It’s Time for the Spring Ritual

It’s Spring, and my favorite day of the year is nearly upon us. What a glorious day it is. The weather is turning, the days are getting longer and after the extended fasting of lent we get post-Easter-candy-sales Monday.

I discovered this by accident years ago when I happened upon a store that still had loads of candy several days after Easter, and it was all on sale at 90% off. Yes, that’s nine-zero percent discount.

What a discovery it was. I snatched up five chocolate bunnies, fours bags of premium jelly beans, a dozen Cadbury Eggs and numerous other goodies. I gained weight that year, but it cost a mere 45 cents.

It was like the days of the Waltons when Erin and Jim Bob would buy 10 pieces of licorice for a penny. (Generation Check: If you don’t know who the Waltons are, you were born after 1975.)

In my family, we call a find like that a “consumer moment.” It’s one of those deals you tell people about all week. Most often it applies to getting a new iPod for $75 or a pair of really good running shoes for $30, but if a candy deal is that good, it qualifies as a consumer moment. Sometimes the post-Easter sales are so good that you write a column about them years later.

Beware: If you’re looking forward to a summer at the beach in that skimpy swim suit, stop reading right now. If your New Year’s resolution was to lose 20 pounds, stop right now. If you’re on the Atkins plan, STOP RIGHT NOW. There’s no place for you in the Candy Club. We’d love to have you, but we don’t need the guilt of corrupting your diet. We do that enough to ourselves.

But if you want in the Candy Club, you need only the right spirit, the drive to find the best deals on the sweets we deserve and the willingness to share the best sales with your closest friends.

It takes some preparation. The Saturday before Easter you have to scope out the stores and see which ones have the biggest stock. If you’re family and friends do the same, you can all talk about it on Easter and plan your strategies. Then first thing Monday morning you have to call off sick so you can hit the stores before everybody else. (You have to know your priorities.)

In fact, I’m all for making it a federal holiday. It’s got to be good for the economy when stores get another day for a sale, and it’s clear how it would contribute to the happiness of the masses. If politicians can pander to the Medicare lobby, the oil lobby and the marriage lobby, I think it’s time they pander to the Candy Club lobby, too.

So write your representatives and all the candidates in your area. Ask them to sponsor a constitutional amendment making the day after Easter a day off for everybody except the people who work in any store that sells Easter candy. (The amendment doesn’t have to be fair to store workers, they’re the minority.) Or if our elected officials can’t do that, they should at least help us scope out the best sales.