Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Things I'm Thankful For: Goobers

"In spite of everything," Anne Frank once said, "I still believe that people are really good at heart." Yes, Anne, I'd say that's a bit of a no-brainer.

Oh sure, some of your misanthropic types will argue that Man is an inherently destructive creature. "We're just a virus with shoes," I've heard them say. We've given the world nothing but warfare, hatred, pollution, genocide, and confusion. Century after century, Mankind keeps on making the same mistakes. In fact, Mankind IS a mistake. That's what the cynics will tell you. Personally, though, my faith in Humanity is renewed every single time I step up to a movie theater concession stand and ask for a medium Coke and a box of Goobers.

Having worked at a movie theater concession stand, I can tell you with a degree of certainty that the people behind the counter LOVE IT when someone places an order as simple as mine. A medium Coke and a box of Goobers? That's easy. You hand them a box of candy and pump a drink - case closed. It doesn't involve any real effort like, say, preparing nachos or making someone a hot dog. (Don't even get me started on the drama that comes with popcorn.)
So the clerk is always in a good mood when he/she hands me my Goobers. And I too am in a good mood as I stare with affection at the rectangular blue box which advertises the simple happiness found within: "Milk Chocolate & Fresh Roasted Peanuts". Pure poetry. My heart and soul are at peace. The moment is positively transcendent. "Would you like to get a LARGE Coke for just 50 cents more?" the clerk asks...."Oh HELL yeah," I say with a smile. "Absolutely. Life's too good to settle for Medium."

Sometimes - and I'm sure we've all been here - my large Coke and Goobers are the only things that get me through a shitty movie experience. If a movie's bad enough (and I'm notoriously impossible to please when it comes to movies), I'll sit back in my chair and try to imagine that fateful day when one of History's great anonymous heroes was snacking on some peanuts and said to himself, "Boy, I bet these sons of bitches would be fucking awesome with some chocolate on 'em." Oh, I'm sure he had his naysayers, people who said to him, "Chocolate covered peanuts? Gross! You can't mix chocolate and peanuts! It would taste sweet and salty at the same time! AND they'd look like rabbit turds!"...But the bold inventor of Goobers stood firmly behind his dream, reminding his detractors that ALL chocolate candies look like some variety of animal turd. With his critics silenced, he perservered. He perfected his product. He sold it to the Nestle Foods Corporation. And our movie-going experience was forever changed.

Yes, Mankind has dome some pretty terrible things. Yes, we've waged war. Yes, we've been cruel to one another. Yes, we've polluted our environment. But don't forget - we also invented the chocolate covered peanut. Anne Frank was so right.


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