A new person entering a small workplace will inevitably alter the human equilibrium. Just as chaos theory predicts the fluttering of a butterfly wing can cause a cataclysmic event, the introduction of small habits can have big consequences.

When Richard succumbs to his passion, he really succumbs

Enter Jo: a talented, hard working and very personable colleague who has wonderfully enhanced our office in every respect… bar one. Jo has brought a coffee machine. As a garnish to the coffee she has beside her desk a jar of chocolates.

In many ways my life has been characterised by a stormy relationship with chocolate. True it is that in a world of shifting sands and moving goal posts chocolate has been a constant friend delivering consistent satisfaction on demand. Yet the legacy on my waist has been a girth approaching the dimensions of the MCG.

Firm in the knowledge that despite the depths of love, my affair with chocolate is ultimately a fatal attraction, I have long resolved to break up with chocolate.

For more than a year we have maintained the separation. Occasionally we see each other in the street – through a shop window or on a large advertising sign – but we have avoided contact.

Now chocolate has made her way back into my life taking up residence in the bosom of my office in the form of Jo’s chocolate jar.

When all have left for the day and there is only me and the chocolate jar left alone in the office she starts singing to me like the Siren of Capreae.

Jo is no help. With friendly intent she has encouraged all in the office to help ourselves. Had she instead asserted exclusive possession of the chocolate jar it would have at least put in play the moral question of theft when I sought to indulge, even if the heat of my chocolate passion would have made this a moral hurdle quickly jumped.

And so with the taste of sweetness on my lips, the unmistakable melting sensation in my mouth, and my will utterly broken I have engaged in forbidden love.

It started innocently enough: a single mini Flake before I turned out the lights and locked up the office. But by the third night I had committed a full scale binge.

Racked by the confused thoughts of a person possessed of a demon I reasoned that if I ate the whole jar of chocolates the issue would be settled once and for all and the chocolates banished forever. 

The next morning I walked to my desk, my head bowed with shame and guilt, carefully avoiding eye contact with Jo or any other member of the office. Fully expecting a confrontation, Jo was a model of manners. Nothing was said and, worse still, by day’s end the jar had been refilled.

It was a nightmare. My affair with chocolate could not have come at a worse time.

With Easter looming she torments me in my dreams, often in the form of a Tulip white chocolate Easter bunny, with her long eyelashes, tall bunny ears, and beguiling smile.

She has controlled my thinking replacing rational thoughts with corrupting ideas: “I’m entitled to a treat even if I am on a diet”; “now that I’ve bought it I better eat it”; “I’m going to finish this 300g block and never touch chocolate again”.

Combined, these rationalisations allow for a whole scale, 24/7, consumption of the best food known to humanity. For my heart, my arteries and my belt it is a total calamity.

As I return home with my shirt hanging out because it no longer fits, with crushed tin foil in my pocket, and the tell tale smudge of chocolate on my mouth, my wife looks at me with disgust. She knows I have sinned and that chocolate is back on the scene. She shakes her head in the knowledge that she is married to a man with all the morals and will power of a seagull.

The kids don’t understand. They love chocolate too. But there is an innocence about childhood chocolate when growth spurts burn calories and colourful Easter eggs are part of the magic of growing up. Inevitably the extent of my depravity leads me to use them as accomplices in my cocoa crimes.

I’ve sought radical therapies. I once tried diet chocolate. But that turned out to be just as pointless as rice chips or light beer.

There is, I’m afraid, no alternative. This affair must end. The vixen must be vanquished.

As I make these resolutions in the solitude of my study my daughter enters the room. “Dad, we’ve run out of milk. Can we go to the shops?”

“Sure, Honey.”

“Can I have a treat Dad?”

“Of course you can, Honey. Of course we can.”

Most commented


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    • Bill says:

      12:02pm | 05/04/12

      I hate chocolate. But I do have a small bag of it in my bedside drawer.

    • Cyril says:

      12:16pm | 05/04/12

      And whats her name bill

    • Fred says:

      12:23pm | 05/04/12

      Wrong. The best foods known to humanity are the humble burger and chips.

      I say we get rid of Easter, we had a Christian holiday only 3 months ago. Maybe add a day or two to Anzac Day.

    • Your Opinion says:

      12:31pm | 05/04/12

      Don’t have a holiday then - go to work if you are so opposed.

    • Paul says:

      08:59pm | 07/04/12

      Some idiot always has to weasel in their anti-religious comments.

      Where in Easter Bunny’s name is your invitation to rabbit on about (anti) religion on this blog?

      Keep on topic or choc off!

    • Meph says:

      12:35pm | 05/04/12

      Your wife could always try the non-PC cure for a love of chocolate, buy a stupid amount of it and force you to eat it till you’re violently ill.

      It might not work, but I’m sure it’d be an entertaining method to try.

    • KH says:

      02:12pm | 05/04/12

      no no - laxative chocolate - that will put you off it for a while….............

    • iansand says:

      03:14pm | 05/04/12

      It may be an urban myth, but apparently at the Cadbury’s factory in Tasmania the policy was that staff could eat as much as they wanted.  After a week, most people’s consumption tapered off to zero.

    • bec says:

      12:42pm | 05/04/12

      Who are these people with the intestinal fortitude to be able to eat 300g of chocolate in one sitting?

    • Kheiron says:

      04:35pm | 05/04/12

      I could probably sit down and eat 300g of soap. I doubt something actually edible would pose a problem.

    • MatchofBris says:

      11:49pm | 05/04/12

      That is not a lot, really. I do that all the time when on a movie-and-junkfood binge. Not healthy, but far from difficult.

    • Alex says:

      12:46pm | 05/04/12

      Another example of Labor WASTE! etc etc

    • Mitch says:

      02:10pm | 05/04/12

      JuLIARs carbon tax is going to drastically alter chocolate prices, making easter unaffordable for thousands of working families. They’re just trying to move forward while these big new taxes are drowning them in a sea of unstopped chocolate boats and pink bunny scandals.

    • acotrel says:

      04:16pm | 05/04/12

      You will note that during the Asian cricis Mahathir used Keynesian economics.  The world didn’t come to an end.  The sky didn’t fall down.  It is now widely recognised that he did the correct thing for Malaysia ! Sooner or later this globalisation bullshit will be exposed for it’s litany of abject failures.
      I believe globalisation is good, but it needs a strong mix with the command economy, and a balance of regulation and freedom.  Babbling on about waste is simply idiotic when the global economy is in its present state of disarray.  If you want t o pull the whole house of cards down, just get into the LNP’s belt tightening idiocy !

    • Zeta says:

      12:50pm | 05/04/12

      In chaos theory’s butterfly effect, the butterfly’s wings don’t cause the ‘cataclysmic event’, which in the actual theory, is a tornado, because even in chaos theory butterfly’s don’t cause earthquakes. The butterfly’s wings flapping are part of the set of initial conditions that a chaotic system is influenced by. All the butterfly effect says is that there is a possibility the set of initial conditions met in advance of some chaotic event includes the butterfly’s wings flapping, while another set does not.

    • acotrel says:

      04:20pm | 05/04/12

      Do the terms ‘uncertainty’ and ‘probability’ mean anything to you ? While you have been delving into chaos theory, have you studied anything on pattern recognition ?

    • stephen says:

      11:43pm | 05/04/12

      ‘If (sic) there is a possibility the set of initial conditions met in advance of some chaotic event includes the butterfly’s wings flapping ...’
      That’s called ‘before’, and the other thing you said after that ...’ whilst, (sic) another set does not’...  well, that’s called ‘after’.

      Before and after.
      Another set, and by the way, is the ‘set’ your term or another’s ?
      Cause your sets are wrong.

      Wrong terms, wrong times.

    • Cienfuegos says:

      12:58pm | 05/04/12

      I thought the article was going to be about Labor’s relationship with the Greens

    • Cienfuegos says:

      12:59pm | 05/04/12

      I thought the article was going to be about Labor’s relationship with the Greens

    • Jo says:

      01:19pm | 05/04/12

      Dear Richard, Nice try.  But the chocolate jar is staying.  In fact, I just ate a strawberry Freddo frog and it was so delicious I think I am going to have another one.  Happy Easter!  From Jo the evil-chocolate-sharing-monster (and the rest of Team Marles) grin

    • Kheiron says:

      04:41pm | 05/04/12

      You vile temptress.

      ...can I have a Freddo?

    • Jo says:

      06:08pm | 05/04/12

      Sadly, no Kheiron, you can’t. Richard ate the rest of them (see article above).

      ..... Although I guess if you were ever wandering the corridors of Parliament House and found yourself in desperate need of chocolatey goodness, you at least know now which office has a secret stash that is refilled on a pretty regular basis!

      So drop by if you are ever in the area - we are a good Team here. We are pretty well equipped to deal with Richard and his chocolate addiction.  In fact, if you ask us nicely, we might even rugby tackle him to give you half a chance of making it alive to the chocolate jar.

      (Although if I were you, I’d still come prepared.  Consider bringing a large shield, fast running shoes, something loud and clanging to cause a distraction, and an AFP protection officer - you know, just in case. wink )

    • Slothy says:

      01:22pm | 05/04/12

      I find chocolate easy to resist. I enjoy its flavour, but I don’t crave it and more than one or two bites makes me start feeling sick and headachey.

      Pastries, pizza, pasta, potatoes etc. on the other hand… well there’s a reason I signed up to Boot Camp this morning.

    • Pat says:

      02:40pm | 05/04/12

      Your comment:
      Slothy:  I love all forms of pastry…but chocolate, after a few bites; also makes me queasy.I find all those self proclaimed chocolate addicts, strange.  As for that latest trendy plastic ‘pigging-out’  abomination ... choclate chip hot cross buns…there is but one word .YUCK!

    • scumbag says:

      02:42pm | 05/04/12

      Real men don’t eat chocolate, they drink booze, a dentist friend said once. At least one goonie of Nikov (vodka & orange) per day will put hairs on your chest, he said. Of course, I can’t show you his face, he’s dead. I have no intention of following his example. I mix one teaspoon of drinking chocolate per goonie.

    • acotrel says:

      04:24pm | 05/04/12

      MMM chocolate ! - that wouldn’t affect your heart or arteries would it ? I’ve just had my daily glass of red, I think that must compensate for a ll the Choccy M&Ms; I’m about to eat !

    • TheOzTrucker says:

      05:58pm | 05/04/12

      If chocolate affected your heart….. Hang on I have no heart. Just ask my ex.

    • Josephine says:

      04:56pm | 05/04/12

      Richard, I think you are being a bit hard on yourself. Don’t go cold turkey on the chocolate. Unless you have super human will power, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Rather than give it up entirely, try to reduce the amount you eat. A little each day is OK as long as you eat a healthy diet and do some exercise. And try switching to the stronger stuff like I did. I’m a chocolate addict, but I prefer the dark, slightly bitter chocolate over the sweet milky kind. It’s a bigger hit, in a smaller portion.

    • Sweet Choc says:

      04:57pm | 05/04/12

      Chocos ... God’s gift to humans! Blessed art those who enjoy chocolates. The Old Testament has to be re written.. replace the apple with chocolate ... Adam found that veeeeery hard to resist. The rest is you know ..... hmmm


    • Moony says:

      05:57pm | 05/04/12

      Don’t worry, when Tony gets in it will be nannies all round: I can’t wait.

    • easterfeaster says:

      06:07pm | 05/04/12

      You lost me at white chocolate, its gotta be dark mmmm!

    • eRon says:

      08:39pm | 05/04/12

      White chocolate is the only chocolate for Kevin Rudd.

    • Tracey says:

      01:21pm | 06/04/12

      The dark Lindt bunnies…mmm

    • Cath says:

      09:34pm | 05/04/12

      Hahaha, oh the irony.  A perfect allegory for the Labor govt modus operandi - simply because it is there, he gobbles the whole jar of chocolates provided benevolently by a private entity for the whole office, blames his greed on her generosity, doesn’t replace them, and pretends it wasn’t him.  Roll on 2013.

    • Peter#1 says:

      05:58am | 06/04/12

      Richard, so that you feel less guilty I’ll post this old joke.
      Chocolate, the 5th food group:
      Chocolate is a vegetable: Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans.
      Beans = vegetable.
      Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
      To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food.
      So really, all you are doing is eating refined vegetables. Enjoy.
      As much as I would like to make a political comment, I’ll refrain from this tongue-in-cheek article. I’ll save that for another day.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      08:34am | 06/04/12

      Richard. You are very funny with your post. A good sense of humour indeed.  Yes, chocolate is the most wonderful thing to consume. Oh, Easter, i might try one soon. Chocolate is supposed to be also good for the health they say. Go and eat lots of it, and enjoy. Tomorrow may never come.

      I didn’t read the post and get anything political from it. But, there are people who write on here and even if it is non political they will not miss a chance to cut the jugular of the Labor party. I think they must have some mental disease. Certainly is on their minds all the time. Where do they find time to live in between the constant whinging and complaining.

      We should all eat chocolate and enjoy life more. Worry about the weight later.!

    • Wilma J Craig says:

      09:33am | 06/04/12

      I love chocolate! Milky or dark brown, white, yellow! but I don;t keep him….ooops, it, in my bedside drawer!. At my age I can’t afford to lock him away!

    • stephen says:

      04:28pm | 07/04/12

      I’m a bit of a snob with chocolate.
      Cadburys -  which has nothing to do with the British Upper Class, by the way - is a bit bitter, and if you have a look at the ingredients, has a flavouring.
      Not good.
      My favourite is Lindt, the hazelnut variety.
      It’s very nice, and melted down and poured over Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream is even better.

      But not as good as pecan pie.
      Just love the stuff.

    • stephen says:

      05:25pm | 07/04/12

      Talking about colour, the channel 10 weather girl tonight is wearing orange and aquamarine ... and there’s our next colours for our new flag.
      Plus about, hmmm, up to 10% of white.


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