St. Stephen — Canada’s oldest chocolate-maker has been accused of releasing high quantities of “pollutants” from its factory in St. Stephen at several times on Nov. 25. According to a report from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, a pink-tinged, chocolate-cinnamon-scented fog made its way across the St. Croix River and into Calais just as Black Friday shoppers were storming into Marden’s.
“I got caught in it just after I got out of my truck,” said Alice Brewer, Black Friday deal-hunter. “It was sticky, like, and caught me off guard. Made me hungry as hell. I bought two cases of candy bars before I even made it past the cashier.”
Store owners in Calais were expecting a downturn in Black Friday sales with the poor position of the Canadian loonie keeping shoppers in New Brunswick. However, sales of food and candy were at an all-time high, and the lineup at the border crossing was longer than normal — but coming into Canada, not leaving it.
“I wasn’t that surprised,” said longtime CBSA agent Al Cleghorn. “Normally we get minivans full of middle-aged women going over to the U.S. on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. They all come back hungover on Sunday night, trying to lie about how much they spent. Not this year! All of a sudden, the traffic was coming the other way, and they were all asking for directions to the candy factory.”
Retailers in downtown St. Stephen including Ganong Bros., Limited were pleased with the bustle along Milltown Boulevard, particularly as most shoppers were paying in American dollars. However, no one would comment on whether the clouds of candy-scented goodness were an accident or a deliberate ploy by the business community to lure shoppers.
While Ganong refused to remark on any investigations regarding the fog, they did say that at this time of year Canadians start eating Chicken Bones by the pound, and the company had to double production at the factory to keep up. The famous pink cinnamon and dark-chocolate candies are a delicacy in Canada, though the name disgusts everyone outside of New Brunswick.
Unusually, the pollutant report came not from the DEP’s monitoring equipment, but from the sudden spike of diabetic patients being admitted at the Calais Regional Hospital. Until the final report is released, the source and intent behind the delicious clouds will remain a mystery.