Søppeldynga

Joy of the Day 27/365: Eating garbage candy

My good friend in Norway, Kristin Hestmann Vinjerui, sends me presents at my birthday (and I send ones to her). This year my gift to her was The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It is either resonant with her current work or redundant on it, because she is a medical doctor and a doctoral student in public health.

Her gift to me arrived today, a month after my birthday, with a note that said she originally bought it in April but ate it in June. :-) I don't blame her. It's candy, and it's awesome.

And if "resonant or redundant" is this year's birthday gift theme, then this is exactly right. It's "søppeldynga godteri," which translates as "rubbish-dump candy." "Do you really like a leaking garbage bag?" the packaging reads in Norwegian. "In 'søppeldynga' you can root around in your favorite waste: rotten fish, sewer sludge, dog mess, and much more. Delicious quality waste from Bonbon."

It IS delicious. It is basically regular mixed hard candy, but has the salty flavor that I love and seem to find only in Norwegian sweets. Kristin is my oldest friend -- we're friends for over half our lives now -- but this manages to reach back to the part of my life she wasn't there for. It reminds me of similar stuff from when I was a small kid that I found deeply amusing and compelling.

... Actually, my impression hasn't changed. I have been eating it compulsively since it arrived.

Now I am snacking on a few more while watching a live stream of an awards ceremony for a kind of fiction (sci fi) that I never read, solely because there is a very silly, slightly trashy kind of controversy in this ceremony this year, and I have taken an interest in it for a weird emotional reason of my own. This thing is as intellectually nutritious as candy is physically nutritious. It is the garbage candy of TV.

So, in short, this gift is a reiteration of what came before. And it resonates quite well with this present moment, too. It is great. Thank you, Kristin.