I took a trip to the grocery store last night after work, much like the scenario presented in David Foster Wallace’s famous Kenyon College commencement speech “This Is Water,” and a treat caught my eye. Have you ever seen it before? I had not.
A Cadbury “Screme Egg.” Like a Cadbury Creme Egg, but for Halloween. It was presented without fanfare next to the Halloween-shaped Reese’s candy, a treat everyone has seen before, as if it were the same. But it is not the same: it is new.
I was just at a gas station when I saw these. What the hell? I thought these delicious creme filled concoctions only came around during Easter? How long have a been missing out every Halloween... not knowing these existed?
Man—that’s what I’m saying, in a way.
As a young person I loved Cadbury Creme Eggs. (As an older person—though still so young that it is crazy—I find myself enjoying them less and less. They are very gross, actually, but yes I would like one if you have an extra.) While I lamented the fact that they only came around in springtime, I knew their seasonal nature made them better somehow than if they were available year-round. A special treat. Eat them and feel disgusting while you can—they won’t last forever. Would I have asked for them to be available year-round if presented with that specific wish opportunity? Maybe, but I would have thought about it first.
And yet, without anyone having asked for them, here they were again, in the fall. Filling too late a former almost-desire. Plying children with chocolate and goo months after their chocolate and goo supply should have depleted, months before the anticipation of more chocolate and goo should have awoken within them.
After getting home, I asked a friend, “Have you ever seen this before?” He said no. Soon after I asked another friend, “You ever seen these before?”—he also said no. A poll of two coworkers split the difference: one coworker had never seen them, another said she had seen them in grocery stores for “several years.” Just a little bit of research.
Here is what they look like inside:
Divorced from its tenuous association with egg yolk, the fondant inside the egg, now green, denotes not life, but death; not rebirth, but snot; not Jesus, but Halloween Jesus (Satan). The fondant’s consistency is still something for which you’d rather not spend too much time thinking of a comparison. The chocolate is the same.
It tastes like a Cadbury Creme Egg.
A Cadbury “Screme Egg.” How about that. Like the Cadbury Creme Eggs you once thought as limited, but right now, sitting in your grocery store, next to things more familiar, with green inside. Something you might have wanted at one point, here to remind you that you no longer want it. Presented without fanfare. Gross. Disgusting and sugary and too much—now even more. A Cadbury “Screme Egg.” AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Screme egg.
Life can surprise you, usually in a way that doesn’t matter ultimately.