Eten & Drinken: A Dutch Treat?

A nice sentiment.

What’s worse than a jerk who doesn’t update his blog? A mediocre attempt to deflect his sloth. But, take solace in the fact that the dust collected on the internet is a nightmare, and don’t get me started on the tumbleweeds. Also, I’m subjecting myself to something gross right now for your edification and potential enjoyment.

Here’s some unnecessary history. I had just enjoyed a thoroughly un-Dutch dinner with some friends when I got a thoroughly Dutch surprise at the end of the meal, a lollipop. I like mints, but a lollipop is a neat twist. Even more unnecessary history. I lack the restraint and will-power to eat a lollipop like a normal human being. I bite into candies almost immediately. Liz reluctantly lets me try anything she’s eating because I’ll compulsively chomp on it. Holy crap that was boring. Less on that story as details emerge, folks.

I held back a little with this Dutch lollipop because it was something new to me. It looked something like the Brach’s root beer barrel candies, so I was expecting a similar taste. Nope. It’s has the gross anise flavor that the Dutch are obsessed with. Tired of the only moderately sweet flavor and not liking the licorice taste, I chomped down to end the suffering.

“You don’t need to eat it, just throw it away.”

“Shut up, brain.”

Biting down only served to reduce the duration of the suffering, not the intensity. Picture a Tootsie-Pop of Blow-Pop. Now picture it tasting a bit metallic and a bit like cod liver oil. You bite into it and become angrily aware that there is a fine powder on the inside. Oh no, it’s not a poison to put you out of your misery. It’s salty and bitter with a distinctly acrid finish. You grow short of breath and seize up, which is a shame because the one clear message your brain is giving your body is to spit it out. You do that thing with your mouth that dogs do when you give them peanut butter. No, not inadvertently lick a pervert’s genitalia. Even though it’s not sweet a cloying aftertaste lingers. And lingers.

In the throes of disgust, self-hatred, and anger at Dutch confectioners, I missed some nuances of the horror. As retribution, I am eating one of these wretched candies as I write this. I’ll be taking you through this train wreck step by agonizing step.

I’ve been eating it like a normal human so far. It’s gross and I would not recommend it. I know it’s full of sugar, but it’s not that sweet. Maybe the people running the lollipop machine ran out of sugar halfway.

“Hey Jan, think anyone would notice if I used salt instead of sugar?”

“Nee nee. Good idea. You’re a crafty one, Dirk.”

Jan and Dirk were summarily fired. Unfortunately it was for running a black market office supply store of stolen paperclips, widgets, and post-it notepads. The Dutch fat cats at Semi-Sweet & Gross confections liked the mishap, ensuring the dreams of many expats would be crushed.

A nice sentiment gone awry.

Like the big dumb idiot I am, I bite into the anise-devil. Oh god. I think its gone bad. It still tastes like salt. But now the salt is mixed with lye, or bleach instead of sugar. Why do these things exist? It hurts my mouth. It might be caustic. My eyes can taste it. I just got up to walk it off like I’d been hit by a pitch in Little League. I manically waive my hand in front of my mouth because that works.

“Spit it out, Marc.”

“Shut up, brain.”

For the love of humanity, why?

I’m seeing this thing through to the end because I believe there is integrity in persistence. My disappointment quickly turned to anger. If you’re like me and find yourself getting mad at inanimate objects, candy or not, please stop reading this and call a therapist. To show the candy who’s the boss, I bit down harder and chewed aggressively. Another backfire. The badness somehow increased exponentially. I tag out because the integrity of persistence is stupid and overrated. You win, horrible Dutch treat. Being defeated by a non-sentient pile of sugar and vitriol is pretty depressing, so rest assured that the return to blogging was both physically and emotionally scarring.

My experience with it has made me question the existence of both rainbows and unicorns. Do not be fooled, this lollipop is not a pleasant after-dinner treat; it’s designed to incite anguish. If it accompanies your bill at a restaurant, do not eat it and do not tip your waiter, he was being a dick.


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