The Great Lollipop Apocalypse

Reality Break: While I sometimes cloak myself in a world of fantasy and science fiction, there’s still plenty of real life to go around for me. Most of the time it’s the mundane stuff that we all wander through. Often it’s enjoyable. Occasionally it’s surreal.

Take this morning, in my living room where I was subjected to the great lollipop Apocalypse.

I have two kids, daughters ages six and three. If you don’t have kids you may not be privy to this information so I’ll inform you while those of you with kids nod your head knowingly and exchange wry looks. Kids attract certain objects into their lives and through proximity, their parents lives. I don’t know how this happens, what Darwinian construct in the nature of the Universe has built in this natural tendency but as sure as free T-shirts get themselves homes, this natural ability is there.

I don’t know if all kids are the same but with mine they tend to attract hordes of stuffed animals, exceedingly large numbers of pencils and lollipops. When my wife and I were new and inexperienced parents we went out and purchased several stuffed animals and perhaps in our naiveté we started this whole trend. Since then we’ve been donating thousands of stuffed animals a year and still they spill out of our windows and congregate under our beds. We haven’t consciously purchased one in years yet my daughters are constantly displaying their newest, beady-eyed, soft and quilted friend to me.

This same trend happens with Lollipops. I cannot remember the last time I paid money for a lollipop yet we have several 30 gallon trash bags full of the things. Any time my children wander within 30 feet of a lollipop there’s a loud shwoosh sound and suddenly they’re clutching lollipops in both hands and have them spilling out of their pockets. Don’t even talk to me about pencils.

Yesterday evening the kids were behaving particularly well. No objects of antiquity had been shattered, all of the female dolls still had all of their clothing on and they were being congenial and helpful to their parents. When our kids aren’t the source of a major international incident, we like to reward them for their efforts. After dinner I dragged out one of our plastic encased heaps of lollipops and each daughter picked her favorite, based on a complex set of criteria and sibling competition rules I’ll never fathom.

We enjoyed each other’s company and after a time the kids went to bed. This brings me to the second factor in this story. We have four cats. Two of them are older, going on 10 years old and are at the age where they spend more time sitting about looking wise or annoyed than trying to capture imaginary mice or rip your face of with a friendly swipe. The other two are the result of us visiting a shelter for the express purpose of not coming home with any more cats.

In hindsight, with two children in tow, this was a goal that had no basis in reality.

The two kittens are now on the verge of becoming cats and like all cats they’ve developed some odd obsessions. One of them is obsessed with two blue and yellow balls. The other is obsessed with one of our older cats, much to his eternal exasperation.

This morning I also found out that they are both obsessed with lollipop stems. Handles? What exactly do you call the tightly wrapped paper that forms the only method for not getting your hands sticky while eating lollipops? Whatever they may be, they are easily chewed through by cat mouths.

I must have left one of our bags of lollies out last night because this morning when I woke up I went through my normal routine. I shoved several cats off my chest, turned the alarm off, showered, checked my email, and headed out towards the kitchen to prepare breakfast for myself.

Thats when I saw them. Thirty or forty forlorn lollipop heads, devoid of their little stems yet still fully wrapped, laying about like so many casualties in some late night, high fructose war. Bits of not-so-tightly-wrapped lollipop bodies were strewn around the place. It was obvious that whatever resistance those little suckers put up, it simply wasn’t enough.

I wish I had had the presence of mind to grab my camera. In my defense it wasn’t quite 6:30 in the morning and here I was trying to quietly clean up quite a mess while all of the guilty little fur balls have vanished from sight.

Let that be a lesson to me and to you – a cautionary tale. Never leave your candy unguarded else you may repeat the great lollipop apocalypse of 2009.

[tags]lollipop, apocalypse, cats[/tags]

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