Believe it or not, I found these beauties in the gift shop of the famous "Salem Witch Museum" in Massachusetts -- "Pet Tarantula" gummies! They were a comparative luxury at two bucks a pop -- a lot for a gummy -- but seriously, it's not often that I get a chance to buy tarantula toys so decisively off-colored, but also tarantula toys I can eat. There's only one "pet" per package, and the spiders come in an assortment of flavors. In an impressive showing of details, each of the "life-sized" beasts has their own name...

I'll tell you this -- I've never gotten a gummy worm with a name before. The candy's spooky beauty made me resist the temptation to chewww well enough on its own, but now they've got real names? According to the package, the red one (cherry) is named "Terry," and they call the two-tone (blackberry/pineapple) monster "Tex." Holy shit, I landed the "Tex!" By far the most macho of the gummy tarantulas -- thank God I didn't end up with "Trixie" or "Tammy." I mean, it's bad enough to walk on the line in a very crowded gift shop holding nothing but brightly colored candy spiders, but to do it with ones named "Trixie" or "Tammy?" Even I've got my limits. I only buy tough candy bugs.

The package includes "feeding instructions," so you can really turn the activity of eating gummies into something you can never do in front of anyone ever again...

"Bite your 'Pet Tarantula' before it bites you." No seriously, that's really on there.

"For the best taste sensation, eat your 'Pet Tarantula' immediately." I understand the need to eat candy before it gets all stale and hard, but come on -- they're building these things up to something we're supposed to grow a little bit attached to, and now they want us to eat it immediately? No grace period for playtime and icebreaking? I don't care if their legs get a little rough around the edges...don't deny me my candy spider friendship. I need it.

"If you and your 'Pet Tarantula' become pals, buy another one to eat." Whoa, they understood! It might sound stupid, but I'm absolutely positive I would've bought two of these during my youth for that very reason. You don't eat your friends unless you have a spare. That's why I never felt like I was gypping myself by calling on the powers of animism and tack-on googly eyes for a Twix bar.

"Enjoy collecting and eating the different species (flavors) in the 'Pet Tarantula' family." Behold, a milestone. "Enjoy collecting and eating..." Have you ever read that before, anywhere? Kudos to the Pet Tarantulas -- breaking the mold with each gooey step.

Cherry Terry tasted delicious. Not so sure about Tex -- if nothing else, he's proven that blackberries and pineapples should never be mixed, and that's a lesson the world was going to need to learn sooner or later. As for the "Pet Tarantulas," you'll not find gummies more naturally in tune with the holiday. Except for all of those pumpkin and ghost gummies, which for the context of this article, we'll just pretend don't exist. Hooray for the Pet Tarantulas!