Thursday, January 13, 2011

Werther's Originals - The Sweetest Crime

My wife and I were at the store recently and I noticed an older, pony-tailed gentleman complete with faded forearm tattoos pushing carts into the store. I mentioned to my wife that he was probably an ex-convict – nothing wrong with that. Wife vehemently disagreed with me; she thinks the old guys at grocery stores are all guys who just want to get out of their homes and see people – even bastard customers. She has this idea that they're all lonely and in need of human contact. In her eyes, after they get home from work, they sip a nice glass of chocolate milk while rubbing a cross between their thumb and index finger reminiscing about all the fine people they helped that day. Nice, sweet, pitying wife.

Here is my conspiracy theory on the subject. The supermarkets across the nation have arranged programs with the prison system to hire anyone who isn’t a murderer or rapist. By the way, I haven't seen Shawshank Redemption in a while but that is probably what planted the idea in my head. Regardless, it seems like a reasonable explanation.

A man has a hard life as a teen, and ends up in and out of jail until he starts committing bigger crimes – some light stalking and maybe mail fraud. After serving his time, he emerges from prison a reformed man. Secretly, he’s just biding his time, waiting for the right time to hit that damn Kroger hard, but he’s too cowardly plus the gritty food in prison destroys his dentures. Don’t even get him started on that food and what it does to his ulcers! In the mean time, he sacks groceries with a huge chip on his shoulder as he tries to mentor his teen colleagues in the ways of a criminal, but they don’t listen. All they care about is their rap music and doing the minimum amount of work in order to not get in trouble. Well, he’ll stick it to the system – every day, one pack of Werther’s Originals. “It’ll add up,” he tells himself, “The sweetest crime.”

I’m not sure who’s right here. My wife has a nice opinion; you know, that intrinsic optimistic viewpoint about the goodness in people. She doesn’t know people like I do. For you see, I grew up on the streets. While she worked a cushy job in the mall – yeah, the MALL – I toiled away on the food assembly line at Pizza Hut. While she rode horses as a youth, I was forced to play sharks and minnows at my neighborhood pool. She attended the lavish Communication College at the University of Texas, and I went to the lowly Liberal Arts College at the University of Texas.

She doesn’t know the working class like I do. Life is all cupcakes and ponies to her. If she only knew the muffin and butterfly life that I lived, she’d have a better understanding of this situation.


  1. The pony doesn't have ears!

    I'm with you on this one.


  2. That's no pony. It's a pony-eel hybrid. The head of an eel and the everything else of a pony.



  3. Nothing a brutal game of sharks and minnows to make a man hard.

  4. My brothers and cousins invented a game that was exactly like sharks and minnows except on hard, dry land, called Fox Over. The Fox tackles the running screaming little land minnows and holds them down for five seconds. The game was brutal...and yet we played it often. I understand the mean streets too, thanks to Fox Over.

  5. nice blog, just subbed to it.

    Make sure to follow mine at and follow a fellow texan

  6. it's good to have a positive influence in your life though haha... they say opposites attract (as cliche as that sounds)

  7. I'm with your wife. I believe people are basically good and want to do the right thing.