This week someone left the remains of a heart-shaped box of Valentine's chocolates in our office kitchen. Initially, it caught everyone's eye as they walked past the door. "Ooh, free chocolates," I heard more than one exclaim. Then, the harsh reality set in.

It was a mirage. Visions of peanut butter cups, macaroons, and chocolate truffles; nut clusters, caramels, and Lord knows what else--it all turned to stone with the reality of what was left.

Upon closer inspection, there were the deplorables of the candy world; the least desirable chocolates mocked us from the bottom of the Whitman Sampler. Apricot cream. Raspberry cream. Maple walnut cream. Orange cream. The Molasses chew.

I checked and re-checked the chart. There HAD to be one good chocolate remaining. Maybe one of the good ones got mistakenly re-located to the wrong pod. But, of course, the only way to know for sure would require the unthinkable: actually biting into one.

And that would surely be the only way any of these sad, orphaned chocolates would be eaten.

In fact, if we had a security camera in the kitchen, it would certainly show evidence of some desperate, chocolate-starved employee biting into piece after piece in a vain attempt to find a good one.

The moral of our tale: Don't be fooled by the inviting box of Valentine's leftovers in your office kitchen. It will surely leave you nought but grief and pain for promised joy.

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