When I was a wee lad, my grandma used to babysit me a lot. She was a sweet lady who loved Arnold Schwarzenegger and had a right hand that didn’t open up all the way on account of an industrial accident at a factory where she worked.
When I got tired of watching Predator and started beating up on my sisters, she would Stop That Right Now, Young Man Or Else You’re Going To Get THE CLAW.
She would beckon at me with her semi-clenched hand, her fingers extended and her long, sharpened fingernails pointed directly at my heart.
And I would stop, sit back down and get right back to watching Predator.
Grandma (Grambo to those who knew her – she loved Stallone too) passed a couple of years ago. As my family gathered to mourn and pore over pictures, possessions and memories, my cousins and I all came to realize that nobody ever actually got The Claw [Ed. note: It turns out, to some’s chagrin.] – the object of our abject fear was merely a ruse to get us to stop being such little shits.
A similar ruse?
“If you don’t behave, all Santa is going to bring you is a lump of coal.”
Ignoring the fact that these days coal is a precious resource that might have a higher value than a great many other gifts, for a child, this is a scary-ass proposition. And, for the most part, it works.
Now, I know I’m not breaking new ground here, but we all recognize that nobody has ever – outside of the Kingsford briquette that your wisenheimer dad decided was a funny joke one year – gotten coal in their stocking in lieu of Christmas presents, right? The fortitude a parent would need to deal with the repercussions on Christmas morning alone would make it a futile decision, not to mention the therapy they’d need to pay for years later.
We continue to propagate the threat, though. And finally, someone’s taking advantage!
Butterfinger decided to market their holiday varietal as lumps of coal (pictured at top), and I couldn’t be happier. For one, it means the kids whose wisenheimer dads were going to put charcoal in their stocking now have a shot at a delicious alternative, but, really, it’s a creative way to package the best-possible form of Butterfinger. The chocolate-to-Butterfinger-stuffins ratio is higher than a typical Butterfinger, which offers a gentler tasting experience, both in the ways of initial taste as well as a more reasonable amount of candy that gets stuck in your teeth.