Let’s talk Skittles. The candy, not the European lawn game. You can find my opinions on that at my other blog, EuropeanLawnGameJunk.com (not a real thing). I ate Skittles as kid, as I’m sure many of you did, because they are made of three things kids love: sugar, sugar, and bright colors. Nowadays, the impulse to taste the rainbow doesn’t quite call to me with the same veracity.
Now I only encounter Skittles around Halloween, when I’ll down the occasional snack-sized bag. They’re a decent enough form of chewable sugar, especially when you’re in the mood for a late night bout of self-loathing. I never got into the sour ones or the tropical ones or the berry ones. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer my candy to taste like colors. You know, your basic reds and yellows and what not.
Now we have Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits, recommended to me by one of my seventh grade students who called them “intriguing.” And I’m sure, to her, they are. However, I have long ago lost my sense of intrigue at foods that pop, sizzle, fizz, or foam.
Skittles Fizzl’d Fruits are Wild Berry Skittles that have been rolled in some sort of adhesive and then dredged in a bit of sour powder and a lot of crushed Alka-Seltzer tablets. You chew them up and the Alka-Seltzer powder foams in your mouth. What does this innovation bring to the Skittles party? Annoyance. Like old man shake-my-fist get-off-my-lawn annoyance. The foam is grossly chemical and salty. Salty! Who the hell wants salt on their Skittles? The sourness is overpowered, the berry flavors are overpowered, and what you’re left with is a mouthful of regret and anger. Candy should not make you angry!
I live my life by a simple set of principles. First and foremost being that I keep my snack foods and elementary school science projects separate. No Bubbly Volcano Skittles. No Tornado in Two Soda Bottles M&Ms. No Celery Stalk and Food Coloring Capillary Action Reese’s Pieces.
Listen up Skittles. Be happy that I’m eating your mediocre candy in the first place. Keep your bells and whistles and low-level chemical reactions to yourself. And I’m not naive, I know you did this for the children and not middle-aged snark machines like me. Children love things like this. Why? Because children are stupid and they like stupid things. You are not helping this problem. For every kid that funnels a bag of these into their yell holes and giggles as multicolored foam leaks out, we all take a step backward. And Carlos Mencia wins.