It’s Charming

Blog Post

I’m opening the Charms wrapper. 
When I was in the military, the unofficial doctrine required that you needed to throw away the Charms from the K Ration or the Meal Ready to Eat (MRE). You couldn’t eat them. It was bad luck to do that. You brought down the fickle finger of fate on everyone if you dared to suck on a Charm candy (12.5 calories each).

Lifesavers were ok. You could chew all the tobacco that you could stuff into your cheek. You could chomp on Bazooka bubble gum. You could chew on the butt of an old, rancid cigar – but no Charms. Not one, not ever.

The other day I bought a pack of Charms to tempt fate. “Live dangerously,” I told myself. 
I haven’t eaten one since high school because of the taboo. And I just ate one (lime). If this blog should go off the air and if you should never hear from or of me again, you’ll know why that is. 

46 thoughts on “It’s Charming

  1. I never heard of the Charms curse. I was on active duty in the U.S. Army for 10 years, it never once came up. And as a civilian, I've never heard of Charms as a candy. Not ever. Never seen them at the super market checkout stand, alongside the Snickers bars, Hershey bars, Milky Way bars, Payday bars, Heath bars (my favorite), and Butterfingers (close second). Charms never caught my eye.

    Of course, I don't get out much. That, or I hung out in units that were clueless, and therefore lucky.

    It was nice knowing you, LL. I guess you are scheduled to get eaten by a ravenous pack of wolves any minute.

  2. I remember Charms in lollipop form from when I went to the movies as a kid. Shortly after they switched from silent to talkies if I remember correctly. You must have access to some kind of time machine 'cause I haven't seen them for probably 40+ years.

  3. I'm still indoor. Therefore I haven't been eaten yet. Mountain lions enjoy eating your guts while you're alive – they're a cat – it's what they do. I don't know about wolves, but I would think that professional courtesy would cause them to send me on before eating my guts.

    Maybe the Charms curse only applied to the US Navy? Maybe it still only applies to the Navy and I will be spared, because I'm not affiliated anymore? I don't want to get too far into the weeds on this because there are too many unknowns.

  4. Oh yes, the Charms lollipops were good. Same stuff as the square hard candy in a roll.

    Where I live, a lot of stuff on the shelves is old. This package could be 40+ years old, but it tastes ok. I just ate a grape charms, I figure, in for a penny, in for a pound.

  5. Live dangerously I say!

    Now, where's that box of 25 year-old MRE's I have stashed for the Zombie Apocalypse…still fully edible right, even if the ham slice looks a little weird and the micro hot sauce bottle is brown. No matter, I'm positive some of them have a pack of Charms I could test fate.

  6. I don't remember there being Charms candy in C-Rations. Chiclet gum and Chesterfield cigarettes yes, but no Charms. Good luck eating one. If the curse holds, I guess I'll see you on the other side in a few years.

  7. I don't remember the Charms curse from my Navy days, but then we were eating surplus C-Rats from the Korean war, mostly dated 1953.

  8. The ham is ok if it's green and so long as the tabasco is still liquid it will work. By pouring the tabasco on the ham, you're disinfecting it.

  9. No Charms in C-Rats, but they had them in K-Rats and MRE's. I've been out of the game long enough that I'm not sure what's in a 2019 MRE. The last time I ate them, I was out 4-wheeling with a I knew from SDVT-1. He was still on active duty and brought some new ones and the omelet (warmer sleeve) was pretty good for a ration.

  10. I've heard of the curse but I've never eaten any Charms. I don't care for that type of candy.

    All I've ever seen in the MRE's I've gone through are the "Chiclet" type of candy. Usually green, and I sort them from the rest of the "food" in the MRE.

    I don't like Chiclets, either, and would gladly trade them away.

  11. I'm driving to Clint's Well where there is a gas station and very small bait and tackle type store. I want to buy some corn chips for nachos for supper tonight. The Greeks who visited a week ago brought a lot of avocados that are now ripe.

    If the curse is really real, they'll be out of chips.

  12. What next, walk under a ladder? Spill salt and not throw some over your left shoulder? Actually volunteer for something (instead of being voluntold?)

    Edge, meet LL.

    Charms aren't bad. As a Halloween candy they were better than those stupid circus peanuts or those nasty soft-toffe-like peanut butterish things that even dogs hated. Kind of an off-brand Lifesavers.

    Now, owl-in-a-can, which is how one of my teachers described 'chicken stew,' that, at least in his unit, was the kiss-of-death, open one and the unit would be sure to have to suddenly decamp and boogie 10-20 miles and recamp. (I actually tried the owl-in-a-can, not bad, not good, slightly above school-cafeteria level…

  13. Never heard of a curse associated with Charms. Then again, SEALS are off the scale strange (bless your hearts).

  14. I had French rations which included mystery meat, which they dubbed 'monkey meat' and it also had vinojel – wine jello. You could add water and get a type of wine beverage, or just eat the jello.

  15. I made it back from the gas station with a bag of in-date corn chips, which is a sound indicator that while the curse is completely valid, it may no longer apply since I'm not in the service. (see my point/counterpoint with DRJIM above). Maybe I will eat a cherry Charms from the square roll and see how far I can take this.

  16. If you'd been in the military and chose to eat one, I couldn't speak to your safety. I suspect that civilians who ate them perished before their time, which is why you don't see them in the store much anymore. All of the Charms eaters vanished into some sort of mysterious space/time warp or are walking the streets of glory, far from our view.

  17. In-Date chips!

    See, you don't live that far from civilization.

    You sound almost as happy as my Sweet Little Wife did when she saw that Fort Collins has a Macy's…..

  18. Green ham with browned out Tabasco to burn off the taste, how bad could it be? Aah, the packages are sealed for freshness.

  19. Oh my, brave!

    I recall "boiled sweets" which came in a "24 hour ration pack." There wasn't a curse associated, that came with the "biscuits."

  20. Like Adrienne, I haven't seen Charms in a very long time.

    Haven't opened a newer MRE recently enough to remember what's in them. I know some of the… ten year old ones, I think they are, there are peanut M&Ms, Reeses Pieces, lots of different styles of cookies. The Chicklets, of course, etc.

    I would have thought Charms would give you a charmed life, though.

  21. A biscuit in the UK is just a cracker. Why would there be a curse on a cracker (other than being stale)?

  22. I know, USAF replaced chicklets and Charms with cherries jubilee, bananas foster and baked Alaska. Our hearts collectively weep that you missed out on chicklets.

  23. I am impressed that MRE's have such a long shelf life. They were new and fresh back in my waning military days (as was the Abrahams tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle). Back when I was wearing black boots and olive drab fatigues, we ate C-rats that were left over from the Korean War – 30+ years old, and they were still good. Well, edible if not good: the pound cake was always coveted. Not so much the Chesterfields…

  24. I only addressed desert. Yes, of course, and don't forget the sweet and sour shrimp and the lobster added to the steak for a true surf and turf.

  25. I'd be careful about eating too many of those things… DoD might find out, trick you into entering an enemy nation, then forcibly re-activate you from D.C, so that you'd detonate like a Bad-Luck Neutron bomb!

    Totally Deniable WMD.

  26. Apparently not far enough. Though you have plans to be sure that it is far enough, should the need arise.

  27. I'm sure that I'd re-task the mission to take me to San Francisco when Pelosi is home and Congress is not into session.

  28. I haven't seen them for a very long time. Also I have never heard of this superstition.

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