I went with a friend for Chinese food tonight. As we were paying our bill at the front counter, I noticed boxes of rice candy under the glass. I had vague memories of loving rice candy many years ago, so I decided to buy a pack for the trip home, as seen here:
When we got back in the car, I said, “Dude, you’ve gotta try this. The wrapper is edible.”
“Seriously?” he asked. “I can just put the whole candy in my mouth, wrapper and all?”
“Cool, right? That’s why I bought it. You just chew on it, and the wrapper dissolves.”
We each popped a piece in our mouths and started chewing. The red-and-white printed wrapper was crackly and crunchy…not really all that dissolve-y, truth be told. “This tastes…wrong, dude,” my friend said.
“It is a little chewier than I remember, but it will dissolve,” I replied confidently.
Three blocks later, I was still gnawing on the wrapper. When we stopped at a red light, I stole a long look at the candy box in as non-obvious a way as was possible. I didn’t want to alarm my friend; I just wanted to reassure myself that I hadn’t falsely remembered the joys and functionality of rice candy. The inner fold on the box read, “Each candy has an edible inner wrapper that melts in your mouth.” The words couldn’t have been more clear: An edible inner wrapper. I quickly grabbed another piece and unwrapped it. Sure enough, under the printed wrapper–the same exact wrapper my friend and I were trying to work past–was a delicate, Listerine strip-thin, wrapper. With horror and a gag reflex that was starting to make itself known, I came to realize that we’d both been chewing plastic for five minutes.
I acknowledged my mistake, which was becoming more obvious with each bite we took, and pulled over on a residential block so we could both fling our doors open and spit out the plastic-coated messes that were caking on our teeth.
We pulled away from the curb silently. Finally, my friend said, “You made me eat plastic tonight.”
Looking straight ahead, I acknowledged, “Yep.”
“You swore it was edible.”
“You suck to hang out with.”