The Thin Red Line

A pink bag with a see-through window that shows pink candies about an inch long and a quarter-inch wide.

There are places in North America where you can stand in Canada and the US simultaneously. A massive, historic home straddles Stanstead, Quebec and Plain, Vermont, for example. You can enter the house from both countries. 

St. Stephen, New Brunswick and Calais, Maine share three border crossings. The communities are similar sizes of about 4,500-5,000 residents each. They share resources and involve each other in planning decisions. St. Stephen has Burger King; Calais has McDonald’s. A big (for the area) civic centre was built in St. Stephen and is also used by Calais. Residents of St. Stephen literally go over the border for gas and milk. Sometimes they start their day with a quick trip across if McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is what they enjoy. So why is there such a great chasm when it comes to products?

A pink bag with a see-through window that shows pink candies about an inch long and a quarter-inch wide.

St, Stephen is called Canada’s Chocolate Town because it’s the home to Ganong Chocolate. If you live in Calais and get a craving for Ganong Chicken Bones, you need to cross a bridge to get some. Chicken Bones are little cinnamon sticks with chocolate in the middle and they’re addictive.

It makes sense to have to visit Ganong’s home in order to get their wares. But some of the other one-side-only items don’t make sense and we’ve always wondered why. How come the US gets a wider array of breakfast cereals? Who decided Canada can’t have Cinnamon Fire Jolly Ranchers? Must we forever make do with “assorted flavors”? Oh the humanity!

two bags of Jolly Ranchers candy. One is Cinnamon Fire, the other is assorted.

While strolling through a family-owned dollar store looking for a hairbrush, I happened upon this little machine for foot smoothing. At $10 I thought it was worth a try. Turns out, the Clio battery-operated foot thingy is the best foot-smoothing tool I’ve ever owned. My feet feel freshly pedicured. But is it available in Canada? Doesn’t look like it.

Clio foot machine looks like a bigger version of a razor and has a little attachment with foot-file sandpaper on it that spins when you power it on

I’ll have to get my refills in the States. A quick search tells me there is a Dr. Scholl machine sold here, but I had never seen it and it’s more than twice the cost.

My feet are now happy and I’m on a sugar detox from all of the – shall we call it – chocolate and candy sampling. But it just seems silly that certain things are allowed in the US and not in Canada. Although, they can keep their gun laws, thank you. The only heat I want to pack is Cinnamon Fire candy.


6 thoughts on “The Thin Red Line”

  1. I have one of these foot-smoother doodads, and it’s a life-changer! Mine looks identical but has a different name on it. I believe it came from the As Seen On TV section at Wal-Mart, near the express checkouts but I’m not sure if they sell replacement rollers. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you Jason – maybe I’ll be able to get refills there or via their website. Otherwise, I’m going to have to glue sandpaper to the little wheel.

  2. I never thought I would say something negative about anything containing chocolate but those Chicken Bones are horrific! Chocolate with nuts? Yes. Chocolate with peanut butter. For sure! Chocolate coffee beans or cranberries or strawberries or bacon? Abso-friggin-lutely! But to disparage natures most beautiful creation by coating it with a noxious glass-like substance that shatters into foul tasting shards of offensive cinnamon is way over the line of social decency.
    The foot thingy sounds cool though.

    1. I disagree! You’re supposed to allow the cinnamon candy to melt in your mouth and reveal the smooth chocolate centre. They’re very popular on the east coast. I sure am glad I didn’t waste a whole bag on you!

  3. I’m glad too! And having lived on and near the east coast for several years I can assure you that saying something is popular out there is not always a glowing endorsement. Think cod tongues, hard bread, toutons and bottled rabbit!

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