Official Halloween Candy Power Ranking

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(Note: I published this last year, but, as usual, Halloween is prime #badopinionSZN. I’ve updated this slightly, but it still stands as the definitive guide to Halloween candy.)

In case you didn’t know, today is Halloween. Or Hallowe’en if you’re pretentious enough. We all know the person that loves Halloween way too much and considers it their favorite holiday, and while I’m not here to rain on their parade, saying Halloween is your favorite holiday is an incorrect opinion. However, I do enjoy Halloween, myself. Love fall, love dressing up, love carving pumpkins, love spooky stories, the whole deal. Unfortunately, I’m in the gray area when it comes to dressing up. Due to cultural stigmas, it’s considered odd for guys to really go all out from ages like 24-32 if you’re single. If you can do couples costumes or have kids, it’s all good, but, sadly, I’m single, childless, and 26. Alas. Even though I’m not even considering leaving my house, there’s one thing I’ll always be able to enjoy about Halloween: the candy.

Now that I’m older, I just buy my own bags of Halloween candy (for the Trick-or-Treaters, you see). While it’s less rewarding than going to strangers’ houses and taking candy from them and it removes the thrill of the candy roulette, I also only get things I like, which is better than forcing the seventh sleeve of Smarties down my throat. Still, I’m not so far removed from the Trick-or-Treat game that I don’t know what candy is good anymore. In fact, it may be the opposite. Since I have full control over what candy I get, I have more freedom to experiment and try new things. I know more about candy than anyone I know. As a candy expert on Halloween, it seemed only natural to share my knowledge with everyone knocking on my door looking for goodies. I knew I had to present the Official Brian’s Den Halloween Candy Power Ranking. Now, there may be many takes upcoming that some would consider “hot,” and this is the first one: I love fun size candy bars. Sometimes the ratios can suffer in the more complex bars, and we’ll get into that at an appropriate time, but the fact remains fun size candy gets the most unfair rap of all time. Eat some when you wake up, eat a few in between breakfast and lunch, eat some after lunch, eat some between lunch and dinner, and then eat a bunch for dessert. You can eat more than you usually would and it feels like you’re eating less! What’s not to like? You get good taste and a little confidence boost. Just because it’s bulking season doesn’t mean you have to eat like a slob, right? That’s what I tell myself as I’m scarfing my twentieth fun size Snickers in the last ten minutes. So that’s one thing established: fun size=fun. I wanted to keep this reasonable, so I decided to go top twenty (UPDATE: top twenty-one). That means there’s going to be some cuts. Some were agonizingly tough and I’ll think about them when I go to bed tonight. Others weren’t. Might as well start with those: Whoppers might be the worst candy of all time. Malt STINKS and malted milk balls are somehow even worse. Actually, I lied. Good & Plenty or anything licorice is the worst candy of all time, but usually people don’t give them out on Halloween (if you or your child has ever been given licorice on Halloween, please alert the correct authorities immediately). Now that licorice is on my mind, I’m just gonna say it- Twizzlers suck. I hate the texture and their flavor doesn’t make up for the dryness. Butterfingers have a pretty solid taste to them, but I don’t like scheduling a dentist appointment every time I eat a candy bar. Ditto for Milk Duds, except they taste bad, too. Sour Patch Kids, I’m sorry, but Halloween is a sweet holiday, not a sour one. If you give me anything with wax in the name I’m legally allowed to slap you in the face. If I wanted to eat chalk, I’d rather it be the sidewalk variety than Smarties/SweetTarts/Necco Wafers. I like Tootsie Rolls and flavored Tootsie Rolls, I really do, but I live just above the poverty line so I can’t include them. Straight Hershey’s and the other blocks of pure chocolate are perfectly fine, but perfectly fine doesn’t make the list. All of the things that come in the Hershey Variety Pack (Hershey Dark, Mr. Goodbar, Krackle) top out at okay. No one’s been given an Oh Henry! in 30 years, but they’re actually pretty good (be honest, you don’t know what an Oh Henry! is. But that’s why I’m writing this and you aren’t). Peanut m&m’s are one of the few casualties of fun size, since you only get like five in a bag. Crunch is fine and Buncha Crunch is an elite movie theater candy, but it’s so boring comparatively when you look at some of the heavyweights on the list. Lastly, it’s not really a Trick-or-Treat candy, but it’s so closely associated with Halloween and fall holidays that it needs a mention- I don’t care for candy corn. It’s bad and I enjoy every moment of my life that isn’t spent eating it. Anything I didn’t mention is probably just irrelevant and shouldn’t be included in any power ranking. Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 21.

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21. Mounds

Mounds probably deserves to be a little higher on the list (I’m a big coconut guy. I live my life on Island Time, brah), but I wanted to put it at 21 to show the razor thin margin between Mounds and its sister candy Almond Joy. Yes, Almond Joy fans, your beloved bar didn’t make the list. I’m sorry. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have a different answer. But really, it comes down to the fact that, even though I like almonds, I don’t like them enough to eat them all the time. Also, and this may or may not be your second hot take alert depending on your personal (probably wrong) preferences, dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate.

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20. 100 Grand

Honestly these might rank higher if they were more mainstream, but they’re a little too underground at the moment. God, this is a tough list. 100 Grand are awesome and are stuck at number 20! How am I going to rank the rest of these powerhouses?

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19. Reese’s Pieces

I have to come clean: I don’t really like Reese’s Pieces that much. Love peanut butter, but I’m not an “eat straight peanut butter” guy. Still, you have to respect the legends of the candy world.

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18. m&m’s

m&m’s are like candy comfort food. You always know what you’re going to get, and they’re always there when you need them. Very simple, a little boring, but I’m not going to be the one to mock one of the O.G.’s.

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17. Pretzel m&m’s

Pretzel m&m’s are legitimately some of the greatest candies ever invented. You get three in a fun size package. No bueno.

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16. Cauldron Skittles

They’re like Skittles, only Halloween flavored! If you take anything I like and put it in fancy different colored packaging and give it a festive name, I’m in 100% of the time. Only problem is that they’re only available in wholesale funsize packs. Give me a regular bag!

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15. Snickers

Love me some Snickers, but the ratio always seems a little off in the fun size version. There’s always too few peanuts, or too much caramel, or not enough nougat. It’s just not the true Snickers experience. And, yes, I’m sure everyone has the story about that one guy who was trying way too hard to be the cool dad who gave away full size candy bars and the Snickers you got from him were amazing, but we’re not talking about exceptions, here. We’re talking about reality.

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14. Fast Break

I honestly don’t know if they even still make these in fun size, anymore, it’s been so long since I’ve seen them. Regardless, Fast Breaks were awesome. The combo of peanut butter and nougat was a little much at times, but when you got a good Fast Break, oh man. It was good. Believe me.

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13. Snicker Peanut Butter

The candy game is definitely built on legacy and reputation, so when relative newcomers show up on the list, you know they’re big time. I remember these coming out, and I remember wondering why they didn’t try this earlier. They don’t suffer like their father bar does in fun size, mostly because the peanut butter is really overpowering. Whatever, still tastes awesome.

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12. Skittles

The Roger Clemens of candy, Skittles threw away a Hall of Fame career and a guaranteed spot in the top 5 chasing innovation. I don’t use hyperbole, so when I say the decision to change from lime to green apple was the worst decision of all time, I’m being genuine. The fact that it still ranks so high is just a testament to its otherworldly natural talent.

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11. 3 Musketeers

I feel like there’s a lot of hate floating around the Interwebs directed at 3 Musketeers, at I’m here to tell you it’s all dribble. 3 Musketeers is a prime time candy any way you slice it. Prime time name, prime time concept, prime time taste. Yeah, it’s simple, but it’s done right. It works any size, and you can eat about a billion of them and not feel full. I’m a fan of that.

511acooi5ul10. Milky Way

A veritable brother-in-arms with 3 Musketeers, Milky Way can pretty much always be found in the same bag. And they’re pretty much the same thing, only Milky Way has caramel. That’s why it’s one spot higher (a good time to review my rant on the word milk).

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9. Nerds

I’d say it kind of depends on the flavor, but all the flavors are pretty much the same. The closest thing to a true sour candy on this man’s list. The small rocks are great, but when you get a big chuck of crystalized sugar covered in artificial flavoring, well that’s a special kind of bliss, friend.

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8. Baby Ruth

Kind of a weird thing to say out loud, but I went through a pretty big Baby Ruth phase when I was a kid, so this might be nostalgia driven, but Baby Ruth’s are still great. They’re pretty much Snickers that figured out how to be good regardless of the size. They can be peanut heavy every now and then, but usually they’ve got a strong ratio. They aren’t the most widely distributed Halloween candy, so they’re kind of like found money if you have good taste. Please spare me your Sandlot jokes, I don’t want them.

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7. Starburst

I’ve got another hot take, and I think this one is probably the least popular, but I’m fine standing alone. All true visionaries were ridiculed in their time, and I imagine I’m no different. Yellow is the best flavor. That’s right, I said it. Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, yellow Starburst, just left with the Prom Queen (me). Orange is the worst by a pretty wide margin. Starburst on the whole are among the greatest of all time.

6. Peanut Butter m&m’s

Somehow, some way, I hadn’t had peanut butter m&m’s until this year. This was a mistake, because they’re amazing. They’re what Reese’s Pieces should be. m&m’s are the Kennedys of the candy world. The most powerful family, whether you like it or not.

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5. Midnight Milky Way

This might be the most controversial pick, but I’m more than willing to go out on a limb. As previously established, I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate and I have regular Milky Way at number 9. Ipso facto, Midnight Milky Way gets a boost. It certainly helps that there are so few viable dark chocolate options on Halloween, but the flavor is still out of this world. Get it?

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4. Twix

Now we’re into rarified air. The previous 16 are sort of interchangeable for the most part. All that matters in making the list. But the top 4? They’re pretty unassailable in my mind. Twix is a behemoth. One of the greatest candies ever. I feel like I’ve probably eaten more Twix than any other chocolate candy on this list. But it’s just not quite good enough.

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3. Reese’s Cups

This is probably number one on a lot of people’s lists, and I’m okay with that. They’re just not my fave. Legendary combination of flavors, obviously, and one of the true innovators of the candy world. You can’t tell the story of candy without mentioning Reese’s pretty early on. But they’re just so rich. When I get my Halloween candy, I want to gorge myself. I want to eat and keep eating and keep eating. But after a Reese’s or two, I have to slow down a little bit. Halloween is about excess, not pausing to digest.

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2. Kit Kat

Of all the candy that’s been around forever (or at least as long as I’ve been alive), Kit Kat is easily the best. Plain and simple. It’s a perfect candy that can’t be improved in any way, taste test results from all the weird Japanese flavors notwithstanding. An added bonus of fun size Kit Kats is that, since you only get one, you avoid the awkward social booby trap that comes with eating a full size one (for those wondering, I’ve got no problem just chomping down and eating them all at once if I’m at my house, but if I’m eating a Kit Kat in public you better believe I’m breaking the pieces off individually. Don’t need to be judged while I’m eating candy).

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1. Take 5

Take 5 is the greatest candy of all time don’t @ me. When I was at the store buying some candy, the only bag I found that included Take 5s also had Whoppers and Dots. It was the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen. Take 5 should never be included with those abominations. Matter of fact, any bag that isn’t strictly Take 5 is an inferior bag. I could eat these non-stop for the rest of my life. Sure, I probably wouldn’t live very long, but I’d be happy doing it.

That’s it. The ultimate list of candy. If you disagree, you’re wrong. If I didn’t mention your favorite, maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror and address some things. Still, most candy is still good, so I suppose I won’t look down on you too much if you prefer something else. But this Halloween, consider dressing up as someone with good taste.

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Happy 4th of July

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights, that among those are the ability to eat ten billion hot dogs at a barbecue without judgment, taking off work because of the events of almost 250 years ago, and the pursuit of the perfect amateur fireworks display.

July 4th is, and always will be, a special day in America. It’s the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence (it always struck me as odd that just the signing got the holiday when England actually receiving word of the Declaration would be the more meaningful event, but alas. Also shout out to my boy Richard Henry Lee, who put forth the motion to declare independence, which was approved on July 2nd, 1776, only to be completely Independence-cucked by Thomas Jefferson and completely forgotten) by doing what our Founding Fathers would have done: drink a ton of beer, eat a ton of dogs and burgers, and generally do absolutely nothing until watching (or creating) a fireworks display. It’s a great time. It’s such a great time, in fact, that I’m not going to waste your time with an overly long piece about the merits or supposed faults of July 4th. Instead, here’s a bunch of inspiring videos.

Happy 4th of July, everybody.

Happy Opening Day of #HotDogSZN

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Don’t know if you people were aware, but it’s Memorial Day Weekend. It’s a great time to remember those who gave their lives to our country, celebrate the start of summer, and take some days off. That’s all well and good, but we all know the real Reason for the Season- it’s the start of Hot Dog Season.

While it’s true that the grill never sleeps, outdoor grilling season is really a Memorial Day through Labor Day window. Burgers, chicken, steak, veggies, literally everything tastes better in the summer when cooked on a grill. But, of course, the star of the show has always been, and always will be, hot dogs. If you’re hosting a barbecue without a metric ton of hot dogs being served, friend, you won’t find me there. I’m an established hot dog junkie, and when the weather gets hot, my dog cravings get hotter. As a hot dog expert, I, of course, have some (correct) opinions about the noble tubesteak. There’s a lot of bad hot dog takes out there, mostly by fools or people who don’t like hot dogs. Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like hot dogs.

Top Hot Dog Types

  1. Natural casing pork
  2. Natural casing beef
  3. Regular beef/pork mix
  4. Any other meat
  5. Non meat

Top Bun Types

  1. New England style
  2. Anything else

Top Condiments (don’t come at me with some niche sauce you made one time or that your favorite tiny local place has. How could I have possibly had that?)

  1. Yellow mustard
  2. Sauerkraut
  3. Deli mustard
  4. Relish
  5. Spicy mustard

Top Hot Dog Preparation Methods

  1. Grilled
  2. Not eating them at all
  3. Raw
  4. Boiled
  5. Microwaved

Top Hot Dog Accompanyments

  1. Chips
  2. Another hot dog
  3. Fries
  4. An ice-cold Bud Light Lime®, Perfect for Summer
  5. Potato Salad

It’s also time to start prepping for the July 4th Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island. I’m pulling up stats, breaking down film, building advanced statistical models to try and project a winner, all the normal things people do to get ready for the Nathan’s. I’ll be there regardless, but I may or may not have been put on a waiting list for a qualifying event at the end of June. I’ve sent them my highlight reel, but no word on if it’s improved my standing.

My Valentine’s Day Plans

Note: I posted this last year, but since my love life is surprisingly in the exact same state it was last Valentine’s Day, I just figured I post it again. Nothing wrong with running back the hits, especially when they help me cope with crippling loneliness. Haha, just kidding. Could you imagine? I’m not so low where I’m buying myself roses yet, but I might soon because it’d be nice to have some roses every now and then. Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Guys, I’ve found someone. After years of searching, I finally have someone I can call my own. A love so pure and profound I pity anyone who is unable to share in this feeling of bliss. And now, on Valentine’s Day, it’s time I go public: Chocolate Strawberry Oreos and I are getting serious.

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Arguably the best tasting cookie I’ve ever had. How it took them this long to make, I have no idea. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was love at first sight, and we’ve had great chemistry from the moment we first met. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. Unfortunately, these are limited time only, which means this love was made to burn fast and hot. Luckily, tonight is the perfect time to show Chocolate Strawberry Oreos my true feelings. So, what’s in store? Let’s run through the itinerary of our date night.

Paying Homage to Saint Valentine

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Chocolate Strawberry Oreos is a bit of a religious history nut, so we’re taking part in a reenactment of the legendary Saint’s life at the local Rotary Club. It’s an odd bit of performance art where everyone in the audience gets a randomly assigned part. Then, under cover of darkness, the person playing Valentine illegally weds couples, only to eventually get caught. So, I might end up married to someone else, face religious persecution and martyrdom, or I might wind up executing someone. Anything could happen.

A walk through a strawberry field

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As is typical with someone nearing the end of their life, Chocolate Strawberry Oreos wants to reconnect with their heritage and see the land of their ancestors. No better way that by walking through a strawberry field. Unfortunately, we live in the Northeast, so it’ll be covered in snow. All that will remain will be ghosts of past harvests and the hope that the sleeping plants will one day regain their glory. Kind of a downer when you think about it, but it’s still better than visiting a synthetic strawberry flavor factory.

Dinner

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What Valentine’s Day is complete without a romantic dinner out at your favorite restaurant? Unfortunately, not many high end places will let you bring your own food in, so the options are limited. So, we’re going to go the place I went on the day we met: Taco Bell. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than sharing some Nacho Fries together. Add in a nice bottle of wine and some nice candles and the mood will be perfect.

Going home to watch Valentine’s Day

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What Valentine’s Day would be complete without this 2010 classic? Almost unthinkable not to watch this once a year. Decent chance I’m the only one who’s ever seen it, but that doesn’t matter to me.

Dessert

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It’d be kind of messed up to make Chocolate Strawberry Oreos eat chocolate or fruit, so all that leaves really are Sweethearts. Not ideal, but we can make the most of it. Maybe blend them up and make some smoothies. Maybe melt them down for some Sweetheart fondue. Maybe I’ll skip this part because they’re gross. It’ll be a game time decision.

Seal the Deal

What happens next? Well, I’ll leave that to the imagination. Let’s just say it involves a glass of milk and me eating a million Oreos in one sitting. Hope everyone’s Valentine’s Day is as good as mine is about to be!

Countdown to 2018

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Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone. Welcome to the second annual Countdown of Countdowns, where we go through a bunch of random power rankings to celebrate the changing of the calendar. Makes sense, right? If you’re old enough to remember, last year there were sixteen countdowns to commemorate 2016. Well, stay with me here, this year there’s going to be seventeen as we say goodbye to 2017. Before we begin, it would feel disingenuous if I didn’t mention that, despite how great the Countdown of Countdowns and random New Year’s Eve concerts are, New Year’s Eve stinks and I’m glad I’ve reached the point in my life where there’s starting to be less pressure to go out someplace way too crowded, spend way too much money, and have no fun. Anyway, now that you know I’m a New Year’s Scrooge, let’s dive right in to the CoC.

Top Five Movies from 2017 Based on Brian’s Den Scoring

  1. John Wick 2– A true cinematic masterpiece
  2. Dunkirk– Best war drama since Fern Gully
  3. Fast 8– I still can’t get over the Rock pushing a moving torpedo with his non-dominant hand
  4. Logan– That Wolverine/Professor X sex scene was wild
  5. Captain Underpants– Only sophisticated senses of humor will understand

Top Five Movies I Didn’t See but Will Say I Saw Come Awards Season to Sound Smarter

  1. Call Me By Your Name– Classic “look up the plot on Wikipedia so I can always act like I know the plot” kind of movie
  2. Darkest Hour– I’m a big Gary Oldman guy so I’ll probably get to it eventually
  3. Lady Bird– Literally have no interest whatsoever
  4. Mudbound– Sitting here wondering if it’s problematic or not that I haven’t heard of this
  5. Phantom Thread– Heard Daniel Day-Lewis plays a spool of thread. Impressive

Top Five Video Games I Played in 2017

  1. Persona 5– Played through this game two times in a row so that tells you how cool I am
  2. Pokemon Ultra Sun/Moon– Pokemon games are always top five. Sorry
  3. Nioh– Finally made me believe that, no matter where you are, a white guy can be the hero
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn– Bashes you over the head with its social message, but the gameplay and visuals are top notch
  5. Assassin’s Creed Origins– After playing this I was surprised to learn that Moses did, in fact, look just like Christian Bale

Top Five Songs of 2017

  1. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  2. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  3. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  4. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber
  5. “Despacito”- Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Beiber

Top Five TV Shows I Watched in 2017

  1. Stranger Things– I’ve been #teamSteve since season 1
  2. Game of Thrones– Even a disappointing season is better than most things on TV
  3. Black Mirror– If you love introspection and hate technology, this is the show for you!
  4. Wallykazam!– Most complex depiction of a troll in recent memory
  5. Super Bowl 51- I didn’t really watch much TV this year so I’ll just throw this here

Top Five Athletes of 2017

  1. Tom Brady- Not much explanation necessary
  2. Kevin Durant- He’s got a whole army of fans on social media that will go to bat for him
  3. Pablo Sandoval- Was somehow the worst player in both leagues
  4. Quavo- The new Jim Thorpe?
  5. Maya Moore- She went to UConn, you know. As did I, if I haven’t mentioned

Top Five New Fast Food Items of 2017

  1. Taco Bell Potatorito
  2. Taco Bell Dollar Stacker
  3. Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chips
  4. Taco Bell Naked Egg Taco
  5. Burger King Farmhouse King

Top Five New Year’s Eve Concerts

  1. Kid Rock- Spirit Center, Kansas City, MO
  2. Migos- Red Rocks, CO
  3. Diarrhea Planet- Rough Trade NYC, Brooklyn
  4. Sting- Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas
  5. Celine Dion- Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas

Top Five Villains in Movie History

  1. Gothmog, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King– Best voice of all time
  2. Hopper, Bug’s Life– The Charles Manson of the bug world
  3. Palpatine, Star Wars– PPPPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ULTIMITED PPPPPOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWEEEERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!
  4. Darth Vader, Star Wars– The OG
  5. The Night Slasher, Cobra– The greatest acting performance in history

Top Five Things I Love When Other People Do

  1. Shovel snow
  2. Wash dishes
  3. Fold laundry
  4. Taxes
  5. Pick something to watch on any streaming service

Top Five Fast Casual Tex-Mex Chains

  1. Chipotle- Sorry I’m not mentally weak enough to let a little food poisoning scare me away
  2. Moe’s- Best chips going
  3. Pancheros- Most underrated by far
  4. Qdoba- Can’t believe they got rid of their old cactus logo
  5. Del Taco- It’s no Taco Bell

Top Five Colors

  1. Fuschia- Violet or lavender could also substitute
  2. Sky Blue- Compliments my eye color nicely
  3. Turqoise- Just feels like a tropical breeze
  4. Burgundy- Maybe the classiest color along with mahogany
  5. Magenta- Sorry if you don’t like feeling warm and fuzzy inside

Top Five Fictional Animals to Have as a Pet (Before you say anything, Pokemon are partners, not pets)

  1. Pegasus- Riding a horse typically looks cool, but then the horse unfurls its wings and takes flight? Yes, please
  2. Direwolf- Only if you lived in isolation. Which is my dream
  3. Owl- This means Harry Potter owl. I know owls exist in real life
  4. Dragon- From any story. Pick any dragon in recorded history and I’m down with having it as a pet
  5. Jackalope- A good conversation starter

Top Five Condiments

  1. Maple Syrup- I’d have to turn in my “Vermont native” card if I went with anything else. Yes, I have drank maple syrup, and yes, it was amazing
  2. Chick-fil-a Sauce- Arguably the greatest innovation in fast food history
  3. Mustard- All mustard, but specifically deli mustard and spicy brown
  4. Sweet chili sauce- Underrated and pairs with any meat
  5. Ketchup- Can’t ignore it altogether, but if ketchup is your favorite you have plebeian taste

Top Five Gemstones

  1. Garnet- My birthstone, so you know it’s the best
  2. Red Diamond- Most expensive gem in the world
  3. Emerald- I’m a sucker for green
  4. Alexandrite- Love stuff that changes color
  5. Opal- Just looks cool

Top Five Kinds of Bread

  1. Semolina- If cookies weren’t a thing I’d say the Italians had this whole cooking thing figured out
  2. Sourdough- Regular sourdough, not (I repeat: NOT) vaginal yeast sourdough
  3. Wheat- Lets me pretend I’m eating healthy
  4. Cinnamon Raisin- Using cinnamon raisin bread for french toast >>>
  5. White- Old reliable

Top Five Things I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

  1. Avengers– Gonna be the greatest movie since the last greatest movie ever
  2. Taco Bell’s newest specialties- Who knows what they’ll come up with next?
  3. Getting one step closer to the end of the world- About time the planet hit the reset button
  4. Kingdom Hearts 3– Just kidding. It’s never coming out
  5. Another year of The Brian’s Den- 2018 is gonna be BIG. I can feel it

I’m Sick of People Calling Christmas Sweaters Ugly

Anyone who knows me knows I love Christmas. I love the traditions, I love the food, I love the snow, I love all of it. Well, almost all of it. There’s one small detail that really gets under my skin: Christmas parties. Actually, let me re-phrase that. I hate Ugly Sweater parties. Why, you ask? Everyone knows I love getting festive and dressing up in eye-catching outfits. Seems like a perfect fit. And it is. I’m just sick of people calling the sweaters ugly.

I mean, look at this:

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You’re telling me that’s ugly? I see a smart looking sweater that perfectly captures the spirit of a Nordic Christmas. That’s a money sweater that I wish I had. That’s not ugly. And what about this?

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That’s a good looking sweater, right there. Love me some maroon. It’s the most underrated winter color, IMO. Looks great in any situation. Does that look like the fact of a woman who thinks she’s wearing something ugly? I think not. Don’t like reindeer for some reason? Well, Christmas sweaters have a pretty deep design pool to draw from.

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That’s what I’m talking about. If anyone can look you in the face and call this ugly, they’re probably getting visited by three ghosts when they go to bed. Wearing something like this puts some pep in your step and gives you a better outlook on life. If you hate that, then you’re the ugly one, friend.

To make one thing clear: I’m only talking about legitimate sweaters. Knit sweaters that have lives of their own and tighten and loosen at the drop of a hat. Not these new age “ugly christmas sweaters” that everyone’s pedaling that are just sweatshirts with a small design steam printed on. It’s always novelty designs or pop culture references or something. You’ll see something online saying something like “New Ugly Christmas Sweaters On Sale Now!” and it’ll be something like this:

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That’s a sweatshirt, fool! That’s not a Christmas sweater. If you roll up to my Christmas party and you’re wearing this? Sorry, but you’re getting left out in the cold. A good rule of thumb: if it has a Gildan tag on it, it’s not legitimate. The design has to go all the way around and it has to be knit. There’s no comparison. Sweatshirts look bad. Sweaters look good:

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Mazel tov to anyone lucky enough to have a sweater that looks this good. This is the perfect Christmas Holiday sweater. Subtle, understated, and gets people talking. Try walking into a party wearing a lame sweatshirt and starting conversations with people. Can’t imagine it’ll go well. But if you’re wearing that? First they compliment on your sweater, you say thanks, they ask where you got it, you give a vague answer so no one can find it and replicate your style, then next thing you know you’re talking about net neutrality and the meaning of life.

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This sweater will get you respect, it will get you friends, it will get you a significant other, it will get you happiness. Can’t imagine a better garment than that. And people want to call these ugly? You try knitting a sweater while perfectly capturing the whimsical reindeer in its natural, snowy habitat on a red or green background. Would you like it if someone called it ugly? I doubt it. Calling these sweaters ugly is like calling Christmas itself ugly. I don’t think I need to say why that just wouldn’t be okay. Christmas sweaters are Christmas, and if you don’t like them or think they’re ugly, post your address in the comments so I can come fight you.

In case you somehow haven’t gotten me a Christmas gift yet, just throwing this one out there.

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My Christmas List

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Dear Santa,

I hope this finds you well. I understand this is a busy time for you and your staff, but, assuming you’re reading this, it appears I was correct in assuming my oversized envelope labeled only with magazine cutout letters spelling “I have Mrs. Claus” caught your attention. I realize it may seem extreme, but you do what you have to to stand out. To clarify: I do not actually have Mrs. Claus, so if she is currently missing, I would appreciate being removed from the suspect list. Thank you.

Anyway, as I’m sure you know, it’s the Christmas season. And, again, as I’m sure you know, the Christmas season is all about other people to buying you things. Or something. Either way, you’re the man to turn to when it comes getting stuff you want without paying for it, so I figured I’d drop you a line. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I have been good this year. I rounded up my change to help St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital the last time I went to the mall, I exposed a deep-seated conspiracy that goes back decades, I helped prop up the struggling hot dog industry, I saved New York City, and I recycle. Sure, I’m not perfect. I don’t always come to a complete stop at stop signs. I downloaded some music without paying for it. I speak to my family only slightly more often than Aaron Rodgers does. But I think you’ll find the good far outweighs the bad, and that I’m more than eligible for a haul of Christmas gifts. And while this is more of a guideline than a list of demands, I would prefer if you kind of stick to the script. I know it’s your workshop’s specialty and all, but I’ll be pissed if I get some crappy wooden toy. It’s 2017, the last thing in the world I need to a wood dog with wheels that I can pull around. Just give me coal instead, at least it has a practical use. Anyway, without further ado, I present my 2017 Christmas List.

  • A ton of money
  • My own Chick-fil-a franchise
  • A Japanese Cherry Tree sapling imported from Tokyo
  • The complete Take That discography
  • A signed copy of The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance
  • 20 more years of Tom Brady
  • A pony
  • One of the Crown Jewels, don’t really care which
  • A stylish collection of ascots so I can add some smoking lounge chic to my wardrobe
  • Gold
  • Frankensense
  • Myrrh
  • A couple Bitcoins
  • A Nintendo Switch with Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey
  • An end to fast food regionalism so I can have In-n-Out, Whataburger, Bojangles, Raising Cane’s, Zaxby’s, Cook Out, and every other Southern place without having to base a vacation around trying them
  • An all-expenses-paid vacation to go to every regional fast food place in America
  • An apparel and shoe sponsorship with Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour
  • Musical talent
  • A saltwater aquarium complete with a full range of fish. Seahorses are most important aspect
  • An appointment with the Pimp My Ride crew
  • A 10-day contract with literally any NBA team
  • Make UConn men’s basketball better
  • A role as whatever superhero is left in the next round of Marvel movies
  • A pair of game-worn Pitbull gloves
  • Access to the Book of Secrets
  • Tickets to Hamilton so I can tell people I’ve seen Hamilton
  • Matchstick Men on DVD
  • Russia to get re-instated into the Olympics so there’s someone to root against
  • Russia to win the World Cup in the most obviously rigged way possible because it would actually be kind of funny
  • A job as a nature documentary cameraman
  • My own used car dealership
  • A better cable company than Optimum
  • A private jet
  • Some kind of holiday in August
  • To find a hidden oil reserve in my backyard
  • A better feel for interior decorating
  • A lifetime supply of Cheez-It
  • A lifetime supply of DiGiorno
  • My own Margaritaville location
  • A time machine
  • Another time machine that I can give to a responsible person to undo anything I would do using my time machine
  • Better WiFi
  • A complete brontosaurus fossil
  • Someone who follows me around telling me not to eat all the really unhealthy stuff I eat
  • My own house flipping reality tv show
  • A good app idea that someone else designs but I get to sell
  • An English bulldog
  • Some new Transformers. Don’t know what they’re like now but I want to get back in the game
  • Another pony so the first pony has some company
  • My own Domino’s franchise
  • Diplomatic immunity in every part of the world except New England
  • A Manhattan brownstone
  • No more automated calls
  • A maid who’s only job is to fold laundry
  • The eradication of Dominick the Donkey and everyone who likes it
  • World peace and all that
  • An authentic Turboman

Continued on next three pages. Make sure to read all of it.

Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas,

Brian