They’re something so touchingly dated about Necco’s gritty little “Sweetheart” Conversation Hearts. I mean who exclaims ”My Baby!” these days, never mind “Love Bird!” Of course “Fax Me” is in its own category of out-of-it-ness because when in the last 25 years has anyone with romantic intent excerpt for during a moment back in the 80s when we were all still blown away by the new technology? I faxed a birthday greeting to my brother-in-law in California and could hardly wrap my head around the fact that he’d be getting it at 9am when I had ACTUALLY SENT IT AT NOON! He was getting it BEFORE I even sent it! This is the kind of ecstatic mind-altered thinking that led to people sitting on their office equipment to photocopy their fannies (which, ha ha funny stuff, they would sometimes then FAX it to their friends.)
Bottom line: if a would-be suitor says “Fax Me” you’re dealing with some kind of culturally handicapped person Andy Kaufman’s Latke Gravas character from the old show “Taxi.”
But to get back to hearts which come to think of it are shaped like the human bottom when it is compressed on a flat surface, Necco’s website offers some history too. Seems these candy hearts go way back to the 1880s when they were much bigger and used the kind of high courting language we just don’t see today. Messages like “Dear One” and “Be Mine” are all I could find remaining of that era in the little box I have here but once they said things like, “Please Send a Lock of Your Hair by Return Mail,” and “How Long Shall I Have to Wait? Pray be Considerate!”
Now the only thing you’ll find on a heart is what fits in two short words or maybe even one. It’s kind of a falling-off if you ask me. Plus where are the QA guys? Half my candy hearts are smudged or stamped on crooked, the way American automakers are said to be putting your new car’s door on if it’s a Friday and they’re just kind of phonin’ it in there at the factory.
Let me tell you about the ones I have in my lap here. OK the one I just ate a minute ago said “Love (smudge)” and the one I’m tossing back now says “Sunshin,” the ’e’ having slid away and out of sight. Some are blank entirely and some are so crooked it looks like the sugary “ink” got stamped in the dark by helper monkeys.
Plus another lame thing this year: they’re going for a meteorological theme. That’s where “Sunshine” comes in and also “In a Fog” (which is supposed to recommend someone to you?) Also “Chill Out,” which sounds to me more like the prelude to a fight than a kiss but what do I know?
I say if they’re going to pursue themes they should really branch out, to the wide world of medical care, say and give us hearts printed with “Hold Still” or “Open Wide” or that phrase we all tingle to hear, “You’ll Feel a Little Pressure.”
Hey but wait! I just took a quick look around the Internet and look at this! two people from Minneapolis have offered a tallying-up the inky message inside their own bag of these little confections. The ones with a zero next to them are the ones they’re just making up but they offer them in such a great deadpan way. They say they found all of these and more: two Smiley Faces, five Unreadables, six Angels and five Call Me’s; but none that said “WWJD,” “Recently Tested,” “My Ho,” “Bad Rash,” or “Mammogram.”
“Mammogram,” see? There are others out there whose minds work like mine!
To see more and marvel along go to “How Much is Inside Converation Hearts?”
Then hurry out quick to the store to get something for your own honey; something living in this season of the brown grass even if it’s a box of yeast. I saw a guy trying to pass off a bouquet of purple kale as flowers for his lady last year. “Hey, it used to be alive!” he told me at the check-out. “Plus she can cook it up after. “
I wished him luck as we all should wish one another luck in this perilous season of the valentine. And now I have to run out and get something for my own main squeeze who’s going out to play cards and drink with his buddies tomorrow night instead of spending the evening with yours truly. He’ll be home around 1 and maybe a little muzzy with his evening’s fun. I bet he won’t even notice I’m keeping watch camped out in the guest room across the hall. I might be gittin’ up there agewise but by God I still know how to short-sheet a bed.