On Tuesday, America's oldest candy company was shut down. People everywhere lowered their heads as yet another piece of their childhood would forever disappear. No more will the innocent lips of children touch the sweet beauty of the iconic candy ... Necco Wafers? Wait, people still ate those? Why?
Yes, don't worry, candy aficionados, we're only talking about the demise of the company that made Necco Wafers, the chalky disks infused with a malevolent sweetness which linger so long at the bottom of every kid's trick-or-treat bag that they tend to fuse with the pumpkin plastic (dramatically improving the taste in the process). The same company also made the Sweetheart hearts, but this is an article about candy, not something you leave out in a bowl for decoration like the world's most diabetes-inducing potpourri.
Recently, the Necco candy company was barreling toward bankruptcy, probably because their flagship product's only remaining demographic is old people who, realistically, only ate Necco Wafers to acclimate to the taste of the looming dreamless void. But then the company was bought for a whopping $17.3 million by C. Dean Metropoulos, the sweet-toothed billionaire who had previously saved Twinkies from extinction. And if you wonder why a man with enough taste to save Twinkies would do the same for Necco Wafers, so did he! This Tuesday, barely two months after saving the candy maker, Metropoulos pulled a reverse Willy Wonka (not the sex act) and shut it all down. All 230 factory workers were told to clear out their stuff by Friday. Meanwhile, the brands themselves were sold off to an anonymous rival candy maker, clearly overestimating the popularity of the upcoming "Bring Backo My Necco" social media campaign.
Not that Necco Wafers will ever be forgotten -- not because they were so tasty, but because they're something better: a gosh-darn American tradition. They were manufactured by the New England Confectionery Company (hence "NECCO"), the Boston candy makers who claimed they were the "oldest continuously operating candy company" in the land, even providing Civil War soldiers with Necco Wafers. And that's just the thing you want to snack on in our age of sugary excess: a candy that even a syphilitic soldier who just saw his brother die of a musket wound would call the most disappointing thing about his day.
Still, in this world, we need every bit of sugary goodness we can get, so let's take a moment to mourn this passing, and acknowledge that nothing so sweet and innocent could have ever overstayed its welcome. Farewell, Necco Wafers. At least you died the way you lived: tossed away after someone realized they accidentally bought Necco Wafers.
Cedric is a Nerds man himself, obviously. For more of his sourness, please follow him on Twitter.
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