An inconvenient Pez

For whatever reason, it’s frowned upon in Western culture to take a big bowl of sugar and pour it directly into your mouth. Instead, we’re forced to transform the sugar into various confections and ingest them by way of various conveyances, yes, even at Christmas, which is the Official Holiday of Sugar.

Many of these confection conveyance systems – or CCS, as no one in their right mind calls them – are highly inconvenient. Pixy Stix made sense in a certain way – straws filled with coloured sugar that you funnelled into your mouth, if you didn’t mind little soggy bits of paper on your tongue – and who doesn’t?

Like little devil teeth.

Like little devil teeth.

But then someone said, “What about liquid sugar?” And then someone else said, “Anything we can do with all these half-burnt candles?” Voila: the wax bottle, which I’ve just learned are actually called Nik-L-Nip. Sounds like the result of a terrible accident at the smelting plant.

What you do with your Nik-L-Nips is your own business, but generally the idea was that you bite the wax top off the bottle, suck out the flavoured sugar liquid and then chew the wax. Afterwards, if you still have a hankering, you can gnaw on old shoelaces and make a nice petroleum jelly sandwich.

Pez VaderThe king of candy inconvenience, though, is the Pez dispenser. Of course, the allure of the Pez dispenser has never been the candy but the various celebrity heads out of whose necks the candies are dispensed. Incidentally, that may be the first time in history anyone has written the phrase “various celebrity heads out of whose necks the candies are dispensed.” It’s a proud moment.

But back to Pez. The attraction may be the dispenser but without the candy it’s just a plastic head on a stick, like Ann Coulter. So you must fill your dispenser. By hand! In 2015! And in a couple of weeks, in 2016!

I’m getting ahead of myself. First you have to open the tiny Pez package, which isn’t so much wrapped as bound and gagged. The goal is to tear open the impossible package with your fingernails, carefully remove the clinging strands of paper and foil, extract the stack of chalky Pez bricks in a single column with one hand, while with the other hand fully extending and holding open the spring-loaded dispenser. If you pinch your Pez stack too hard – as unpleasant as a Nik-L-Nip, trust me – the little rectangles go squirting out of your hand and rattling about, a giveaway to your co-workers that you are playing with candy at your desk.

When you do eventually get your Pez into the dispenser, likely slotting them in a single candy at a time, you may then go about removing them, one by one, only this time the Pez character’s head does the work for you. Isn’t that fun?

That’s a lot of effort to get a chalky brick of sour sugar. And then you realize each package of Pez is only one flavour! In 2015! On a Thursday!

Hopefully you bought lots of Pez candy refills when you bought your dispenser. Otherwise, that dispenser will forever stand empty on your shelf, because no shopping list ever has read “milk, bread, bananas, Pez.”

Why then do Pez dispensers still exist? It took a Ned to show me the light. No, not a Ned dispenser. Just Ned.

Ned Hickson is a fellow humour columnist, except he’s from Oregon, so he’s a “humor” columnist. No, I don’t mean “humor” sarcastically. I mean he’s American, so he writes “humor” without a “U.” It’s a running joke, except now that I think about it, Ned would never make this joke. Who’s a “humor” columnist now, Ross?

We have so much in common. We both have fingers.

We have so much in common. We both have fingers.

Anyway, Ned posted a photo of a package of four Star Wars Pez dispensers he received as a gift. I happen to have a Darth Vader Pez dispenser on my desk these days, so I sent him a photo of it with the caption, “’I find your lack of Pez disturbing.’ All day he says that to me!”

“And that is why you fail. Eat too many Pez, you have,” Ned replied.

I then told Ned I had been thinking of riffing on Pez for a column but didn’t think I had enough material. He wrote back, “I think you underestimate the power of the Pez side, Ross. Search your feelings. And don’t make me pull out a Jedi mind trick in order to get you to write that riff.”

Oh, that’s why we still have Pez dispensers – so grown men can make candy-based movie references using what are essentially dolls. Thanks, Ned! You’re the Pezt!


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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34 Responses to An inconvenient Pez

  1. byebyebeer says:

    We were just going through the old candy box, which is literally old candy even I am too lazy to eat. My husband wanted to throw out the Pez bunny, the Pez Santa, even the Pez wegmans delivery truck. I set him straight and got excited when we dug further and found several packs of Pez, albeit flavors that never got picked. Still, I’d take Pez over wax candy. Do you remember wax lips? Boy I wanted those to be good but they didn’t even involve sugar.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I remember far too much. Wax candy. What, were we growing up in the Depression or something?
      We have a junk drawer that is literally filled with junk candy. Every now and then we too have to purge the untouchables. Jolly Ranchers don’t age well.

  2. You are correct (according to Google). You are the first human to add these words to the Internet in this order: “various celebrity heads out of whose necks the candies are dispensed.” The next closest was an article about saggy neck. Congratulations! Kind of like being the first Canadian on the moon.

  3. Laughing out loud like an idiot!

  4. Corinne says:

    I ended up eating the Pez candies straight out of the plastic… putting them into the dispenser was too much work. Too much wookie? (I’ve never actually seen Star Wars so forgive the terrible pun.)

  5. The Cutter says:

    I have 5 Pez dispensers on my desk at work: Spongebob, the zebra from Madagascar, Donald Duck, Princess Leia, and the Hulk

  6. List of X says:

    I feel like Darth Vader dispenser should dispense little Luke Skywalker Pez dispensers.

  7. Yeah, I always thought it was too much work to get the candy in there, only to take it out again, and then realize that the candy is terrible. It drove me to reach for my pack of candy cigarettes.

  8. maral44 says:

    Since you & Ned are PFFs (Pezd Friends Forever), I thought this might interest you: PEZ come from the German word for peppermint: PfeffErminZ. On the other hand, I might be the only one interested in useless bits of trivia.

  9. tnkerr says:

    All day I’ve been trying to think of a witty comment but the only thing I can come up with is…
    wait for it…
    “various celebrity heads out of whose necks the candies are dispensed”

  10. Imo, a lot of the confections made with sugar taste way better than just sugar, Powdered sugar is good and all, but with just a little milk and butter and maybe some flavoring and bam, frosting! The good kind, not the crap that tickles the roof of your mouth. But for anyone who REALLY wants to eat a bowl of sugar, it probably wouldn’t be weird if it was in the form of sugar cubes.
    I’m with you on the Pez though. Obnoxious and don’t even taste good. Course I really only remember them from when I was a kid, and in that case, you had the wonderful technique of, “Mom/Dad, can you fill this for me?”

  11. ksbeth says:

    yes, i think they should have seminars on how best to reload your pez. perhaps a youtube tutorial?

  12. R. Todd says:

    They now sell Pez dispensers that are almost eight foot tall (ok, fine, they are only about three feet.. but still). My concern is if the dispenser is that large, how many cavities are contained in just one of those Pez-lets? (I might have to trademark (or copyright) that term… Pez-lets.. I mean, what else are they called?)

  13. Pingback: Blogger Spotlight: Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens | wtf Am I On About Now?

  14. I Thought Nik-L-Nip was a type of foreplay. Imagine my surprise.

    Actually, I hadn’t thought about those for decades but you just reminded me. They were an integral part of my youth. I cannot believe I ate those things. Didn’t I have any standards back then?! Any self-respect?! Apparently not.

    I would totally buy an Ann Coulter Pez dispenser. I’d fill it with black, oily stuff. They should make Ross and Ned Pez A Ned Pez. 10x fast. If they could somehow make a personalized Pez head that looks like its owner, they’d make one billion dollars.

    Loading a Pez is like loading a gun. Sort of. Can you load them with Prozac? Or Ritalin?

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