I know you like getting free stuff, and it must be nice to be in a position to make that happen. But there’s also the opposite of free stuff, and that comes in the form getting scammed. Sometimes that scamming comes in the form of a publicly traded company. And sometimes the only way to get them to change their ways is in the form of a letter. Like this one:

Dear Hershey’s (you sneaky faceless corporation),

Hallowe’en has come and gone, and yet I cannot shake a disturbing interruption in my holiday celebration.

In the past, I have taken one of two approaches with the trick-or-treaters: turn off the porch light and pretend I’m not home, which is a type of trick, or leave a bowl outside full of tiny bags of tasteless chips, which I suppose could be construed as a different trick. This year, however, I vowed to up my game and provide indisputable treats, joining the ranks of the Houses with the Good Candy. I purchased a couple of boxes of what appeared to be 50 snack size Oh Henry!s and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, the two greatest treats, within reason, a young one can expect to receive. I returned home with a bounce in my step, eagerly awaiting the adoration of the neighbourhood costumed children.

When I dumped the box onto the table, something was clearly amiss. The orange wrappers far outnumbered the yellow ones, and more importantly, those ones were much smaller than they were supposed to be. It turns out the Reese’s were not in fact snack-sized, but minis. I refer to the box, where there is no indication that the distribution would be so off or that the cups would be anything other than what we have come to expect in boxes of this nature. While the nutritional content table on the back admittedly does represent the cups as 8.7g, you obviously know nobody is going to be checking, as it would only confirm that what we’re putting into our bodies is less than desirable for our various organs. And you know no one will be getting to the 529 g total by multiplying the individual bars with the corresponding gram amount and then adding them together, especially with the math scores this country is producing. Who even knows what a gram is anyway? Oh wait, YOU do. There are 15 Oh Henry!s and 35 Reese’s Cups that add up to this many grams. You’re well aware of the allocation, so declare it on the box, like the mature, transparent, beloved company you aspire to be.

The deceitful box

Wait for it…

The unfortunate ratio

So in the end, 15 kids disguised as non-kids left my door happy, 35 slightly less so. Except I forgot that my doorbell was broken, so more accurately I was left happy on 15 occasions and slightly less so on a staggering 35.

You took me for a laissez-fairer, Hershey’s, and it almost worked. With the same punctuated emphasis as my favourite candy bar, these shenanigans must end!

I do not want you to worry about a boycott or anything of that nature, as this letter is meant primarily as an exploration of a recent misfortune I have faced, and I suppose a warning against similar subsequent practices. Obviously I will continue to buy your chocolaty peanut buttery products, likely religiously. Oh Henry! and Reese’s as brands and edible delights are streets ahead of their peers in most every way.

I’m already picturing the rebuttal from one of your public relations gurus, claiming the sneakiness was executed for the greater good, done only to trick the obese into ingesting fewer calories than they normally would and the medical costs over the long run blah blah blah. Well to that I return the blah blah blah and furthermore, I request, as an admission of your duplicitous tactics, a single regular sized Oh Henry! bar to calm the chagrin caused by your company’s cost cutting customs. Thank you for your time, and the aforementioned future Oh Henry!

[Editor’s note: The author’s Hershey’s Hallowe’en Hardship, as he calls it, has not yet led to the Oh Henry! gratuity. But there is still time for them to make good. And we are not opposed to some collective social media outrage to make it happen.]

March 26 – Todd Barry gets a Hershey’s holiday hardship
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