- This is in answer to:
- You've just won a lifetime supply of candy! Which type do you pick? See all answers
- September 4, 2009 by JustWords
- Lord, spare me.
After a lifetime's unlimited supply, I would revile any candy, no matter how delectable it might seem today. Chocolate, that mixable malleable miracle, would become as repulsive and tasteless as axle grease, and I've had axle grease -- it doesn't taste like much, but it really cleans out the system. Don't try it.
The problem is two-fold. The first fold is the nature of desire, which values what we don't have more than what we have. A lifetime supply would make the nectar of the gods taste like water, or worse, simply because it would be at my fingers day and night. "Oh, no, nectar of the gods again! I'd rather gargle liquefied argyle socks."
The second fold is the physical desensitization of our sensory apparatus. The first time I tasted chocolate, (this was right after I was released from my Skinner box at age 27,) I did not fall on my knees and proclaim a new religion. That happened the second time. No, the first time was a new experience. Specialized nerves in my tongue and nose sent signals to my brain, specifically to the anterior cingulate and the hypothalamus, which are critical to the formation of new matrices of sensation, emotion, and chemical signatures. Those regions in turn created short term memories that were later relayed along the usual sodium-calcium pathways to other parts of the cortex, where they were labeled with words "chocolate" and "deliriously happy," and issued ISBNs and color-coördinated bar codes, which were accessed and reinforced during later tastings.
A lifetime supply would reinforce those sodium-calcium pathways for a time, but eventually the constant reinforcing would begin to burn out those channels. It would take more and more chocolate stimuli to reignite that flame, until finally those beta-endorphins would simply refuse to go to work in the morning, preferring to hang out watching reruns of National League highlights.
So that's the biology of the psychology of it. If you want to ruin someone's enjoyment of something, have Bob Barker award him a lifetime supply of it. For me, though, the next time you come over, you'd better bring chocolate if you want to get to first base.