Chocolate rabbits and pipe dreams
It’s 9 p.m. Do I know where my chocolate is?
I’m good at hiding it, not so good at finding it. It’s time for my after-dinner fix, and a serious situation has turned into a full-scale assault. I’ve checked the fridge, behind the spice rack and rummaged through my underwear drawer.
I’ve not yet reached the full frantic stage, but I can feel the stress rising. Wild Bill, the Muskrat Skinner, hears me scurrying about and makes some kind of sound which I interpret (correctly) to be “Oh so you’ve lost it again? Heh, heh, heh.”
Well, Mr. Muskrat, I could tell some tales on you. Like when you bought your favorite treat, licorice pipes. How you stowed them in the trunk and drove up N.C. 16 with your pipe dreams stashed safely away.
And how you had to stop and unearth the pipes from the trunk and put them in the back seat where it was almost impossible to reach and then, when you were almost home, how you nearly dislocated your shoulder reaching for those pipes. And how upset you were when you got home and found your licorice nearly half gone.
Well, your special treat is safe from me. You could eat the stuff all day long and I would not be tempted in the slightest, but one sniff of chocolate sends me into that gotta-have-chocolate orbit some where out beyond the Milky Way.
Am I addicted? I guess so. If there were such a thing as a chocolate therapist, she (only a woman can understand this; it’s complicated) could run a professional search through a lifetime of memories. What would she find? A parade of chocolate Santa Clauses, Halloween candy (Oh joy! It’s raining diminutive Snickers bars), chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil, shiny silver chocolate kisses (nearly as good as the real thing), Girl Scout thin mints, expensive chocolates in heart-shaped boxes and a hollow chocolate Easter rabbit standing tall in a basket surrounded by a rainbow of eggs.
I remember that rabbit. I remember carefully breaking off a sizable chunk, savoring it slowly as I worked my way from the feet up to the head. Then, Nirvana – the chocolate ears. Ultra nibble food.
When it was my turn to fill the Easter baskets for our kids, I splurged and had their names written on their chocolate rabbits in white icing. I hid the rabbits in the darkest corner of my closet impatiently awaiting the big day. I reasoned I had visitation rights. First, I visited to admire the professionally inscribed names of our kids. Then I thought I would just take a tiny nibble in the back where it doesn’t show. Who was I kidding. Once the big lavender bow was disturbed and the chocolate was violated, under the guise of running a “quality check,” I had polished off the feet, torso and elbows. Give me some credit though – the ears were intact.
Of course, I still harbor some residual guilt about that little episode. But thanks to what I learned over the years, my emergency plan is securely in place. I have the cure, and, what’s more, I know where to find it. I reach way into the freezer and pull out a Hershey bar, cleverly hidden behind the frozen fish. If there is anything better in the world than a Hershey bar with almonds, I don’t want to know about it.
Ten o’clock, and all’s right with the world.
Diana and Bill Gleasner have lived in Denver for more than 30 years. In addition to travel journalism, they have written and published two books on the Lake Norman area.