The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, November 16, 2003  

A Compulsive Notion, a Devotion, a Potion, and
Something From the Ocean

As soon as she passed the boxes to me I knew what would happen, I just didn’t know when.

Well, “it” began about an hour ago and just ended.

And “it” wasn’t pretty.

You see, last Friday one of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s best writers took me out to lunch. Nice, huh? Better, she brought me gifts: the official program of the 2003 Miss America Pageant and two boxes of saltwater taffy.

The second I saw the taffy I knew exactly what I would do with it: I’d put it somewhere in my kitchen cabinets, in a place not obvious enough for me to tap into the boxes immediately, nor a spot so obscure that I would forget about them.

But I knew that once I returned to the boxes, no matter when, and it could have been the very next day or some date a year or more into the future, I would eat my way through their entire contents in one sitting.

And I did.

Just now.

Look, I’m not a compulsive eater. Nor do I have a weight problem. Hardly. I recently dropped weight yet again, and I’m now down to 128 pounds. We’re talking college-age weight here, people. Freshman-year stuff. Beginning of freshman-year stuff. A 27-inch waist kind of thing. (God, I’m such a little shrimp.)

But when it comes to candy, well, forget about it. I cannot be held responsible.

And I refuse to be ashamed.

Thanks, you. I loved it.

[Post-publication addendum: I’m willing to bet no more than half a dozen Rittenhouse readers caught the undeclared, unrevealed, and otherwise obscure reference, or allusion, in the sub-heading to this post (“A Compulsive Notion, a Devotion, a Potion, and Something From the Ocean”). If you’re one of that select company, drop me an e-mail. I’d be pleased to hear from you.]

[Post-publication addendum (November 20): The answer: “Once Was a Time I Thought”:

Once was a time I thought that love could be sold or bought
And everything fell in place for me.
The fashion of passion I rationed with caution
Because of the notion the potion of passion
Had never been passed to me.

Okay, artistic liberties on my part. Forgive me. At least someone got it.]

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