Candy corn was already an abomination. Then they made it hot-dog flavored.
I don’t need to ingest a waxy sugar clump someone dipped in hot-dog water to know I would spit it out immediately then spend weeks wondering which horrible life decisions led me to that point.
Let’s start with an indisputable fact: Candy corn is an abomination.
It’s not corn, and it’s candy only in the loosest sense of the word. It was invented, I assume, by someone who noticed a bit of candle wax had dripped into a small pile of spilled sugar on a dirty countertop. Rather than toss the whole mess into a rubbish bin like a reasonable human being, that person rolled the clump of yuck into a vaguely conical shape, marketed it to Americans as fit for human consumption and the rest is history.
Or at least it was. Now, more than 100 years after this alleged confection was foisted upon humanity, a prominent candy maker has crossed the candy corn Rubicon. Brach’s has created “Tailgate Candy Corn,” an unholy mix of “corns” in the following flavors: hot dog, hamburger, vanilla ice cream, popcorn and fruit punch.
'Yuck' knows no seasons
I will pause a moment so readers may find their hurling buckets.
A USA TODAY report quoted a statement from a Brach’s spokesperson. It began: “Brach’s iconic candy corn has been synonymous with the start of fall for decades.”
I’m going to stop you right there, unnamed spokesperson. Saying candy corn is synonymous with fall is like saying slipping on ice and falling mouth first into yellow snow is synonymous with winter. It’s just not true.
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I’ll acknowledge there are some who see the orange, yellow and white yuck nuggets and say, “Ahhhh, autumn.” But they are few, and we should treat them kindly because their taste buds apparently stopped working years ago.
The Brach’s statement continued: “We’re excited to help families and friends celebrate their anticipation for the season together by releasing Brach's Tailgate Candy Corn this August.”
Meat candy is not candy. Duh.
That’s a heck of a thing to be excited about. It’s like saying, “Look, everyone, we took something gross and, almost miraculously, found a way to make it less palatable!”
Call me old-fashioned, but shouldn’t we expect more from our candy companies? I imagine Emil Brach, who founded the candy company in 1904, didn’t set off on his sugary journey with the hope of one day seeing his factories churn out hamburger-flavored grotesqueries.
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This is the company that tickles our taste buds with lemon drops and Star Brites and brought us ideas like “Pick-A-Mix,” which allowed people to choose different candies and pay one price per pound. Before that, could Americans even pick their own mixes? I don’t know, but I assume not.
We can forgive Brach’s status as one of America’s top producers of candy corn. There’s clearly a market for something that looks and tastes like what an alien with poor research skills would come up with to simulate “human food.”
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But for Brach’s to branch out and add meat flavors to a thing called corn that has never once tasted like corn? That is an unforgivable mouth atrocity, and we, as Americans, should not sit idly by and let it happen.
Time out in candy corn(er) of shame
Of course I can already hear the wailing from candy corn cultists: “You probably haven’t even tried Tailgate Candy Corn, you phony!”
Well, you’re correct, consumers of weird corn. I also haven’t licked my car tires, but I have a pretty good idea how those would taste. And I don’t need to ingest a sugar clump someone dipped in hot-dog water to know I would spit it out immediately then spend weeks wondering which horrible life decisions led me to that point.
The folks at Brach’s need to go to their candy corners and think about what they’ve wrought upon this world, knowing even their shame will taste better than hamburger candy corn.
More from Rex Huppke:
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Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on Twitter @RexHuppke and Facebook: facebook.com/RexIsAJerk