The most wonderful time of the year

As Thanksgiving recedes and I fail to write about it due to time constraints, I fear the events of that week may never be recorded for all posterity.

Eh, who cares. I'll get to it if I can.

What I'm stuck on now is my complete addiction to Palmer chocolate candy. Seriously.

You've seen these in the drugstore, and probably not anywhere else, and you see them during the holidays, and probably not anytime else. And when they're there, so am I, plonking out my $1.29 for what is called — at least this time of year — "Santa's Sack." (And yes, I've already snickered ironically about that particular name.)

But the fact that they're called Santa's Sack is somehow completely indicative of the Palmer way. If you go to their Web site, you'll understand much of this. First of all, they're a chocolate company. In Pennsylvania. And yet — not Hershey's. They didn't even open for business until about 50 years after Hershey's opened. That takes some guts. Some, dare I say, sack.

Or was it a form of innocence? Evidence points to the latter. The Web site is well designed but wholesome, and even uses a Willy Wonka-reminiscent figure to introduce the factory tour. Did you know those Easter bunny eyes and details were hand-painted? Well, now you do! And then there are the contents of the sacks, which this time of year are called "Peanut Butter" (shaped like bells), "Double Crisp Santa's Letters" (a trapezoidal shape with Rice Krispie-like contents encased in chocolate), and "Fudge Teddies" (not something out of Victoria's Secret, but rather a behatted-bear-in-tinfoil chocolate personage wtih a fudgy interior). The first time I looked at the "Letters" tinfoil for more than three seconds I realized it featured rather sour-looking children on it with phrases written next to them that read, "I was just a little naughty," and "I promise to do better next year" and the somewhat Clinton-esque "define 'good.'"

The important thing about Palmer's chocolates, however, is this: They are are not, definitely not, Hershey's. They're not Lindt, they're not Perugina, Neuhaus or Godiva. They're actually — pretty crappy. The chocolate is just not great and comes with a strange aftertaste which, after two or three, you find you just can't live without. I think that aftertaste is actually called "meth." So I call them my bad candy, bad in so many ways more than just calorie-wise. And this time of year, as well as at Easter, I buy as many sacks as I can. There's a deep satisfaction to be achieved in tearing open the plastic mesh holder and choosing one of each kind, then dumping the rest in the communal candy jar near my desk.

Too, too near.

So when I don't write about Thanksgiving, this is why. And having various movie-related events in the evening. More soon. Meanwhile, get yourself some Palmer candy. You'll regret it the rest of your life, and go back for more.