Skip to main content
This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

I need to tell you something.

There is a bag of pumpkin pie spice malted milk balls in my pantry that will NOT shut up. They keep wanting me to eat them. I can hear them, calling, little insistent whispers drowning out the oats and the lentils.

I really thought they were going to behave. When I got an email from with the offer of a free bag with my next purchase, I didn’t jump on it immediately. I knew they could be trouble. I’d seen it happen before with chocolate covered espresso beans and honey roasted peanuts.

But they were free. And I had to order stuff anyway, so declining seemed like a wasted opportunity. gives away a lot of stuff for free. I usually wait for the free stuff I would have bought anyway, cashews and pecans and pepitas and good things to go into my granola and on my salads. Then I feel virtuous.

But this time they were giving away pumpkin pie spice malted milk balls and even though I was leery, I decided to go for it.

I thought, I don’t have to eat them all at once. I thought, I will just have one or two on the weekend. I thought, it’s ok to have one evil thing in the house. I do “healthy” better when I can pop a mouthful of sugar once in a while.

So I got the bag. When it arrived, I climbed up on my step stool and put it at the back of the top shelf in the pantry. And for about a week I forgot about them. Then one day I was looking for the rice and had to move 40 things and there was the bag of pumpkin pie spice malted milk balls. They were exceptionally pleased at having been found and did a happy little jig.

It wasn’t the weekend, so I put them back. This time I put them on the bottom shelf. There was more room there, anyway.

And then it WAS the weekend and I decided to treat myself. I looked at the serving size. FOUR. Four seemed like an extravagance, and besides, four of them were more calories than two entire buckets of air popped popcorn so I decided to eat two.

Two glorious pumpkin pie spice malted milk balls. I can tell you for a fact that they are heavenly. I decided that I would only have two on the weekends. At this rate, they’ll last me until July, but at least I won’t be wearing them on my hips. It seemed like such a good plan.

The problem is that pumpkin pie spice malted milk balls have no respect for weekends. They sit there and call out their siren temptations regardless of whether it’s Monday after breakfast or Tuesday before bed.

They’re really obnoxious.

Yesterday I had balloons and was productive so there wasn’t much time to think about them. Today was a little more stressful, and somehow they know this, because they get more demanding and start to pull dirty tricks, like trying to convince me I can just eat ONE. And don’t I deserve one, after all? For doing the day? I tend to agree, but that doesn’t change the calorie count.

Do you have any idea how small these things are? About the size of a grape. If I try really hard I can get three bites out of one, but two is more reasonable and really, one is best.

Remember that old commercial about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? It’s like that, except the answer is one.

Tonight they’ve been particularly annoying. I tell you this because as I type, my fingers are too busy to put one in my mouth. It’s my version of lashing myself to the ship’s masts.

Like a nagging child, they will keep up their whining for a while, but eventually lapse into sleep and leave me alone until tomorrow. I just need to sit here long enough to outlast their energetic tantrums for attention. If I can make it past tomorrow ignoring their pleas and cajoling, they will become sullen and silent knowing it’s almost the weekend anyway.

Fortunately the clamoring seems to be over for the evening. It was a close call but I resisted. The only problem I have now is that I need to order more tea from Simpson & Vail and I noticed they have a bag of chocolate covered espresso beans.

Photo: two. I mean, you have to eat them with your full attention and a little flourish.