Sunday, December 8, 2019

Semi Solid

     "How beautiful is candor!" Walt Whitman once said.
     Ain't it the truth? In this era where falsity has been elevated—to the presidency, to an entire political/philosophical system—we in the fact-based world have to temper our disgust with an acknowledgement of just how bad the alternative looks on display. No wonder they can't or won't perceive it.
     Because lying is a symptom of cowardice: you are afraid of the truths you are denying. Which is such a loss, to the liar, because it is better to confront a thousand unpleasant, unflattering truths than to dwell in the sump of mendacity that these people do.
    I smiled, looking at this display of hollow turkeys at Sunset Foods. "Semi Solid." Another word for "Hollow," obviously, and the bright spin must not have worked, because they were piled around the store the week after Thanksgiving.
     Other candy makers seem to get by calling their products "hollow"—both Lindt and Russell Stover boldly advertise hollow chocolate Santas and bunnies on Amazon.  Hollow bunnies have their own cultural niche. T-shirts show a bunny and confess, semi-ironically, "I feel hollow inside." Then there is British author Robert Rankin's most popular novel, "The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse" (a loose-jointed murder mystery).
Boldly hollow looked into why chocolate Easter bunnies are hollow. (Easier to eat, supposedly). 
     Candy is not the only place this dodge is used. There are semi-solid doors, semi-solid gold chains. It isn't exactly calling it a "We think you're stupid gold chain." But close.
     Not that "Hollow Milk Chocolate" sounds better, at least I don't think it does. But then again, my take on milk chocolate is so marginal that it's practically in the realm of stuff that isn't worth the calories to eat. 
     We each have our own personal list. For me it's milk chocolate—with the exception of the rare Chunky, redeemed by raisins—plus Dunkin' Donuts... I was in a Dunkin' Donuts last week, where I had pulled a column subject so we could talk out of the cold, and contemplated their "Old-fashioned donut" at 280 calories. I like plain donuts, and might have done it, but then reminded myself it was a Dunkin' Donuts old-fashioned donut, a spongy, bland, bleh circle of nothing at, the little sign revealed, 280 calories. It would be a betrayal of Huck Finn donuts and all Huck Finn represents. I went for a black coffee and nothing else.
     Hershey bars, Dunkin' Donuts. What else? Peanuts aren't worth eating, unless they're honey glazed. Fruit punch. I'd say anything between a bun at McDonald's, but about every three years I have a taste for a McDonald's cheeseburger, though if I give into the inclination I'm immediately sorry I did. Otherwise, if I even walk into a Metra car where somebody is eating McDonald's, I move to another car. It's disgusting. 


  1. Used to be only the rich kids got a solid chocolate bunny. Poorer families got the hollow bunnies for their kids because they were cheaper! Didn’t taste as good, though, biting into that thin chocolate and beyond into nothingness.

  2. With me it's jelly beans and gummi candies. Never understood their appeal. All they do is stick to my teeth. (Although it is hella cool to watch them being made.)

  3. A chocolate bunny can be “partly” hollow, which I guess is the same as “semi solid”. The key is to find one whose chocolate is thick enough — at least 1/2” thick, and not paper-thin where the whole thing crumbles and falls apart at first bite.


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