Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Great Halloween Chocolate-athon

It happens twice per year ... there's no way to avoid it ... it's heaven for kids and natural born skinnies; it's hell for diabetics, dieters and health food store proprietors.

It's the Biennial Chocolate Olympics.

Now, in March or April these Olympics seem to be obsessed with rabbits, hatchling chickens and eggs ... which is perfectly understandable, when you remember that the festival of Easter started life as (!) Eostar, one of the high points of the (!!) pagan calendar, and the year's biggest, brightest, bestest (!!!) bonking tournament.

Yes: Eostar was a fertility festival ... hence the chocolate bunnies and eggs and chicks. Comparatively late in the scale of human evolution was Eostar was morphed into Easter by the early Church, which slightly renamed it. (They just weren't trying ... they could have called it Holy Hoppazoozitztide, and sworn to people it was a word that came straight from heaven, via the Ark of the Covenant, which had been stumbled over just the week before by the emperor's special operative in Judeah, Indianus Jonos, who was actually looking for the wreck of this really big, fat boat, and got a bum steer from a secondhand camel dealer who sold him the wrong map.)

In fact, Easter remained a bonking bonanza; only its name changed ... the church even allowed its very date to be set by the phases of the moon ... still true today, which is why Easter floats around like a cork in a bathtub.

And even now, 1683 years (calculators come in handy) after the Council of Nicea, where the new church's sacred days were fixed (hey, you've seen The Da Vinci Code, right?) Western Civilization is still bunny-happy, and egg-centric, and chick-obsessed, when the floating date of Holy Hoppazoozitztide -- whoops, Easter -- comes around again.

Only, we've translated the whole fertility cult into CHOCOLATE. Fertility ... sex ... procreation (if you're not bloody careful; if you're not contentedly gay; if you're not a person happily blessed with the DINK or MINK mindset) ... means the start of new life.

For the record: rabbits + eggs + chicks = sex = procreation = new life = chocolate.

Now, this explains one of the Biennial Chocolate Olympics ... or at least it explains the symbology, though I'm damned if I personally see the connection between a Mars Bar or a packet of Maltesers, and standing in the checkout line at Big W (Walmart in the US), behind an unfortunate young woman paying huge bucks for a 132-pack of Huggies ... though, I admit, the connection has been firmly established during the last several generations. It all looks a little bit weird to me, but then, what the hey, we're all human. Well, most of us are, anyway.

However, our civilization has more of this Big Fun in store. The second of the Biennial Chocolate Olympics takes place almost exactly six months later, at another renamed pagan festival: the whole place goes ballistic at Halloween, and -- whether or not you're diabetic, a dieter, or the proprietor of a health store -- you're wading up to your navel in chocolate. Again.

Halloween was last night (Here's my post:, and this morning we still have a pile of chocolate left over after the trick-or-treaters finished. Now, the whole Halloween celebration has become a matter of costume parties and scary movies on DVD, while a few of the adults are out "trick of beering."

As I mentioned yesterday, for those folks of the pagan persuasion, it's Samhaine ... a time where no one minds if you have a big party (pagans really know how to party), but the festival is really about communicating with your deceased loved ones -- and dodging those people whom you really got barking-mad in this life, and they're dead now, and probably just as mad with you.

In other words: dead people + Samhaine = death = chocolate.

Right. Start of life = chocolate. End of life = chocolate. A pattern emerges.

Well, so long as the equations balance, I suppose. They're probably reciprocal anyway, so it could also be shown that


Where L is the number of years you've Lived to date, D = the number of your relatives who have passed away (Died), C = the average volume of Chocolate consumed by yourself without the assistance of family members or trick-or-treaters, and "x" is the amount, expressed in eith pounds or kilos, of weight you personally gain at each of these Biennial Chocolate Olympics.

There, now the whole thing makes a great deal more sense, doesn't it?

Chocolate is life, so "just do it," and if you do it often enough, the words "Death by Chocolate" will assume a whole new gravity.

Speaking of our Halloween -- we did not watch either Chocolat or Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. We watched Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sleepy Hollow. Anyone notice how Halloween seems to be a kind of Johnny Depp Fest? Or is it a Tim Burton Fest? Well, either one. Those two seem to go together like caramel and fudge...

These are two good Halloween movies, if you're looking for blood by the bucket-fulls and heads getting whacked off in every direction. If you're looking for the best haunted house story, I recommend THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE; and if you're just looking for something to really creep you out, well, you could do worse than tune into any political broadcast issuing from the general vicinity of the USA. Shivers.

The US "goes to the polls" in about 100 hours, and like many people around this planet, I shall be holding my breath.

To folks on the other side of the dateline: Happy Halloween!


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