With a theme color of minty, apple green, the entire endeavor of selling self-serve bulk candy exudes a grotesque ambiance as clear, back-lit plastic boxes reveal numerous varieties of sugar that have been shaped and colored into seductive, bite-sized pieces of splendor. Like moths to a flame, children and sweet-inclined adults buzz over to the wall lined with promises of sugary satisfaction. Each type of available candy is categorized and defined as follows.
Gummy candies (defined as gum-like [but that eventually dissolve] pieces of fruit-flavored or otherwise concoctions) make up eighty percent of the candy selection. Gummy candies are offered in sugar-coated or not, translucent or opaque, and sprinkle-coated or not, the colors and relative shapes include (but are not limited to): yellow banana, red raspberry, orange carrot with green leaf top, rainbow strips (blue/yellow/red, red/green, blue/light blue), rainbow worms, yellow and orange chicken feet, ring pop in opaque pastel tints, flower in opaque pastel tints, single-colored dinosaur available in various colors, opaque pastel baseball hat, watermelon, flower in bold shades, green frogs, orange slices, sunny-side-up egg, peach Os, nipples, cola bottle, airplane, miniature moons, something that looks like miniature beans (not jelly beans), bears, drops, and two extra large offerings in root beer bottle and strawberry. Chocolate covered (defined as something completely covered in chocolate with or without a shiny candy shell) —almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds. Hard candy (neither gummy nor soft, suckers) —bricks (knockoff Lego), something that looks like a large, multi-colored version of rocks one would find at the bottom of a fish tank. Jelly beans (not Jelly Belly) —red, yellow, green, pink, yellow, color sampling, and extra large. Wrapped candies (soft, chewy, slobber-inducing little turds wrapped in waxed paper) —Tootsie Rolls, taffy, fruit chews in various flavors, and four other wrapped candies of unknown flavors wrapped in brown, white, red or tan. Finally, chocolate coins and chocolate balls wrapped to look like balls of various sports.
A small girl walks the length of the candy-lined wall. Carefully, she pulls a plastic film baggie from a large bunch that pokes out from the end of the candy options nearest the cashier. Meticulously, she opens each plastic tub, gently grabs the scoop and lifts exactly one piece of candy from each of the fifty-some-odd containers. As she nears the last quarter where the non-gummy candies begin, her mother looks increasingly impatient. Stern, her mother speaks at the girl. Smiling, her father leans into her mother and whispers something. The two busy themselves with an argument about the time. Focused on the task, the girl does not skip a beat. The father says something to the girl. Laboriously, the girl drops the last item, a chocolate coin, into her bag, turns to hold the bulging bag of candy for her parents to see, and her father congratulates her. Together, they walk to the cashier. The girl places the hefty bag atop the scale as the father pays for the candy by weight.