Want a good laugh? Pick up a parenting magazine and read one of those perky articles on stress reduction. They're easy to find; just look for the photo of the woman soaking in a tub, nibbling imported chocolates while lilac-scented bubbles and the strains of Pachelbel's Canon rise gently around her. Children are absent.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the rest of us feel blessed to get five minutes locked in the laundry room with a Snickers bar.
There is a middle ground. On Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., Mission Viejo's Saddleback College hosts "Chocolate Sunday," the first of what is planned to be an annual fund-raiser that combines an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet and continuous family entertainment. The event, which will be held in and around the school gymnasium, benefits nine campus groups and 13 local organizations, including the Discovery Museum of Orange County, the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna and the college's fine arts and sports departments.
Outside the gym, visitors can browse through a small crafts fair and listen to the school's 50-piece wind ensemble or dance to the tunes of the Legends of Swing orchestra. Jim Gamble Puppet Productions, an internationally recognized puppet troupe, will present "The Great Chocolate Caper," a marionette show for ages 3 and up that was commissioned for the event. According to Gamble, the 50-minute show follows a group of woodland animals as they prepare for a coming talent show. The performances are at noon, 1:30 and 3 p.m. in the dance studio.
Inside the gym, visitors can graze at 22 different stations offering such delicacies as Toblerone chocolate, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, chocolate cappuccino and chocolate trifle. Many items are being donated by manufacturers and area restaurants. Participating groups receive one-half of their ticket sales for the event, which organizers hope will raise about $20,000.