Case of the Nips

We all went out to see Dr. Strange, a guys night that included a pre-movie dinner. My three brothers-in-law, cousin Sal, the incomparable Uncle Carmine and, of course, my father-in-law were the guys involved.

There was a grocery store next to the restaurant, and after dinner it was spontaneously decided that we’d go there to stock up on candy that we’d sneak into the theater. The entire endeavor was admittedly quite juvenile – seven grown-ass men with jobs buying candy on the cheap to sneak into a superhero movie. We regret nothing.

Matt grabbed a Costco-sized bag of Twizzlers. Anthony opted for some gummy bears. I think I saw Milk Duds in the mix. Me? I’m a popcorn guy, although I did partake in the inspired mischievousness by sneaking in a bottle of water. (High School Me is shaking his head in shame and disappointment.) Sal chose a box of Raisinets, which I initially thought was an odd choice although I did indulge in some Raisinet goodness during the movie – they go great with popcorn. Then there was my father-in-law, who excitedly opted for a box of Nips.

Nips, for the uninformed, are hard candy. Far be it from me to question someone’s taste for sweets, but Nips are not exactly the ideal movie candy. You don’t eat them out of a box as much as place them into a small glass bowl next to a framed picture of your grandchildren. You can’t snack on them over the course of a movie as much as suck on one during the course of like, an afternoon.

Moviegoer 1: Pssst, you want some Peanut M&Ms? (holds out box)


This was seemingly lost on my father-in-law, who treated his choice as quite commonplace and almost clichĂ©, like, OK fine, I’LL get the Nips, but you guys can all share. He actually literally said something to that effect, which left all of us flabbergasted and LOLing in bewilderment. Undeterred but amused, my father-in-law doubled down on his choice my repeating several times in the grocery store aisle, “I love Nips.” This profession, obviously, was not lacking in innuendo, and the smirk on his face as he repeated this phrase seemed to acknowledge as much. Somewhere in there was a Trumpian joke about grabbing the Nips, but this was the day after the election and the wounds were still waaaay too fresh for me to make jokey references. I still can’t even, but I DIGRESS.

Part of me, in the interest of sheer hilarity, wanted my father-in-law to be the only one among us to get caught, a box of Nips falling out of his coat pocket as he handed the usher his movie ticket. Had that happened, however, the usher probably would have thought nothing of it, as if he had witnessed a couple cough drops fall of out the pocket of someone searching for his ticket stub. I’m sorry sir, but you dropped your Nips.

That would have been an appropriate mantra for Guys Night 2016, facilitated by a man with a Ph.D. in placing us in awkward situations. Dr. Strange indeed.