Monday, September 6, 2010

Gummi Bears

Monster Halloween-Minnesota has gone through quite a transformation. When we first gained access to the building August 13, we found a giant pile of garbage in the middle of the main floor swarming with fruit flies, left by the previous tenant, an explosives distributor. That pile was followed by a giant pile of merch delivered from Florida by train. The boxes were mangled, filled to overflowing with random halloween paraphenalia, occasional Christmas and bits of Easter. A fun pile to dig through, but exhausting.

That, and another 75 boxes of new merch. Most of it now on the shelves, which we built ourselves using steel A frames Hollywood Video left behind. We opened the doors Saturday, making more money in two days than the owners did the first ten days at their previous location, last Halloween. Which is to say, we made just about enough to pay two days worth of liabilities. Not great, but encouraging, as we have done no advertising and it is seven weeks until halloween. People seem to enjoy the store. Staff seem to be having fun.

Another thing left behind by Hollywood Video - three boxes of thirty count, 3.5 oz packages of Gummi Bears. The date on the exterior of the cardboard box is 02/27/07, which means the bears were likely manufactured in 2006. They are like rubberized High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). And they are a drug.

I haven't eaten much HFCS the last few years. The boxes sat untouched, under the counter, the first week. After a week, working 15 hours a day and sometimes forgetting to eat, I opened a package. I tried to avoid them therafter, without much success, opening one sometimes when my stomach reminded me I hadn't eaten in awhile, and I was too busy to go out, in search of something edible; and when I needed a little pick-me-up.

Others have taken to opening the packages. Yesterday, I opened one, walked away, came back several minutes later and the bears were gone. I opened another package, walked away, returned a few minutes later and the bears were gone. Staff are popping them like pills. Which they are, these HFCS Gummi Bears, a legal drug not any less addictive than nicoteen or alcohol, and equally destructive. More so, really, when you consider the treatment of the land where corn is grown. So very lucrative, for the food production and "Health Care" industries and their investors; so very detrimental to people and the Earth.

A drug we feed our kids, regularly. How difficult it is to break an addiction begun at about age three. A family member of mine bribes another family member for her love, with HFCS candy/drugs. I have objected, to no avail. That young child, the bribed, avoided candy assiduously, on her own, the first four years of her life. She now craves it, daily, repeatedly.

"What, you are sad, feeling bad, feeling out-of-sorts? Here, have some candy. I want you to like me. I want you to stop crying/throwing a tantrum/freaking out."

Meanwhile, we continue to pop gummi bears like pills. I found myself bouncing around the store recently, jittery and moving way too fast, having just popped 3.5 ounces of rubberized HFCS, into an empty stomach. I speculated one day during a lull, to staff, what are we going to do when the gummi bears run out? Everybody laughed. Most, including myself, continue to pop HFCS Gummi Bears like pills. We probably will, until they run out.

That said, though I am exhausted, this is surely the most fun I've had at any job. And it has only begun. The next step? The Boodoir. The beating heart, or womb, of what we are building here. A shrine, to the Goddess. Ladies...

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