except the bubble gum balls. And jaw breakers, yes, jaw breakers. Oh, and those things that were bumpy and reddish-brown, what did they call them? Right... Boston Baked Beans or something like that. Hmmmm. Guess I liked them all just like the other kids.

Never mind.

utenzi said...

I love the picture, Carmi. Maybe it's 'cause I just LOVE anything sweet but I suspect it's deeper than that. The muted colors and earthy textures raises the candy in your picture above mere sweets and into art.

Vending machines are evil in the personal economic sense. Using them is true desperation if you're like me and automatically price everything on a unit basis.

Sparkling Diamond said...

I have to admit, I have not seen gum/candy that lookd like this! But, I am an avid fan of sweet tart/smarties type candy, so the photo looked very appealing and I, as an adult, might have bought a few for myself! (It also appealed to the artist in me...looking like an artists mix of pastels!) But...I too, had to pull my kiddos away from these machines many, many times. Yet, I think that life just would not be the same without these sweet icons of childhood! My motto has always been and was firmly established within my kids: moderation in all things! ;)
Here from Michele's!

netchick said...

OH GEEZ! That candy is making me crave those things! I don't even know where to get them anymore... I used to love them!

Ontario Emperor said...

My first thought is that such things shouldn't be banned entirely, but used on special occasions. But then I read something somewhere (perhaps in DadTalk that talked about unhealthy foods, and how we use them as rewards. Do we sent the wrong message when we say, "You've been a good girl, Jane - now you can have this sugary unhealthy sweet!"

Plain Jane said...

I love those little quarter vending machines (although I remember when they were much less...) - though I don't dare indulge anymore (not to mention most of them have crappy "Made in China" toys and stickers now).

I have to say, the picture of this one in particular makes me think of very old and much abused candy that's been maybe sitting there a little too long...