Candy is dandy, but…


Every so often, I find a saying rattling around in my head. Much like any song that begins playing and then won’t leave alone, you find your thoughts drawn to it. And, in my case, looking it over from different angles.

The first consideration here is about the obvious elephant in the room.

Is liquor quicker?

Because that’s the expression. That’s the literal of it…

“Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker”

Hard not to read it and think of a dating scenario, with a doorbell rung and a suiter presenting flowers and a box of chocolates. Also not hard to miss the nod to legendary poor-decision-making assistance of alcohol.

To our credit on the whole, social awareness, practices, and expectations have risen in many ways. I wish it were universally true… it’s not. We still have a long way to go. A very long way to go. But I’d like to think that by and large, the majority of us treat each other with respect and dignity, and that we understand where actions can be wrong and abusive. (And I hope that’s not too naïve of me.)

The difficulty is that in this day and age that combines political correctness with social awareness, pressured by quick responses, fueled by anonymous and thoughtless reactions, the navigation of strong subject matter can be a dangerous course to set. People jump to conclusions and reactions and criticisms without knowing context or situations.

So let me be clear… this is not an essay that in any way should be viewed as being about using alcohol in an evil, manipulative, wicked manner. Let’s make an attempt to look beyond that concept, and figuratively, not ring that doorbell. Let’s consider this instead a thought featuring the battles between the mythic good boy and bad boy qualities. Let’s consider, gosh darn it, as so many good boys might complain: why is the bad boy found more appealing? Why is dangerous more exciting?

The original quote belongs to Ogden Nash. Known for his sense of humor and incredible rhymes, Nash is certainly a name you know, though you may not know why. There’s a lot of that around. And I’m sure you even know quotes where you think you know who said it, but the world has poorly or incorrectly attributed the source.

Anyway… Nash… and the quicker liquor.

I suppose both might be thought of as vices. The candy considered a harmless one in moderation. Alcohol in moderation being fine as well… in more than my opinion alone… and some will even tell you that the glass of wine assists in improving health.

Both are taxed in some ways by society. Liquor at the point of purchase. And candy? Well… point of purchase, and certainly people will eventually want to tax it even more because it’s just not healthy eating. But more to the idea, what about health care costs? Now insurance programs want to raise rates for people that smoke and are overweight… because of course, some printed on paper, cookie-cutter view of what is healthy is always right.

Of course, we can also switch the concept of this meaning to something much more likely…

You’ve heard that you get more bees with honey than vinegar. You’ve probably been told… quite often… that nice matters. And it does. It’s important to be kind and nice to people. But if you want a kiss goodnight…

A friend of mine one time came up with a great line when it came to the dating world. If you don’t reach into the jar, you aren’t getting a cookie. I can appreciate the thought.

Nice does matter. And I hope as a man that I’ve treated women with respect, kindness and generosity during the course of my lifetime. But the holders of doors and bearers of flowers tend to be left holding the door.

Now… let’s pause for a moment. When viewed as a marathon, the lessons of the tortoise and the hare do apply. It is possible that showing up with a box of chocolates will ultimately lead to a reward. The thing is… it’s a long-term reward. And I think the biggest understanding we need to clarify is this: “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” is not a long-term approach. And therein lies a modern day method for approaching that elephant.

As we grow… as people… as a civilized society… and hopefully, as we learn to appreciate and respect each other as individuals, so many legendary stereotypes will need to be faced, torn apart, and possibly even reconsidered.

Is liquor quicker?


It’s quicker because it’s the easy path… the exciting path… the dangerous and tempting path. When followed by agreeable and consenting parties, none of those factors make it the wrong path. And to that observation, the saying remains true.


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