Tech Or Treat
Candy for masochists

Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat! Or better yet, something really, really disgusting.

See also...
... by Thomas S. Roche
... in the Scope section
... from October 29, 1999

As you may know, the hottest trend this Halloween is candy. It's the hottest trend every Halloween. No matter how many Darth Maul masks Toys "R" Us sells, Halloween is always going to be about the candy. As Cartman says: "Think about the candy. Focus on the candy."

But the trendiest sweets aren't sweet; as a matter of fact, they don't even taste good. I'm talking about Mega Warheads, the ultra-sour candy guaranteed to make the toughest punk's eyes water. Loaded with malic acid, this confectionary ordnance is so unpleasant, its own packaging has a "Mega Mouth Meter" chart to help you figure out "How brave are you?"

Put a Mega Warhead in your mouth. At five seconds, the chart tells you to "stay with it." The pain steadily increases. By 25 seconds, "We know you're suffering." Make it a full 50 seconds, and "You're a Mega Warheads Hero!" Of course, "Eating multiple pieces within a short time period may cause a temporary irritation to sensitive tongues and mouths," so you might want to stick the second and third Warhead up your butt, instead.

Of course you're thinking, as I thought, "This is all hype." It isn't. Not your advanced reasoning skills, not your snide semi-maturity, not even your Valium prescription or a handful of Prozac can ameliorate the waves of soul-searing existential agony that will wrack your body if you're stupid enough (as I was) to put one of these motherfuckers in your mouth. You will thrash on the floor wailing your despair unto creation like William Shatner on four lines of cocaine. For those 50 seconds, you will hate life.

Having a Mega Warhead on your tongue is like eating a heaping spoonful of fresh monkey vomit pureed in a Cuisinart with a cup and a half of sulfuric acid, a squirt of tear gas and a healthy dose of Uranium 235. When I was eating a Mega Warhead, my hair literally stood on end (I didn't even know it could really do that). It was all I could do not to scream and weep and babble incoherently -- well, not any more than usual, anyway.

The 50-second mark is significant because that's about the point at which the enriched Uranium coating of the candy is gone, and you get an agreeable rush of sweet taste that seems like the most wonderful thing on the planet. In fact, eating a Mega Warhead is a useful tool because from that point on, everything else you experience in your entire life -- bone cancer, say, or getting thrown through the windshield of an Acura while being devoured by the flesh-eating bacteria and suffering a bleed-out from the late stages of Ebola Zaire -- will seem great by comparison.

Kids have always liked gross stuff -- think gummi rats, Monster Mouth candies and their associated Jar Jar Binks Gungan French-kiss simulation devices, Baskin-Robbins Dirt 'n' Worms, and all of Mega Warheads' extreme-candy brethren. This is just one more weapon kids have in that battle to gross out the grown-ups -- and each other.

But however you slice it, their popularity only confirms what we adults have always known: Kids are friggin' insane. Look, do yourself and the little tykes in your neighborhood a favor. Hand out crack rocks this Halloween instead.

Thomas S. Roche is going to go upstairs and brush his teeth for a little while.