The girls’ school PTA handed out tubes of Smarties last week with the invitation to “eat the contents, then return the tube filled with 20ps.” They’ve worked out that each tube holds £9.60 in 20p pieces, so ten-out-of-ten for the fundraising idea!
“Ooh, Smarties!” I said (being a lover all chocolate). “Can I have a tube?”
“Only if you promise to fill it up with 20ps.”
I duly promised, and was handed a tube.
“The question is…” someone said. “Are you going to eat them yourself, or share them with your children?” [Laughter]
“Eat them myself!” I replied. “I love Smarties. I line them all up by colour, and…”
But I got no further; they had frozen, like rabbits in the headlights.
In an age when it’s socially acceptable to talk about how you eat your Creme Egg (I bite the top off mine), the lining-up of Smarties is still enough to reduce three grown women to a state of abject terror.
Okay, so I don’t know why, and it seemed I’d discovered yet another invisible line by jumping over it, both feet stuffed into my mouth as I did so. (And this was despite two of the three women in question knowing I’m autistic, thus expecting me to be a bit… odd.)
Now, I can tip a tube of Smarties into my mouth with the best of them, but lining them up by colour (then eating the extras until there are the same number of each ;o) is a simple pastime that amuses me, and harms no one. If you said you liked throwing your Smarties into the air and catching them one by one in your mouth, I wouldn’t bat an eyelid; people do that with popcorn, and they eat Creme Eggs in all kinds of ways. So, is it that I ventured to say that I lined them up? Or was is the lining-up that bothered them? I’m confused. Why is lining up Smarties such a social deviance?
Answers in the comments box, please!