It's come to this: I ordered Life Savers online.
This is after weeks of searching. I finally found the rolls for sale at Hidden Sweets in Harvard Square, but they weren't the right flavor and my craving was not satisfied. I've been craving them for over a month. I had to give in.
And did you hear me? It took weeks of searching just to find the classic five-flavor roll. Did you notice that Life Savers have disappeared from every candy display in every drugstore, supermarket, and megamart within... well, I've really only surveyed within driving distance of my house, but it took weeks of searching. Weeks, I tell you. I didn't notice until I couldn't stop looking for them. Sure, you can find bags of them in the candy aisles, but they're individually wrapped candies, and Life Savers come in rolls. Any idiot knows that. And besides, those bags don't come in the assortment I want.
What I was craving, what I'm still craving, and will crave until Amazon delivers, is the Tropical Fruits pack. When I was a teenager, I always had a roll of them in my book bag. They were one of the few candies sold at the strange little school store that sold Snapple iced tea and gold chains. There was nothing better than a study period with no one who wanted to gossip, a paperback novel, and an entire roll of Tropical Fruits. I remember realizing I actually liked Silas Marner as I struggled to let a Papaya Punch dissolve all the way without ever shattering.
To transition from Andy Rooney mode to Holden Caulfield mode, I'm actually pretty angry that rolls of Life Savers have disappeared. They disappeared because we weren't buying them. They disappeared because we didn't care. They were an American institution, like Coca-Cola or Bounty, and we stopped paying attention. They were such a nice, concise candy, with a minimal wrapper and easy to eat surreptitiously. Nicely portioned. Easy to share. Brightly flavored, nothing to get in your teeth. Now how will teenagers find ways to turn out the lights if not to prove that Wint-O-Green Life Savers really do make a spark when you bite them in the dark? Life Savers have fallen out of favor to gum, and I think that's a perfect example of what's wrong with society.