Life and a Box of Chocolates

Another funny thing happened on Christmas Day…..

I have so far been lucky enough to have been under an illusion that all forms of chocolate are palatable – some are wonderful and some are not so great, but when you need chocolate they are still edible (like Cherry Ripes for example). This Christmas that illusion was shattered. I discovered a limit to my chocolate eating joy and it was like hitting a brick wall – this was a new low in the chocolate stakes.

The particular box of chocolates (I use the term loosely) were made in Germany. They have, according to the box, something to do with Canada, then go on to be imported and marketed half way around the world to Australia, then they make another journey and arrive in this country. If anything they are well travelled. I won’t name the maker because that woudn’t be fair. But if the makers of the chocolates had a motto it could easily be “Ruining Christmases Around the World”, followed closely by “If you love chocolate, have we got a surprise for you!”

 A well-know quote goes: “life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”. I am trying desperately not to think too deeply upon this phrase because as a similie for life it is a sobering message when all the chocolates in the box are so awful as to render them pointless. We could have, on Christmas Day (of all days) stared philosophically into the box, deeply discussing all manner of intriguing questions about life. But, do you know what we did? We literally held our stomachs and rolled around the floor – laughing, that is.

 The box states: ‘Luxury Assorted Chocolates’. Lies, all lies, I say! French words such as ‘Assortiment de Luxe’ are scattered about I guess to give them an air of sophistication. We all laughed at the cholcolate names especially the one called ‘Crispy Wonder’. It’s a wonder alright!! A wonder it ever left the factory tasting so foul. There is also a ‘Peanutcroquant toffee’ a ‘Harlekin Melange’ and a ‘Apricot Fourrage parfum abricot – enrobage chocolat au lait’. So there you go – disgustingness wrapped in a thin layer of chocolate and a layer of euphemisms. Strangely they all contain the same centres – definitely something based on marzipan. Marzipan with peanut, marzipan with orange, marzipan with marzipan. And strangely again – on the box there is no mention of almonds (not even almond flavouring) the main ingredient of marzipan. We tried so hard to find some hope in the box; maybe one chocolate would be edible. There had to be one! But each bite into a chocolate found that it was quickly returned to the box and we were forced to conclude that there was no hope at all. We closed the box and slid it under the couch to be forgotten about.

 I wouldn’t be surprised if one day in some old warehouse a telegram is found. It would have been sent in the early 1900s. I imagine it would be along the lines of:

“<start transmission> Hello, old chaps! No sales in this country of our Marzipan Surprise chocolates. Forwarding unsold stock to you – expect them to arrive by ship in 4 months. Our fellows in the war effort wouldn’t touch them. Fussy lot. See how they sell on your side of the world. Suggest scrape off choc coating and re-dip. Try re-naming: Marzipan Delights sounds good. Leaving the re-boxing up to you. Add a bit of French – that kind of thing should sell. If not, send onto next country. Good thing we loaded the preservatives into that marzipan, they’ll be good for a while yet. Tally ho! <end transmission>

 ……and here they are still doing the rounds.

But, not all was lost. We took pleasure, maybe not from the chocolates intended purpose – in eating them, but instead took pleasure in the entertainment value they provided. We had a great time joking at the expense of inexpensive chocolate. What we lost in not being able to eat low quality chocolates we gained in quality family time as we shared jokes over the box and its contents.

I have learnt my lesson – not all chocolates are created edible.

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