Sugar is Sweet

A humorous memory piece written in a unique style. Will hopefully appeal to all adults who have a memory or story to tell about the sweets from their past.


Sugar is Dandy 

One of my first memories is of sugar. Of course I didn’t know it was sugar as such, but I knew I liked it and demanded more. I have a vague recollection of tentatively tasting something sweet, proffered by my mother on the end of a spoon. It was possibly Gerber brand chocolate custard. Or some sort of sweet gel from a little jar. Or it could have been stewed apple made by my mother, in which case it would not have been sweet enough. She was a sugar Nazi.

Which brings me to my next memory; my mother’s obsession with teeth. Her teeth, our teeth, my father’s teeth, our friends’ teeth. She was a relentless nag, more so than ever about our goddamn teeth. You’d have a little friend over to play after school and be given a mini box of smarties each. Oh, the excitement of opening that little box to reveal all the colours of the rainbow. Millions of smarties waiting to be eaten in so many ways; crunched (instant but fleeting gratification), nibbled (requiring delicate movement to remove the candy layers leaving only chocolate), or sucked (making it easier to remove the candy shell whilst giving you a coloured tongue).

And there would be my mother, standing like a sentry soldier on watch with toothbrush and toothpaste in hand; waiting for the very second we had finished our last sugar-coated drop before ushering us to the bathroom. I‘m surprised that we were allowed to use ‘Jack and Jill’ pineapple flavoured toothpaste.

 And that, I believe, is where my sugar addiction started. For, had she had been more forthcoming with the stuff, then perhaps my three brothers and sister and I would not have had to resort to manipulation, stealing and lying all in the name of sugar. Oh, the irony. My poor mother trying to look after her kids teeth by withholding sweet  goods and all the while, we were developing into sweet savages, likely to beg, borrow and steal to get a sugar fix.

Not for us the soft drinks, iced fancies and white bread with golden syrup that children’s dreams are made of (although there was the occasional pikelet with a smear of jam thrown our way). From early on, my mother decided she would deny us sugar and we, equally, exerted as much effort into getting the stuff into our growing, sugar-depleted bodies. Of course, it wasn’t all bad. As a kid, sugar tends to make a regular appearance in your life, but in typical ‘want what you can’t have fashion’ my mother’s obvious and vocal deprivation only served to make us desire it more.

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