Last week I messaged Nicole and Hannah in a panic because I had forgotten it was my day to post, my husband was in Korea and I was depleted and bereft of inspiration. I said I loved blogging with them but it was triggering my anxiety and I thought I probably had to bow out. Because they’re sweet, kind friends who I totally don’t deserve, they totally let me off the hook and said I could post whenever I felt like it. Then I went to the local bar to meet my friends for a beer (that’s right – one of the reasons I couldn’t post was because it would eat into my weekly beer-drinking time. I’m awesome like that) and we started talking about junk food from childhood, and if I had come home just a little earlier I could have had a post that day after all.
So. Margot and Michael liked Jos Louis, but Collette preferred flakies. I’m with M and M on this one – flakies seem like they should be great, but the pastry always tasted slightly stale to me. Does anyone remember the Pop Shop? Wait, was it Pop Shoppe? Hang on – yes, it is? And it’s back! I completely did not know that. My dad used to go down to ‘the bottom of the hill’ (that’s where the stores were where I grew up) and my sister and I got a little drink of pop before bed (it was the seventies, that was how we rolled). I think she liked root beer. Lime Rickey was my favourite. Apparently Pop Shoppe pop came back in 2004 after being squeezed out by the Cola wars, and is now Canada’s number one premium pop brand.
Sweet Tarts and Bottle Caps – sugary, sour powder that makes your tongue curl up. I’ve seen Sweet Tarts around – actually I got into trouble when I bought Sweet Tarts for my daughter’s friend who has an egg allergy, because I knew I had gotten them for her before and they were safe, but these were Sweet Tart CHEWS, which are NOT egg-free, and I felt like a giant asshole – but I haven’t seen bottle caps. Root Beer bottle caps were a staple of my Apartment-Store-Candy trips (there was one apartment building in the town where I grew up. It had a name, but we always just called it The Apartments, and the store on the ground floor we called The Apartment Store. Whenever my mom was sick she’d made me go there and buy her a chocolate bar. Sometimes she’d change her mind when I got home and make me go back and exchange it. And they let me.) And Fun Dip! They actually still have Fun Dip at the Bulk Barn and I used to buy it for my kids, because no child should be deprived of the crystalline, madcap joy of dipping a stick made of sugar into yet more sugar.
This conversation also made me realize that I’d never had a pop tart. I have a feeling I wouldn’t have liked them much even then. I didn’t have a Twinkie until I was in my thirties, but those were pretty good, in a dirty, white-trash kind of way (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Our friends always have a Halloween party for parents and kids, and last year I brought a giant package of pop rocks and I was a total hero. We totally mixed them with Coke and nobody exploded – it was a bit of a letdown, honestly.
So obviously we have plans to have a party where everybody brings whatever they can find that they used to love when they were ten. I assume it will mostly taste like crap now. My friend Zarah and I used to love sour cream and onion Ruffles potato chips. She says that they’re not as good now that the new trans fats rules are in place. I think she’s fooling herself about our aging taste buds, but who knows.
I was about to ask what your guilty pleasure was when you were young, but the great thing was that there was no guilt about it back then, wasn’t it? Maybe that was the most delicious part of all.