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Chocolate Versus Politics

When I lived in New York City, I used to pass celebrities on the street, completely oblivious to their star power.   I once stood inches away from Jon Stewart in a Manhattan pharmacy and didn't even know it until a friend later said:  "Did you realize that you were standing next to Jon Stewart?"  No.  I did not.  Ditto for Larry King, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heather Graham.  I did, however, manage to recognize Peter Dinklage and Woody Allen all on my own!

I'm terrible with pop culture trivia, and I'm not a starstruck fan.  I've never asked for an autograph or stalked a movie set (even though I live in Wilmywood).  When I was a teenager, my cousin was the President of the Menudo Fan Club.  I preferred burying my nose in books like Little Women to writing fan mail to boy bands.  So I guess it's only fitting, that the only fan mail I have ever written has been to authors.  One author who consistently impresses me is an industry commentator.  Crystal Lindell is Associate Editor of Candy Industry and Retail Confectioner magazines. 

Last year, she wrote a delightfully delicious editorial pitting politics against chocolate.  It inspired me to write one of two fan "letters" I've written to Crystal.  As we approach our next election (please vote--no matter who you vote for!), I just had to share her essay which beautifully sums up my feelings on politics versus chocolate:

Mars Chocolate North America recently released data from a poll that will promptly be filed under “obvious” - Americans apparently want more chocolate, vacation and sleep, but less celebrity gossip, reality TV and bickering politicians.

The poll was done as a marketing technique for the company’s new 3 MUSKETEERS, which offers “more” chocolate taste.

Specifically, 58% of respondents wanted more TV channels, 90% wanted more vacation and sleep, and 66% wanted less reality television. Meanwhile, 66% wanted less super hero-themed movies, 75% wanted less fashion weeks, film festivals and award shows, and nearly 80% wanted less celebrity gossip.

But we’re a candy magazine, and I just happen to have a degree in political science, so let’s focus on the two most important ones - chocolate and politics. According to the results, 90% of Americans wanted more chocolate, while nearly the same amount wanted less “bickering elephants, donkeys and tea cups.”

A side-by-side comparison of the two should help us figure all this out.

Cost:

Chocolate: For less than a dollar, chocolate can bring extreme joy to most people.

Politics: Costs American taxpayers billions of dollars, with little success bringing any joy to anyone, anywhere.

Winner: Chocolate

Dinner conversation:

Chocolate: Usually discussed during dinner in relation to whether or not it’s involved in the upcoming dessert. Always a happy debate.

Politics: A frowned upon debate topic at dinner tables, especially when family members are present.

Winner: Chocolate

Associated animals:

Chocolate: Often comes shaped like a cute little bunny.

Politics: Involves donkeys and elephants. Neither is cute.

Winner: Chocolate.

Response to heat:

Chocolate: Melts in the summer heat, creating sticky but delicious fingers. Also, when heat is applied purposefully, it can lead to wonderfully gooey desserts.

Politics: Debates related to politics often lead nowhere once they’re heated. Usually results in little progress and very few reasonable outcomes.

Winner: Chocolate

Health care:

Chocolate: When dark, it fights cancer and helps the heart.

Politics: The topic of health care alone is enough to give some politicians a heart attack, and it seems that those in office can never quite figure out how to offer all Americans actual health care.

Winner: Chocolate

Marketing:

Chocolate: Related slogans are uplifting, such as: "There's a smile in every Hershey Bar." - Hershey; “Sixpence worth of heaven” - Cadbury’s Flake; “A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play” - Mars Bar; and “For the Kid in You” - Nestle Crunch. Smiles, heaven, play, kids - all fun here folks.

Politics: Often involves negative ads, mudslinging, and just plain mean commercials about opponents.

Winner: Chocolate

Stress factor:

Chocolate: Relieves stress.

Politics: Stresses everyone out.

Winner: Chocolate.

Overall winner: Chocolate, seeing as how it was a sweep.

Just one more result to be filed under “obvious” I suppose. Makes me think though that maybe if we gave the folks in Washington a few more candy bars this summer, they’d have worked the whole debt debate out months ago. Either that, or they’d just continue bickering in between licking their fingers.

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