Thursday, September 15, 2005

Mallo Cups - when addictions only rotted teeth

Mallo Cups
Originally uploaded by Brite Lights photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - You can't buy Mallo Cups in California, not anywhere retail anyway. If you go online, you can order a jumbo box (like the photo) which they can pack in a special wrap to keep the little Mallos from turning into total mush while they make their way to you.

In junior high and high school, Mallo Cups ruled for me - followed closely by Chunky candy bars, very closely. ("What a chunk 'a chocolate," Arnold Stang would say in the commercials.)

During the last winter my grandmother left for Florida for three months, Bob Fulcher and I would grab a half dozen or more Mallo Cups (or sometimes Chunkies), a quart each of Vernor's Ginger Ale, and sit and watch television at my house after school while the snow fell outside. I wouldn't eat much dinner those days until my mother discovered the garbage can full of wrappers and the empty quart bottles from the ginger ale.

We were on top of the world, even if we got some serious stomach aches in the process.

I remember the little Mallo Cup tokens that were included and if you saved up enough, well, they would ship you a whole box of the damn things.

Bob and Bud Hooper and I did once - and I think after we ate that box full of Cups the company sent us, we swore off the things for a long time.

Thanks to Mallo Cups, Chunkies and Vernor's Ginger Ale (oh, and Coca-Cola, lots of Coca-Cola) Dr. Joe Griffo installed a lot of silver in my mouth which many years later still is in place, a marvel of engineering several dentists have told me, especially the dentists that try to remove any of it.

I seem to remember that there was a sort of student store, run by the student council as a fundraiser. I don't remember if they sold Chunkies or Mallo Cups, but it was in the main hallway of school near the front doors.

Our senior year the store was most frequently manned by two tall, blonde, twins sisters from the junior class who so intimidated me that I don't think I ever bought a candy bar when they were working the counter.

The best candy around - though generally too expensive for me - was sold at a little candy factory right next door to the Hideaway Bar, converted years later to a restaurant. One chunk of candy there could cost 50 cents (50 cents!) a small fortune it seemed when a gallon of gasoline was 30 cents.

All of this came flooding back today as I am writing a magazine story about how people fritter away money - and how much they would save if they gave up something, like lattes, or smoking, or Grey Goose vodka. I'm supposed to calculate how much a person would save in a year and how much money the person would have in 10 years if they invested that money instead of spending on lattes, smokes or Grey Goose.

Figuring out the math on this story is enough to make me break out the Goose, but I also started to think about how many Mallo Cups, Chunkies, Reese's Peanut Cups, M&Ms, Good 'n Plentys, Raisinettes, Goobers and Tootsie Rolls (oh, and Tootsie Roll pops) I have had over the years and wondered about assigning a monetary value to them.

But I'm giving that up, because my head really hurts and there's not a Mallo Cup within hundreds of miles to soothe my battered psyche.

Today's song?

The choice was easy:

Candy Girl...
sung by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

I've been a-searchin' all this wide world
Now finally I've found my
Candy girl Candy girl

I-yi-yi-yi found me a girl (Candy girl)
She-ee-ee-ee sets my heart a-whirl (Candy girl)
With huggin' and kissin' and lov-in'
(She's mine) mi-ine (mine) mi-ine
Whoa-oa-oa-oh-oh (Candy girl)

We get along so well (Candy girl)
I know just why I fell (Candy girl)

She's thrillin' (thrillin') oh, chillin' (chillin'),
yes she's so divine
(She's mine) mi-ine (mine) mi-ine
Whoa-oa-oa-oh-oh (Candy girl)

When we're out together
Everyone knows the way we feel
We both seem to glow with the glow of a love
And it's plain to see
Our love is real

I-yi-yi-yi'm happy as can be (Candy girl)
She-ee-ee-ee vows eternally (Candy girl)
To hold me (hold me) and love me (love me)
until the end of time
(She's mine) mi-ine (mine) mi-ine

Candy girl