Sunday, November 16, 2008

Item From the Past: The Celebrated Little Green Men of Calaveras County

The weekend before Thanksgiving in 2000, we drove to St. Louis for a look-around, and after staying there a few nights, headed upriver to Hannibal, Mo. We'd been warned of its tourist-trap aspects, but went anyway, and found a tourist town that was pretty much drained of its tourists. It was just before Thanksgiving, after all, and besides was already cold.

So we enjoyed certain tourist attractions as practically the only visitors. Once such was Mark Twain Cave. I think our tour consisted of the three of us (Ann wasn't born yet), a childless couple and the guide. It was nice enough, I suppose, but hard to appreciate. Lilly, who had just turned three at the time, was so terrified by the cave that I had to carry her most of the way through. We didn't take her back into a cave until we visited Wind Cave National Park when she seven. (I had to carry Ann through part of that.)

But at the gift shop I was able to buy one of my favorite souvenirs: Mark Twain Cave Martian Spaceship Candy. The name alone was worth the dollar or whatever I paid. The candy and the packaging are long gone, but my scanner was brand-new in those days, and I was seeing what kind of 3D objects would scan. The image turned out fairly well.

The candy itself? I've forgotten. Sweet-tartish dextrose, maybe.


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