A little while back I wrote a column concerning how much time I waste on my iPhone. I went on and on about how it is the most useful and useless device I ever laid my hands on then wrapped it up vowing to step away from the screen in an effort to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature and be one with the birds and the trees and stuff.

I've written a number of columns about Facebook and the bad habits of its users. In a sea of complaints about "pity me" posts and TMI relationship status updates, I have probably criticized, more than anything, the abuse of game requests. I wished drought upon my Facebook friends' Farmville crops and professed my outrage at their audacity to ask for my aid to keep them alive.

I also, after seeing pre-paid Farmville cards at a gas station in Philadelphia, asked higher powers to please explain to me why anyone would spend real money on this virtual nonsense. That's like switching out the blue Monopoly fifties for actual $50 bills. It makes no sense. Why would anyone spend actual money on something intangible? Even if you ended up with Boardwalk and Park Place, at the end of the day, you don't own Boardwalk and Park Place.

Who would do such a thing?

Today, I stand before you a hypocrite and a no-good, rotten liar.

A couple of weeks ago, I played a round of Candy Crush Saga on a loved one's phone because I was curious as to what it was about this game that had him so hooked.

I proceeded to tease him about playing the game and joked that I was going to start, too. In the back of my head, I was like, "Yeah, right. Like I would ever waste time playing one of those Facebook games."

Cut to me stuck somewhere a few weeks ago, bored out of my gourd, with only my iPhone to keep me company and entertain me. I visited my usual haunts - Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Buzzfeed (no, I haven't given any of that up yet, either, which takes my hypocrite status to an unspeakable level) - and once they had been exhausted, I had the novel idea to download Candy Crush Saga and "just play it for the day" to pass time.

So, here I sit.



I predict I'll soon be on a television show like "My Strange Addiction" with the likes of ladies who eat cat treats and guys who get turned on by balloons or cars.

This is so bad; how did I get here?

The premise of the game is simple: Match three like candies in an effort to clear the board in some way or another. There are all kinds of bells and whistles and obstacles and variations but I can't get into all that. Simply mentioning all the details makes me crave playing so bad, I'm not sure I would be able to finish this column.

And I'm only on level 61.

The game board, with its cutesy candy-themed levels aptly named things like "Minty Meadows" and "Chocolate Mountains" seems adorable and innocent enough, but after experiencing what this game is capable of - devouring free time like a starved lion devouring its prey - Candy Crush Saga's 450-plus levels can only be compared to hell's various levels of torture depicted in Dante's "Inferno."

It's only a game, you say?

Surely it's only a game, it can't be that bad, but in its grips, slowly other things begin to lose priority as levels become seemingly impossible to beat.

I'd rather play it than write this column.

I'd rather cut my gym time from and hour and a half to a half-hour if it means I'll pass a level before I leave the house.

I'd sooner starve than take the time to make something if I'm on a roll and clearing levels like a plow clears snow from a street.

I think about it when I wake up, I think about it while I go to sleep - just kidding, that's a lie, I lay in bed and play it until the minute I fall asleep.

I've spent about $10 - at $.99 a pop - at times when I found myself stuck and in need of an extra life or a few more moves.

It's making me hate chocolate.

It's making me hate myself.

So, I'm going to quietly step down from this soap box I've been standing on.

Apparently, my whole life is a lie.

I don't deserve this column.

I don't deserve your attention and precious time.

I think it's best I quit this job and just play Candy Crush Saga full time.

Consider this my two week's notice. I'm done.

I'm going to buy a week's worth of pajama pants, burn all my bras and start drinking 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor.

I'm done taking my garbage out. I'm going to let the grass and weeds take over my yard and let furniture collect on my front porch because Candy Crush is my world now. At 450 levels, it will take the rest of my life to finish this game, so I have no other choice than to clear my schedule completely.

Thank you for your time and loyal readership.

I love you all, but this is goodbye.*

(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)

*I'm just kidding about all that stuff at the end, but feel free to send me a life or some extra moves when you have a chance, OK? Thanks in advance.