Bad Licorice

My Mother had a craving for a few sweet items. Her favorite ice cream was Lemon Custard or Maple Nut. Her favorite chewing gum was Double Mint. She seemed to always be chewing on some gum, and when she offered you some, it was half a stick. I didn’t care for Double Mint Gum, nor Lemon Custard or Maple Nut ice cream, but another of her treats that she loved was Switzer’s Licorice.


She would love to have an occasional treat, so she would buy one and put it in the cupboard where she kept her “nice” china. One day when I was in college, I discovered her hidden treasure, and soon ended its existence. Well, it became part of me. Mom never said anything, but the following week, I again found a licorice, hidden in another place in the cupboard. It too disappeared. This went on for several weeks, with a licorice or two disappearing each week. She tried to be clever in where she hid them, but I was sneakier.

One day the licorice wasn’t hidden too well. I was disappointed that the hunt wasn’t harder, but, oh well. I took a bite of the licorice, and – well, “yuck!” It tasted terrible. It was still sealed. That can’t be. I took the licorice to the Island Market and told the owner, Floyd Saltern, that the licorice was rotten. He gave me a replacement, which I devoured.

When mom came home from work I told her about the rotten licorice. She was almost in tears laughing. You see, we had never said a word about the missing licorice. My mother then told me that she had used a hypodermic needle and injected the licorice with Cod Liver Oil. I don’t know who the joke was on. Me? Mom? or Floyd Saltern, who replaced the “rotten” licorice. By the way, I quit snitching her candy after that.