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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Today’s baskets just seem hollow

I’m quite sure young people get weary of hearing how great things were back in the good old days.

Who could blame them? The ceaseless drumbeat of nostalgia has been thumping them in the head ever since baby boomers started looking back more than they peered ahead.

Nevertheless, I have to say something.

Children’s Easter baskets really were better back in the day.

For one thing, natural sweetness was a cut above the high-fructose corn syrup version.

And some primo chocolate treats found in Easter baskets 50 years ago would be considered biohazards today. I’m thinking of the gigantic candy eggs and XXL solid-chocolate holiday bunnies that children gnawed like rabid rodents.

Finishing off one of these dense treats could take days. So the youth in question would feed on the chocolate object off and on, coming back to it throughout the day like a predator revisiting its kill.

No need to mention any names. But some kids even growled while harvesting the chocolaty goodness with grim determination.

After about 100 hours of being mauled and slobbered on, these mutilated Easter basket centerpieces acquired an unappetizing aspect.

Did you know that the chemical reaction of saliva drying on chocolate produces 14 different shades of brown?

Still, a kid with the proper resolve would continue to work it, sometimes loosening a baby tooth in the process.

Nothing says “I’m growing up” quite like looking down and seeing an incisor stuck in the flayed carcass of a seasonal confection.

Those were the days, let me tell you.

“Son, what is that unrecognizable tan-colored lump on your night stand?”

“It’s a bunny.”

Marshmallow Easter treats were better back then, too. You can take my word for it.

Of course, the fake grass in the baskets was probably made of material that had the potential to spontaneously combust. But when every day held the possibility of nuclear war, children learned to put risks in perspective.

Today’s Slice question: Do you talk to the plants while gardening?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email You are not the only one who thinks his or her pets can predict the weather.

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