Candy corn is a dubious ‘treat’ | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 10/26/22

Candy corn, the scourge of Hallowe’en. You either love it or you hate it. 

It’s the lima beans of candy — the last thing left in many trick-or-treaters’ bags, and much …

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Candy corn is a dubious ‘treat’ | Mann Overboard


Candy corn, the scourge of Hallowe’en. You either love it or you hate it. 

It’s the lima beans of candy — the last thing left in many trick-or-treaters’ bags, and much of it gets tossed. I cannot abide the sight of those cursed little isosceles triangles. 

I hated this stuff as a kid, even though I like both candy and corn. But candy corn, at least judging by Twitter, has many defenders (#candycorn) as well as, of course, us haters. (Comedian Lewis Black says, “Nothing proves just how dumb we are collectively as a people as candy corn.”)

In the interest of informing the debate, here are…

Five things you didn’t know about candy corn

1. The CIA has been using it for years as an “enhanced interrogation technique.”

Among the many classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago recently was a classified report detailing CIA force feeding candy corn to suspected Al Qaeda prisoners. The documents reveal that it proved far more effective than waterboarding ever did.

2. Dentists and their staffs loathe candy corn.

You may be surprised, however, by the reason. The little buggers are loaded with sugar and some people keep their dentists on speed-dial around Halloween. It may be good for dentists’ business BUT … normal dental tools and office air compressors won’t get the stuff completely off patients’ teeth. Some hygienists are assigned to rent industrial power washers to effectively remove all of it from patients’ sucrose-encrusted choppers — an unwieldy process usually performed in dental parking lots.

3. There are landfills devoted entirely to surplus candy corn. 

Candy corn is non-biodegradable, and most waste-management companies won’t touch the stuff. It must be sorted and trucked to a few special sites around the country in remote areas, like the nuclear storage site in Hanford.

4. Most candy corn was manufactured around 1943.

Candy corn is the unwanted byproduct of a failed wartime manufacturing experiment that extruded a food-like substance to make flotation devices for U.S. troops. The Defense Department was literally stuck with tons of excess sugary material. It was briefly used as ballast for the U.S. Navy during World War II, but when the sugary substance began rotting the hulls of warships, the government quietly sold its stockpiles of the yellow-and-white goo to candy purveyors, who didn’t care about its limited shelf life. Candy companies now sell their extra yearly inventory to Third World countries, who use it to pave roads.

5. It’s not really made of corn!

— Your street’s about to get a photo upgrade: The odd-looking, camera-on-top Google Street View car has been cruising the streets here lately.

— It’s not often you see a cellist — in Safeway. Pamela Roberts was helping supervise PT High music students to raise funds near the ham sandwiches at the front of the store. Roberts is an accomplished cellist herself, having just been a featured soloist for the WestSound Symphony in Bremerton. She’s also the former principal of Quilcene K-12 and was a principal in the Seattle School District. 

— Speaking of talented educators, there are few more popular here than Vicky Dueñas, who teaches both French and Spanish at Peninsula J.C. here. I’ve taken Vicky’s advanced French classes for years, and her cheerful enthusiasm while listening to us sully the beautiful language is infectious. A version of the Alliance Français has grown up around the Paris-educated Brinnon resident. Vive la Professeur Française Extraordinaire! 

— Attorneys in General: We visited our grandson, a University of Victoria student, recently in that lovely city. He’s currently Attorney General of the British Columbia Youth Parliament. And as I’ve mentioned here before, his younger sister babysits for the province’s real Attorney General — and B.C.’s next Premier — David Eby. 

— Middle Age Riot on Twitter: “If there really was a Jewish Space Laser, Donald Trump would be a pile of orange ashes.” 

— Definitely a sign of the times: An Oregon restaurant’s marquee reads: “HELP WANTED: Now Hiring People That Show Up.” 

— You never want to insult a server, but witty poet Ogden Nash had an artful way of dealing with slow restaurant service. He printed up cards with his shortest poem, “Ode to a Waiter:”

“By and by … God caught his eye.” 

(Want to catch PT humorist Bill Mann’s attention? Try