Happy Holidays: Candy Cane and Pepto Bismol Cotton Candy (And Some Other Dumb Shit)

Happy holidays, everyone!

This is the magical season of gift giving, where your loved ones buy you shit you don’t need, probably to apologize for the fact that they have been dickholes to you. In general, the best gift you can give to someone is to simply not be a dickhole, at least to their faces. The next best gift to buy someone is garbage from Bed Bath and Beyond (I call it “Bed Bath and Bagina”), because that seems to be where everyone goes shopping for useless home goods.

I was taking a leisurely drunken stroll through Bed Bath and Bagina, picking up some marginally useful items for my parents and my sister, when I stumbled upon one of those items that is both magical and stupid at the same time: A cotton candy maker.

I do not know why someone would buy a cotton candy maker for their home. When’s the last time you thought, “You know what would go well with this crack cocaine I am ingesting right now? Cotton Candy!” I suppose that if you are enjoying crack cocaine, you will be thinking lots of interesting thoughts anyway.

My first reaction to seeing the cotton candy maker was immediate scorn. Then my next reaction was to buy it for myself, because as you know by now, I am a very stupid person. The nosy lady at the cash register said, “Oh, look at this? Who’s this for?” When I said that it was for her mother she got quiet real quick.

After I got home, I looked at the box and immediately became enraged at the fact that I bought it, especially because I am still unemployed and I should not be buying silly things. Then I cried. That’s when I asked myself a question while sitting on the toilet.

“Dannis Ree,” I said, “What kind of cotton candy could you make to reflect both the joyous giving spirit of the holidays along with your usual sense of abhorrent crude humor? Also, you have diarrhea right now.” Diarrhea is the funniest thing if it’s not happening to you. 

Diarrhea is also part of why we are here today: Candy Cane and Pepto Bismol Cotton Candy.

Cotton Candy Ingredients

Of course, I could not just make one bad version of cotton candy.

I decided to try a bunch of other stuff I bought at the grocery store too: Orange Tic Tacs, Werther’s Original Hard Caramels, Halls Cool Berry Breezers Cough Drops, Melatonin, leftover Jolly Ranchers from my Jolly Rancher Jelly, Pez, and Crystal Light drink mix.

Cotton Candy Machine

The Nostalgia Electrics™ Retro Series™ Hard Candy Cotton Candy Maker (that’s a bigger mouthful than your mother) machine actually looks kind of nice, but my favorite part are its warnings.

Warning number 11 says, “This appliance is not intended for use by unsupervised children or cognitively challenged individuals.” It really says that. Holy shit.

Warning number 12 says, “This appliance is not intended for use by persons with reduced physical, sensory or mental capabilities, or lack of experience and knowledge of how to operate this appliance.” I am, in fact, all of those things. That’s two warnings in a row that state that mentally challenged people should not use this cotton candy maker. They clearly wrote these warnings specifically with me in mind.

Cotton Candy Tic Tacs

I ripped open the container of orange-flavored Tic Tacs and put them in the happily whirring machine. 

As the warnings seem to already know that I am mentally impaired, I did a dumb thing and put the Tic Tacs in the center of the extractor head while it was already spinning, and many of them flew out. This is why you see Tic Tacs lying down like sad little beans in the bowl.

Cotton Candy Tic Tacs Rim

You’re supposed to preheat the cotton candy maker for 10 minutes before you put anything in it.

I did, but it wasn’t hot enough and started spraying liquified Tic Tacs along the rim of the bowl. Now that’s what I call a rim job. The rim jobs I’m used to involve violently shooting Tic Tacs up my ass, resulting in a similar orange circle.

Cotton Candy Tic Tacs Attempt

Eventually, webby Tic Tac floss began forming inside the bowl.

It looks like real cobwebs! I reached up to the ceiling and plucked off a spider’s cobweb for a tasting comparison. I did not like the cobweb.

Cotton Candy Tic Tac Done

I ran the cotton candy cone, which was included in the box, along the side of the bowl, gathering up as much floss as possible.

I did a terrible job, as you can see. This was my third attempt. Tic Tac cotton candy, at least what little there was, tastes pretty good. In fact, it tastes exactly like an orange Tic Tac. Its texture isn’t light and fluffy, however, and is more like abrasive asbestos. Instead of giving you cancer, Tic Tac asbestos melts in your mouth quickly and is fun to eat despite its crackly texture.

Cotton Candy Tic Tac Carrots

The resulting carrot-stick looking bits off the side of the bowl fell off and I tried them.

Tic Tac carrot sticks also taste like orange Tic Tacs. Astounding.

Cotton Candy Werthers

My next cotton candy experiment was with Werther’s Originals Hard Caramel candies.

I did not have much hope for them.

Remember this? These are the commercials that claim your grandparents gave these to you on a regular basis.

That’s a bunch of horseshit. Nobody’s grandparents ever gave these out. If they had any, they were probably under the hoard of newspapers piling up all over the living room that smelled like mummy bandages.Cotton Candy Werthers Working

Here’s what the cotton candy maker looks like in action.

It’s actually pretty entertaining. I’m surprised it works so well. This is better than bringing home that creepy carnival guy with the really long fingers to make cotton candy for you.

Cotton Candy Werthers Done

The resulting cotton candy looks like a used Q-Tip cotton swab. It also looks like a wad of Gandalf’s pubic hair on a stick.

Werther’s hard caramel cotton candy is surprisingly delicious. It does have a dense texture to it, but at this point I still had some trouble figuring out how to gather the cotton candy on the handle properly. The best part about the spun sugar candy is that it melts away all over your tongue, giving you a good amount of toffee flavor without having to commit to an entire piece of tooth-rotting confection. I highly recommend Werther’s candy in a cotton candy machine.

Cotton Candy Cough Drops

Next, I experimented with the Hall’s Cool Cherry Breezer.

Even though two pieces doesn’t seem like very much, the cruel instruction booklet accusing me of being “cognitively challenged” says to only use two, and that’s plenty for one batch.

Cotton Candy Cough Drops Done

Cough drops work well in the cotton candy machine, resulting in a fluffy ball of spun sugar.

Because it’s a cough drop, this cotton candy has a bright mentholated flavor, but since it’s also cherry-flavored, it tastes even more interesting. If you have a shitty child who has a sore throat or a cough and complains about cough drops, maybe you can give this to them. This is more fun than eating a stupid cough drop which never works anyway.

Cotton Candy Melatonin

My next cotton candy experiment was grape Jolly Rancher candy mixed with cherry-flavored dissolving melatonin tablets.

Yes, I mixed candy with a naturally occurring, available over-the-counter, circadian rhythm hormone. Stupid? Yes. Irresponsible? Probably. But I am Dannis Ree. I live balls to the wall, and balls up your mother.

Cotton Candy Melatonin Jolly Ranchers

I coated the Jolly Ranchers with crushed melatonin powder and let them whirl around in the machine.

At this point, the cotton candy spinner was starting to emit a smoky smell, but I didn’t let that stop me. In fact, I inhaled all of the vapor.

Cotton Candy Jolly Ranchers Done

Jolly Ranchers, to my surprise, do not make very good cotton candy.

Even the cough drop cotton candy tasted better than this. Grape-flavored cotton candy is highly reminiscent of cold medicine, and is not pleasant at all. It has a tacky texture to it that’s not enjoyable on the teeth — just like a regular Jolly Rancher behaves in your mouth, all sticky and somewhat gummy. I don’t behave in your mother’s mouth, either. This is an allusion to oral sex resulting in ejaculation.

The cherry flavor from the melatonin was nowhere to be found, but I’m okay with that.

Cotton Candy Pez

I tried the Pez next.

I did not have much hope for Pez. Pez already has a weird chalky compressed texture and reminds me of vitamins. I do not know why people insist on eating them.

Cotton Candy Pez Done

Maybe there’s something in the Pez that’s different from ordinary candy, such as a binder or filler, but despite its textural result, this cotton candy does not taste very good. 

The Pez took a lot longer to run through the machine, and by then, there was a large amount of burned sugar in the extractor. This cotton candy tasted like a rusted robot’s asshole. To remind myself how much I do not like Pez, I ate a pellet and compared it with the cotton candy. There’s something way off between a piece of Pez and its cotton candy result.

Do not use Pez for cotton candy. Not that I am concerned you’d actually do this.

Cotton Candy Candy Cane Peotpo

Finally — the pièce de résistance, the Candy Cane and Pepto Bismol Cotton Candy!

I used the same mortar and pestle that I use to grind up high quality crystal methamphetamines before directly injecting them into my penis. Since I was most excited about this version of cotton candy, I washed out the extractor head to get as much of the burned sugar out as possible.

Cotton Candy Candy Cane Pepto Crushed

I bought a fancy candy cane and it was very hard to grind up manually.

Cotton Candy Candy Cane Pepto Done

I suppose I never did get the hang of rolling cotton candy, but here’s my triumph.

Candy canes make very good cotton candy, but Pepto Bismol doesn’t. The peppermint candy cane flavor is bright, but it is followed by the distinct metallic fake-mint chalky flavor of the Pepto tablets. Because I had diarrhea, I ate the whole thing and I do not plan on taking a dump for a few days. Next time I will only use very nice candy canes.

Cotton Candy Crystal Light

Finally, as a bonus, I tried using Crystal Light beverage powder in the cotton candy machine since it states that you can also use sugar-free candies as well.

I figured that since Crystal Light powder is almost like sugar-free candy, it’s close enough for a cotton candy maker.

Cotton Candy Crystal Light Smoking

Instead of turning into candy floss, the drink mix simply burned into a dark mess and began to emit a lot of smoke. 

That’s when I read under the “Helpful Tips” section of the cotton candy maker, that “Instant drink packets DO NOT work.” Go figure. Mentally impaired people don’t read instructions anyway.

So on this extremely stupid note, I genuinely hope the end of your year comes to a happy close. Give people lots of hugs, kisses, sex, and nice presents, and remember, don’t be a dickhole.

[One last thing: Your friend Dannis Ree is now bringing The Pizzle to The Onion’s A.V. Club. Pretty cool, right? You can check out my first piece about Star Wars food here.]

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  9 comments for “Happy Holidays: Candy Cane and Pepto Bismol Cotton Candy (And Some Other Dumb Shit)

  1. doc
    December 23, 2015 at 3:20 AM

    I’m kinda curious why drink mixes don’t work. Anti-caking agents, maybe?

    • Neurozach
      December 29, 2015 at 3:25 AM

      My guess is that, as it’s in powdered form, it doesn’t stay on the spinning wheel long enough to generate friction and melt, so it can’t throw off threads of caramelized whatever is in a non-sugar drink mix.

      Really, though, it makes me want to go out, get one of these things, and try to make my own crazy cotton candies. I’m thinking a cardamom and black tea one would be very interesting…

    • Your Momma
      March 8, 2016 at 8:13 AM

      Cotton candy is basically melted sugar. Most drink mixes don’t contain any sugar, so all you get is burnt chemicals.

  2. GrussVomKrampus
    December 23, 2015 at 8:54 AM

    Pretty excited that you’re on the AV Club! I found your blog from the Star Wars article and spent many hours reading the posts here and laughing my ass off. I can’t wait for your next life-and-stomach threatening adventures!

    • Dennis Lee
      December 23, 2015 at 12:23 PM

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy watching my life spiral down a garbage disposal. The food too. The food belongs there first.

  3. songstarliner
    December 31, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    Holy shit Dannis Ree! Congrats on the AV Club gig! When I saw your article there I squealed in delight.

    • Dennis Lee
      January 1, 2016 at 7:14 PM

      Thank you so much!!! It was a shock when I got invited to spend time at The Onion’s office – they asked me in person if I’d like to contribute. How fun is that?!

      There’s more coming with them, so stay tuned!!!

      • Neurozach
        January 1, 2016 at 7:18 PM

        Finally, a worthy successor to IES David Chang on the AVC!

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