Tonight we read the chapter from the 2nd book where Pippi goes shopping and buys 72 pounds of candy to give to all the children in town. All kinds of yummy stuff like raspberry cremes, lollipops, licorice boats... and chocolate cigarettes.
Mermaid Girl was perplexed. Chocolate cigarettes?!? We might as well have suggested that Pippi ran down to the 7-l1 to buy some strawberry machine guns.
She doesn't know how to read, but she knows that CIGARETTES ARE BAD. When she sees someone on the street smoking, she points and whispers in indignant, scandalized tones, "That person is smoking a cigarette!" As if they're kicking a puppy, or pooping on the sidewalk, or worse.
I was shocked, myself, to think of the merry abandon with which I used to buy candy cigarettes. RW has fond memories of them, too. There was a candy store on my route to school, and I'd pick up a pack of candy cigarettes of a winter morning and eat them on the way down the hill, casually waving one about between my second and third finger, like a grownup. The best part was holding it up to my mouth and then breathing out, so that my frozen breath made "smoke."
Mermaid Girl will never know that thrill.
On the other hand, she can buy these, unheard of in my youth, with her hoarded allowance. So who's the deprived one here, really?