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A Reflection on Technicolor Enslavement

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I have a problem. I am seriously and hopeless addicted to on of the most insidious of legal mood-altering substances on the planet. I may or may not have had 4 bags of them hidden in different places around my home, in different varieties so that at any point I was less than 20 feet from one of them. What is this crippling drug? Jolly Ranchers.

The road to hell is paved with delicious fruit flavoring.

I’m not normally a candy junkie. In fact, the only candy I will buy outside of Halloween are the Ranchers. It started off innocently enough, with youth camp leaders handing them out with other candies as prizes. Hook the youth, and you’ve got your customers for life, as they say. Like the little fiend I was, I devoured these amazing little nuggets of damnation without a second thought. As the years passed, the cravings got worse. I started branching out, from the original five flavors into the Passion Mix, or the Wild Berry, and even the Screamin’ Sours. Every passing day was filled with the desire for the little logs of fruity self-destruction. I stashed them in ziploc bags in my sock drawer so I could eat them before breakfast without my mother finding out. The couches of my house were filed with wrappers I shoved in between cushions to avoid detection. These tactics kept me safe from parental interference in my habit until I graduated from high school and moved to college. There I learned just how crippling my addiction had become.

Studying without the Ranchers proved impossible. I had to have one in my mouth at all times or the knowledge just flowed out of my head as soon as it entered. Eating the same flavor twice in a row cause paralyzing bouts of writer’s block and heaven forbid I eat grape after eating apple. Bad mistake. By the end of my second semester there, I was cooked. Totally baked and completely useless.

A fellow Rancher addict at the same stage of addiction.

I knew I had to do something. I started to research Jolly Ranchers feverishly, looking for some insight into how to break my addiction and escape the cravings. No matter where I looked though, I couldn’t seem to find anything more than basic information about the Ranchers. The Wikipedia page was only a paragraph long for crying out loud! There had to be a reason. Then: it hit me. Someone wanted the secrets of the Ranchers kept quiet. Of course! It all made sense now! I’d been fed the first ranchers as a child, hooked, and then reeled in as life went on. But who had given me the Ranchers to begin with? Authority figures! If we don’t stop this before it spreads, we’ll end up living in a dystopian future ruled by a tyrannical Texan named Jolly R!

And he'll look just like Joe Don Baker.

So rise up, my brothers and sister! Rise up before the Ranchers take hold! If we stand together, we can stop Joe Don Baker/Jolly R from taking over! UNITE!!!

Maybe I’ve just been without a rancher for too long…

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