Here's the Scoop: April 23, 2014
Season’s over. Thankfully
It’s a bittersweet time of year — the end of the Cadbury Mini Egg (CME) Season. Who am I trying to kid? There’s no “bitter” about it — those little candies are pure sugary goodness.
Around the News office, the cravings for CMEs (never to be confused with the military’s legendarily not-so-tasty MREs – Meals Ready to Eat) begin just about the time that everyone is getting sick of the last of the holiday cookies. The tension starts slowly, but years of experience have taught the staff that there will be NO CMEs before their time. And that time is after Valentine’s Day. Not a moment sooner.
As experienced consumers of CMEs, News personnel have become skilled at judging the taste quality of CMEs. Some years, we have determined, yield CMEs that are just a tad better than others. They are ALL great, of course.
The super taste of CMEs has, naturally, led to an increase in popularity in these parts. I like to think that my unpaid (unfortunately) gushing over these sweet treats in this column has caused a tiny spike in local sales — kind of like a recommendation on Oprah’s Book Club. There have even been seasons when CMEs are a bit hard to find around here. I recall much too vividly the year where I could find NO CMEs prior to the Fantasy Baseball Draft. Along with pizza and an armful of Fantasy Baseball magazines, CMEs are a draft night requirement for me. I was, it’s safe to say, in a panic.
Small supply, big demand
Just minutes before the draft I made a trip to a convenience store and way overpaid for a bunch of bags of CMEs that had about two or three eggs each. The whole thing was upsetting. And, I didn’t do well in the fantasy competition that year. I think the lack of quality CMEs had an impact on the outcome of my draft. Or, maybe it was just lousy picking of players.
Whatever the reason, I wasn’t leaving anything to chance this year when it came to stocking up on CMEs. I was in the store early looking for those purple bags of goodness. CVS generally has the most CMEs and I was more than a little surprised to find not a single bag amongst an entire shelf of Easter candy. None. Trying not to appear panicked, I mentioned this lack of supply to a clerk. She assured me that CMEs were the favorite of the manager (who used to compete in our Fantasy Baseball league) and that she wasn’t sure why there were none on premises.
The following week, I again scoured the candy aisle and couldn’t find any CMEs. The draft was still more than a month away, but one can’t be too careful. As I made one last, slow pass through the candy display, a voice came out of nowhere. “Are you looking for Mini Eggs?” Even though I couldn’t see the person speaking, there was no doubt the question was directed at me.
Not cracking up
Once I made sure that I wasn’t having some sort of CME-related hallucination, I spotted the manager smiling at me. “We have a bin of them up here,” she said, pointing at what had started out as a full display, but was now about half full.
I scooped up a bunch and — best of all — they were on sale. I grabbed a few more. The manager explained that she had to get her supply from a store in Binghamton. I told her the effort was much appreciated.
Naturally, I dug deeply into the supply, but I was also careful to set aside one bag for draft night. A week later, my wife was looking through a non-food cupboard and discovered my stash.
“Now you’re hiding Mini Eggs?” she asked in confusion.
I explained that it was part of my Fantasy Baseball draft strategy. My tale was so dumb that she knew it was true. I think she was actually relieved that I was merely playing “hide and sneak” with the CMEs, like someone trying to quit smoking.
As it turned out, I had an ample supply of CMEs on draft night. Now that baseball season is starting to heat up, Mini Egg season is winding down. Ironic. That’s OK, though, having CMEs available year-round would make them a little less special. But no less sweet.
— Brian Sweeney