I spent five years in the Army, three of those years were spent on an isolated mountain with 4-5 other single soldiers ranging between the ages of 19-25. Our mission was to maintain communications between Berlin and the rest of the world. During some of this period, East Germany was in control of the U.S.S.R. and we were stationed within two miles of the border and could see the Russian listening post built to intercept our transmissions.
Eventhough this may seem like a very difficult mission, our job was to simply maintain our equipment and repair any problems promptly. But we had redundant systems…if one went down, we had another one right behind it ready to go.
This meant that we had a lot of time and not a lot to do.
I learned to love reading during my time up there and we also played a LOT of Pinochle.
All that was just the background, whew…are you still there?
One evening, after our five hour trip to the commissary, a fellow resident had brought out his large bag of Sweetarts. The large bag was filled with probably 100 smaller bags of this familiar candy.
As he opened the first package, he was amazed that he had two of the three candies that said “bite em” embossed on it.
I told him that is wasn’t so odd, that I was sure it was about a 50/50 ratio of “S’s” to “bite ‘em’s”.
He said that it was less that 25% “bite ‘em” and DOUBLE DARED me to bet him otherwise.
After deciding that the loser of the bet would have to eat the entire pile of 300+ Sweetarts in one sitting, we agreed and began opening packages.
It became evident rather quickly that he was going to be right and I was going to have to consume MANY Sweetarts.
It turned out to be about 10% ”Bite ‘em” and 90% “S”.
I started with a handful, stuffed them in my mouth and completed the task in about 30 minutes, despite a little pain.
This little pain turned into a big pain as blisters began forming on my tongue and the sides of my mouth.
For the next 2 1/2 weeks, I endured the pain of 14 blisters inside of my mouth from this little bet about the embossing of letters on the Sweetarts.
This happened about 16 years ago and I have managed to eat about three of four of them since them, but every Halloween, when we pour the candy out on the table and inspect it, my mouth begins to water and my eyes start twitching whenever I see that old familiar Sweetart wrapper.