Off to Ikea we went.
Now, as you know, this process is never as simple as that. You go to Ikea. You get the furniture. You assess the fact that like all good thirty-somethings you drive a tiny hybrid thing that passes for a car and very definitely cannot carry a twin-sized bed frame. So then you find another way to get the furniture home. And then you put it together. And then the light in the proto-humans room is a fan that will cut his head off with the new bed. You get a new light. The old light wasn't installed correctly, you go buy the stuff to fix the instillation.
Then there are things you've forgotten from Ikea. The pillow proto-human wanted. Closet fittings. The Swedish berry concentrate stuff. A chance to eat more of the delicious meatballs for lunch.
And because this was our third trip to Ikea in three days, we decided to actually pick up somet things from the market. Drink concentrate (which, when added to Mt Dew, tastes like manna from heaven fyi) and the proto-human wanted desert so we chose a selection of bulk candy in strange flavors. Chalk Licorice. Strawberry Rhubarb crunch licorice-like thing. Some Kola thing in the same shape that was utterly wonderful. Banana flavored chocolate covered marshmallows. Something the proto-human and the husband described as "a cheeseless Cheeto covered in chocolate."
We packed up our purchases in the vehicle the proto-human lovingly refers to as Tiny But Fierce (it has angry eyes) and started off to the next destination. And started having our candy.
One of these small bits of sugar we'd procured was a Salty Licorice Octopus (if you've ever been to Ikea you know it wasn't named that, but I don't remember exactly which letters were missing). About the size of a silver dollar, a sort of foamy-gummy octopus in a nondescript tan (which gave me hopes, because licorice without massive amounts of molasses is brown) covered in a fine powder of salt.
Now, I like salted caramel. I like a bit of salt in my chocolate, or salted peanuts on ice cream. I'd never had salted licorice but before my first experience with Ikea I'd never had the berry stuff either, and I love that. The proto-human had one first. He took a bite, didn't actually bite it off, and handed it back to me. "I don't like that one, can I have something else?"
I handed him something, but then I had a half-bitten octopus in my hand.
I'm just going to let that sentence sit for a second. Sometimes being a parent is weird.
Anyway, I decided I'd try I corner of the unbitten part. Maybe he just didn't like real licorice?
Now, on my private face book I described it like this: I've had a mouthful of ocean. Cheap caviar. Ludifisk (if you don't know, it's supposed to be pickled whale blubber, but often when people make it at home it's just extremely fatty fish pickled in epic amounts of salt).
I've accidentally licked rock salt off my fingers when Dad made ice cream with the old tub maker.
I put a tiny, minuscule bit of octo-licorice tentacle in my mouth and I honestly thought I was going to vomit. I think my body had a poison response. It wasn't salty licorice, it was salty salt. How, in the name of all things Swedish, do you make salt saltier? Is this some horrific black-magic ritual passed down from candy-maker to candy-maker in the Norse countries? Do you hack out your neighbors liver and offer it to Loki so he'll come make your candy so salty your enemies fatefully put a whole piece in their mouths and then just curl on the ground, hugging their knees, waiting for death to come?
Eventually, I tried a second time. Maybe I just needed to chew through the salt, and it would taste like licorice and everything would be better. I pushed through the salt and actually chewed a tiny, tiny piece.
It was salty on the inside, too. And there was flavor, but my taste-buds had gone on strike. It tasted vaguely of garlic. And salt. And betrayal.
I've threatened to make the proto-human eat it, if he doesn't behave himself, at least six times.