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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: A Chocolate Coffee Paradox
By Diana Amadeo


There is a chocolate shop close to my home that makes premium candy on the premises. Itís a small version of Willie Wonkaís chocolate factory, yet to my knowledge has not lost any visiting children in its machinery. Still, it smells like heaven and the shop has wisely placed large windows where you can watch the pure chocolate being made into small candy portions. They even have a small tray of samples you can indulge in as you watch. Sometimes the chocolate fountain is running and you can dip strawberries into the sweet brown confection. The store area is tiny with no restaurant facility. Why do they have a pot of coffee always brewing? I donít know. But Iím glad they do because they have my favorite flavor of coffee Ė Dark Sin.

Dark Sin is an exquisite blend of hazelnut, cinnamon and chocolate flavored coffee that I like to think was designed, blended, roasted and perked just for me. (But I do
let other customers purchase it, too). Ordinarily, as a chocoholic, I would avoid going into the shop that carries the source of my addiction. But now, I go in there just for the coffee. And maybe a sample, or two of chocolate. Free candy is like a broken cookie...it has no calories. Therefore, itís part of the divine planÖheaven on earth.

Like Forrest Gumpís mother, I see life Ďas like a box of chocolates, you just never know what youíre going to get.í Some prefer pure dark chocolate, others require a little filling, and still others prefer nuts with just a smattering of chocolate. Thatís okay. I donít force my opinion or particular taste onto anyone. And Iíd prefer they not force their beliefs onto me. Variety is the spice of life. Different beliefs, faiths, customs and ceremony have made this country great. I canít imagine living in a society where one particular type of chocolate was forced down the throat of anyone. Or, God forbid, we were all forced to drink plain, black, nonflavored coffee.

I donít understand how or why religious wars can ever be justified. But then again an over abundance of Dark Sin or chocolate can lead to indigestion in the former and obesity in the later. Obviously anything, anyone, any concept can be distorted, manipulated, spun and lied about to fit any context desired. But like Forrest Gump, I
scratch my head and wonder why. Ultimately, one hopes the truth will come out, even though justice is often denied. Such is life.

Good versus bad; the paradox of life. Diet foods abound, Americans get fatter. Religions preach love, hope, joy yet the world is constantly at hateful war. Alternative fuel sources are many to be had, yet we pollute and pillage the earth over fossil fuels. We know to conserve our limited gas supply yet purchase oversized pick-up trucks and SUVs. Peace can be found through silence and introspection, but we mask silence with ipods, TVs and cell phones. Beauty and health can be found in the breeze and sunshine outdoors, yet we loose our vitamin and energy stores under banks of fluorescent lights and stale ventilation.

My sister, who is a gourmet cook, absolutely loves food and plans frequent dinner parties, is rail thin. I cook quick and nutritious meals and keep sweets and junk food out
of the house and have always struggled with my weight. My husband who is thin, runs everyday, eats healthy and multitasks effortlessly has dangerously high blood pressure. I feel under constant stress with sandwich generation issues, health issues and deadlines, yet get the ďwell, low blood pressure is better than no blood pressureĒ response at each doctor visit. Go figure.

Thereís no doubt we live in confusing, intolerant, paradoxical times. Some people are depressed, under constant stress and unable to sleep due to anxiety. Sometimes that describes me. As life gets more and more complex we search for simple honest answers. Iíve given this a lot of thought and prayer and this is what I have found.

Some of the best answers to lifeís greatest questions can be found with fine chocolate samples melting in your mouth while sipping some Dark Sin.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lollie Hofer05/15/09
Hmmm...lots of things to think about here. I'll have to read it a couple more times and ponder what it is you're saying. Some of it can be controversial...for example, I believe in absolutes where you're probably more liberal. Yet, it never hurts to cause others to think more deeply about what they believe.
Gregory Kane05/17/09
What a great opening. I'm sure a lot of us are into chocolate and could appreciate the smooth way that you moved on to sin while leaving some of us feeling decidedly peckish and wondering if there's any left of that bar in the fridge.
You raised a lot of interesting points in a very short period of time. I suspect that your story would have more 'bite' to it, (excuse the pun) if you can 'slimmed' down the number of examples and used them to develop your theme more fully. Bless you for an interesting and provocative read