Happy Halloween, here’s a spooky combination for yo’ ass: gluten free Flying Cauldron Butterscotch “beer” Cream Soda and Boo Chips (brought to you by Tony’s Fine Foods—”Hey Tony, are your Boo Chips gluten free?” “Faggedaboutit!”), I was first drawn to this magical combo by my wife, who knows a good thing when she sees it (obviously) and couldn’t pass this up at Whole Foods. She, like me, believes that if the junk food she eats is Whole Foods junk food then it’s so much less junky that it might even be healthy.

The Boo Chips are ultra-crisp wafers of salty potato chips, shaped like ghosts. In the “spirit” of ghost hunter shows, I like to bite into a Boo Chip and then whisper (to no one in particular) “Did you hear that? It sounded like a … crunch of some sort” Then I gasp and say, “Look at my arms! My hairs are standing on end. I just got a chill; it’s like there’s a draft but it’s only in this spot.” Then I talk about playing the tape back, and I argue with myself about whether it’s a “house sound”. As you can tell, snacking with me is a lot of fun.

By the way, it says “5 servings” on the bag, which is very funny.


Flying Cauldron butterscotch “beer” is a delight. I’m in love with how creamy and butterscotchy this soda is, and I would love to learn more about it but all of the information on the box is Tolkien-speak about wizards and shit. There is a recipe for “Giggle Potion” (a cream soda float) on the side of the box. Also on the box is a baffling bio about an actual Flying Cauldron, “nestled deep in the forests outside of Hogsbreath, England.” Apparently they won some awards for their butterscotch beer in the 16th century? I don’t know, but it must be a joke since this is the season for tricks and treats—and I’m notoriously gullible. So, instead of discounting this magical potion/wizard history, I’ll just say, “pass the cauldron, wankers.”

Both of these snacks pander to people who struggle to reconnect with their more innocent side, in one way or another. Somehow, this is what Halloween has been reduced to in its essential form: A return to childhood, play, and pretend. The savvy marketers at these cynical (but in the most delicious way!) snack companies recognize this and use it to manipulate us: Butterscotch Beer is made for “under aged wizards and wizards who are young at heart” (barf); Boo Chips are “for kids of all ages”. I’m getting too old to be snacking on this stuff, even though it still hits the sweet spot every time. It’s hard enough to resist the siren song of potato chips and soda, I don’t need the packaging to be enabling my bad habits and telling me to not be so serious. What if we ALL thought like that? Like children? If only there was some sort of magic spell … POOF!

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