Lost Flavors Of My Youth
All I wanted was the box of red, orange, and purple popsicles. That's all I wanted. And no, they're not cherry, Florida orange, and grape flavor... they're red flavor, orange flavor, and purple flavor. The kind I'm talking about taste like red, orange, and purple. You know the kind I mean. Shaped like a bullet, comes in a box of 960, and has more sugar in it than you could actually fit into the popsicle mold. Well, I'm standing there in the frozen dessert aisle (a name I would shortly discover to be a grievous misnomer) and I see a red, orange, and purple box, and I grab it. But when I get it home and open one up, it's not bullet-shaped and bright red. It's a dull and organic-looking crimson, and is shaped like a non-interesting block. It doesn't taste like sugar. It tastes like diet. I resort to the lowest form of investigation and read the box; "NOW ALL NATURAL! MADE WITH REAL FRUIT FLAVORS!" Oh no, I think. Oh NO. It's the same box, made by the same people. But the popsicles inside have been gelded.
What the HELL is this? I think.
I head back to the store and return to the aisle. And there before me are rows and rows of eggshell, ecru, and water-chestnut flavored processed popsicle-type snack foods. I think the whole damn aisle had about six grains of sugar on it, total. Gone were the real popsicles made from thick, artery-clogging syrup. Gone were the tubes of nuclear-colored liquid that you froze yourself and commited suicide with later. Gone, in a real if microcosmic and slightly melodramatic sense, were the days when iron playground equipment bothered nobody and the only rule was be home before the streetlights came on.
I was sick, so I don't really remember, but I think I may have fallen to my knees and wept, right there in Wal-mart. Then again, it may have been just a really good coughing fit.
But there at the end of the aisle shone my salvation. I crawled, coughing and sneezing, toward the red, white, and blue glow, and there they hovered, like an explosive and good ol' American middle finger to the tofu-chewing healthier-than-thou masses. Bomb Pops. Cherry, lime, and raspberry flavored red-white-'n-blue missiles of GLUCOSE ROCKETING STRAIGHT FOR YOUR BRAIN. I'm pretty sure that in a perfect world, these things would be red, green, and off-red, but come on, if they looked like that, the terrorists win. These things are awesome. They're not made out of dry crumbly orange-peel flavored ice. These things are chewy, made so in a way that only ice scientists know how to do. There are no stupid jokes on the stick to distract you from the fact that you're eating a rust-flavored icicle... the makers of Bomb Pops rightly know that after you've eaten one, you're so jacked up on sugar that you can't read.
And so, for the next week I lay in bed, a red ring around my slack mouth, thinking about how after all the adversity, the Rolling Stones were right all along.
Come to think of it, I might have gotten better earlier if not for those things. But COME ON! BOMB POPS!