Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Peep Dust of Candy Land

If the big bang subscribed to Ockham's Razor, the world would have ended up looking a lot like Candy Land. Invented in 1945 by polio victim Eleanor Abbott, Candy Land is a realm like no other. Violence is non existence, pain is cast into the proverbial abyss, and all that remains is the quest to find the lost king.

Within the game, the adventurers progress by drawing randomly colored cards. Everyone is given equal opportunity. On this rainbow coated path of fun, the adventurers stop at various locales and landmarks. Queen Frostine and Gramma Nutt provide solace on the trail, while the Candy Cane Forest and Gum Drop Mountains harbor vistas so beautiful, so pure, that they could only exist within this fantastical realm. Even when the adventurers draw an unfortunate card and are sent back to these places, they are not upset. Instead they smile, knowing that they are still in Candy Land.

Yet, after 15 to 21 minutes the game ends, the king is found, and the adventure comes to a close. The color drains from the kid's faces as they are forced to clean up, hastily shoving the magic back into a cardboard box. Instead of simply relying on color recognition and searching for some fictitious king, the kids are suddenly faced with real world problems. Issues that no one that young should have to deal with.

We are all forced into a world of polio and struggle, a realm where the phrase "lines of peep dust" fails to hold a friendly connotation. But at the end of the day, for all its flaws, the contemporary world will always trump Candy Land.

It's real.

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