A candy cane hanging on a Christmas tree
Image via Wikipedia

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time for me to revisit one of our sacred holiday traditions and smother it in a healthy dose of Grinch powder. Yes, it’s time that we do away with one of the most worthless goodies ever created—the candy cane.

First, a little history (thanks Wikipedia!). Candy canes were invented back in the 17th century as little sugar sticks meant to appease whiny children. Of course, it worked, because the standards for candy were lower back then (anyone who has tried Turkish Delight knows what I mean). Thus, the bland white sugar sticks caught on. Of course, somebody decided to Christmatize them by bending them into the shape of a shepherd’s crook, and then some enterprising barber coated them in red stripes to subtly influence kids to get a haircut. (One of those statements is probably not true.)

Unfortunately, candy canes are still around, and worse yet, they are terrible. Here are seven reasons why candy canes are the worst candy ever.

1. The shrink wrap.

Apparently, international law requires that every candy cane come wrapped in a tight plastic sheath that is impossible to unravel. It must be slowly and painfully peeled away, gradually bunching up at the crook of the cane in a sticky mash.

2. The awkward shape.

I know it’s supposed to be shaped like a shepherd’s staff and all. That’s real cute. But how are you supposed to fit one of the dang things in your mouth? Even the little candy canes barely fit. You’re left sucking interminably on one end while the other end pokes out of your mouth, ready to gouge your kid brother in the eye.

3. The hard peppermint candy.

“Hard candy” is an oxymoron. The whole point of candy is instant gratification; candy is meant to spike the blood sugar levels of small children until they reach a near-catatonic state. Hard “candy,” though, takes a long time to break down in the mouth, producing a controlled release of sucrose. Lame! Also, peppermint is a really boring flavor. (At least it’s not artificial-banana flavored; such a candy cane would truly be the worst candy imaginable.)

4. The sharp stabby tips.

As your saliva corrodes the peppermint stick, the end of the stick narrows into a hard, sharp point. What kind of sicko offers kids a little spear to stab themselves in the cheek? What if a little girl falls on her face and the candy spear stabs her in the uvula? Who pays the bills for that?

5. The shiny red lipstick.

As you patiently suck away on a boring barbershop-striped peppermint stick, you happen to glance into a mirror—and recoil in horror. The red stripes have peeled off the candy cane and slathered themselves in a bright cherry smear across your lips. Also, you are a man, and this is totally embarrassing.

6. The fragile crook.

If the candy cane hasn’t broken before you shove it in your mouth, it certainly will in the eating process. In fact, some candy canes are totally impractical to eat unless broken. Which is stupid.

7. The ability to reproduce.

Candy canes multiply like rabbits. By the time Christmas has passed, they are found everywhere, from drug store clearance aisles to dining room candy jars. No one wants to finish them off. You can’t even give them away as gifts. They are like the candy version of zucchini. So they lie dormant, getting old and stale until next Christmas, when they are trotted out once again, to the everlasting shame of Western society.

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