Completely Off Topic

That topic not being cancer. The topic being candy, or rather the disappearance of candy, from my hiding place at home. The reason I’m even discussing/divulging this publicly is that I’ve been forced by circumstances beyond my control to already involve my wife, Dina, in the disappearance of said topic: my post-holiday purchase of 75-percent-off-the-regular-price of snack-size type candy, typically available the day after a holiday.

Before I proceed, let me provide a bit of context for some of you irregular readers: I love chocolate. I don’t just have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth. However, given certain realities/habits in my life, I almost always (unless times/circumstances are desperate) only buy these delicacies when the items are on sale and even more so when the items are both on sale and I have coupons. Now add into that mix an extra $5 off a $15 purchase — or a percentage off $20 or $30 store-specific coupon, and I’m spending pennies (almost literally) on the dollar. On these occasions — and Rebecca, you should probably stop reading — I load up. (‘Load up’ for a typical person might mean months. For yours truly, honestly, it means weeks, sometimes even days.)

Now when I bring this much volume into the house, my wife, Dina, need not know anything about it. Generally, I will stash the noncash in places where I’ll doubt she’ll look (and I’m not saying the oven; that’s an old Henny Youngman joke), and when I do indulge, it won’t be in her presence, nor will there be any sign that I’ve unwrapped anything.

One of my hiding places, which will now be changed, was downstairs in our cellar in a top drawer of an old bureau I use for collecting miscellaneous bank statements, credit card bills, insurance forms, etc., and for years, my candy and previously unmentioned consumables. On the particular day in question — a day now seared into my memory — as I am habitually wont to do, I went to my downstairs drawer to replenish my upstairs drawer (in yet another hiding place) and was shocked and awed to find my two remaining bags of Kisses and Rolos empty, both gutted like a fish, ripped along their sides with nary a wrapper to be seen, 40- 50 bite-size pieces gone.

My first reaction was of course to accuse my wife. Doing so however, would have exposed my secret: I buy candy and hide it (although, she probably knows it, and since I’m not exactly losing any weight … ). But what other cause/culprit could be behind such a dastardly deed? A break-in? No. A ghost who loves chocolate? (We do live in a 250-year-old house.) Mice? Squirrels? It’s possible. There are some animal-friendly access points under our foundation. And even though the bureau is flush up against a retaining wall/crawl space for critters, I did notice that the bureau drawer was open an inch or two. Barely enough access. Otherwise, there is no entry. But if critters were responsible, where are all the wrappers and/or feces or any other evidence of their transgression? There weren’t any. If the candy was indeed pilfered, it was “The Great Escape” of candy heists. Forced with this dilemma and daring-do, I was forced to confront my wife with these facts and ask if she in fact was responsible. She denied everything and blamed either a ghost or an animal. She was surprised, or so she claimed, at where I had hid the candy, not that I hid candy, so we weren’t breaking any new ground, but apparently, my secret had been safe.

It’s been a few weeks since this non-insurance loss, and there’s been no sign or evidence to indicate what happened to my chocolate. My wife seems to have forgotten the incident. As for me, I bought a 3.4-pound container of Kirkland-brand chocolate-covered raisins from Costco so my inventory is back where I want it to be. I just wish my Kisses and Rolos were back as well.

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