Top ten bizarre candies from the Dollar Tree: squeezy fluff, cowboy candy and gummy rats

Gummy droppings not included.
Gummy droppings not included.

I'm a writer so I'm always in a state of coinus interruptus, but imagine my surprise when I recently discovered a dollar store where things actually cost a dollar each: Dollar Tree. This economical sanctuary at 4923 East Colfax Avenue has some splendid buys for a crumpled George Washington, and the candy aisle up front has impressively peculiar sweetmeats that are sure to impress a gaggle of glucose-magnet shorties -- or grown folks with too much time and too little Cheddar to blow.

My ten favorites:

10. Nutty fluffer candy.

Mallow Pals are squeezable packets decorated with pictures of exotic animals filled with flavored marshmallow schmeg. If you take a butane lighter to the business end, I'm sure you're only seconds away from a toasted ghetto treat.

9. Candyville slugger.

Batter Up candy baseballs are encased in a rather durable plastic bat, perfect for tree-house defense. If you took a swing at somebody with this seemingly innocuous candy-crammed toy, you could rupture a gall bladder. But kids these days aren't exposed to gratuitous violence from television, movies or video games, so I wouldn't worry about it.

8. Blacksmith candy.

A Slo-Poke bar is steelier than Chuck Norris's gonads, and could rip the fillings from a grown man's jaw if he doesn't chew this caramel bar carefully. The candy is obviously a throwback to the days when a cowboy could walk into a saloon/whorehouse/blacksmith shop/dry goods store, plunk down a coin and get a bath, a meal, a bottle of whisky, a female companion, his horse newly shod and a rotted molar extracted, all at the same time.

7. Waxing sentimental candy. These pliable little wax bottles filled with tinted sugar syrup have been around since I was a kid, probably longer, but since I was a youngster back in the Pleistocene era when Reeboks and Ronald Reagan were in style, I'll credit my timeline with yielding some rewards and a few penalties. Two of the bigger drawbacks were me getting my ass whupped for spray-painting my brother -- and getting hollered at for chewing on the empty wax bottles.

6. Patriot rolls. Nothing says "democracy that screws the middle class every ten minutes" like Tootsie Rolls dressed out in all-American red, white and blue. These ubiquitous turdly treats might change their clothes, but I guarantee that the implacable brown tar bits under the wrapper are still the same. After civilization dies out and the aliens visit our frozen rock, they will find cockroaches, a couple of "Cash for Gold" signs and every single uneaten Tootsie Roll that survived the end of days.

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