Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What June 12th Means To Me: Eating Candy. Top Ten Childhood Favorites

This post is for Augustus Gloop.  For Stillwell "Angel." 

Before little boys and girls grew older and obsessed about other boys and girls, we had candy.  It's what we looked forward to.  It's what our parents bribed us with.  We'd behave, we'd stop crying, we'd stay in line, we'd do whatever for some candy.  Even if it was crappy candy.  You've all heard of that famous study where they leave a kid in a room with ONE marshmallow and the promise of another if they can wait 20 minutes without eating it?  And most couldn't?  A fucking marshmallow? Really?  That's the power of candy. 

I don't eat much candy these days, but I know a bite into my favorite childhood treat would act as a time machine to my youth.  So, let's celebrate candy with my top ten childhood favorites below:

10) The Chipwich

You delicious bitch

OK, so not a candy, but this ice cream treat is worth noting because I'd eat em on, pretty much, a daily basis.  The Chipwich could be a temperamental lil beast, though, if not stored at the perfect temperature.  If it was too hard, it'd break your teeth like any other over-frozen ice cream bar. If it was too soft, like the one above might be, the sandwich would collapse after the first bite.  Then you'd quickly eat the edges so none of the ice cream would fall to the ground, while the melting shit got all over your hands.  Totally killed the experience.  But the perfectly stored Chipwich?  A true joy.

9) Warheads:

I actually couldn't stand Warheads.  Or Eye-Poppers.  Or any of that overly sour crap that became all the rage in the early 90's.  But they were memorable due to their popularity, so I wanted to include them.  I can't recall the chronology of which candy came first, but it seemed that the first sour treats were sort of mild, then once they caught on, companies upped the ante with more powerful selections:  enter Warheads.  A 100 percent, completely unenjoyable "fruit flavored" shit bomb in a small tablet. They were so bad, and so powerful, that you can actually go on YouTube and find people shoving a bunch in their mouth to film their horrific reactions.  It's not a treat, it's a challenge.  But, when I was in junior high, most kids had em and claimed to like em.  I'm still not sure how.  They were designed to endure, not enjoy. 

8) Caramello

Lets see.  Chocolate. Caramel. Magic. Genius! 

7) Six Foot Bubble Tape

Yes. Hubba Bubba was better.  Gatorgum was better.  Big League Chew?  Much better.  But did they come in a roll?

There was nothing special about the taste.  In fact, it was kind of a pain in the ass because it didn't come in individual pieces. So why did I love this product? Because it was never six feet long and I got a thrill out of constantly pointing this out.  Like I was the Woodward and Bernstein of gum. I'd buy a pack, roll it out on the kitchen table, and grab the tape measure each time. 5 feet and 6 inches? Sometimes.  5 feet and 2 inches?  Maybe.  6 feet?  NEVER.  

A fun little sidenote: I once tried to stick the entire "six foot" roll in my mouth and almost choked on it; it was a strange experiment, I admit.  Kind of like the time I got a popcorn kernel stuck in my nose for a couple days.  Not sure what I was trying to prove there either.


The all-time worst ingredient to put into a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but a fun treat on it's own.  I always liked how the packages came in a couple of flavors, with two compartments that separated them.  There was something nice and orderly about it. 

5) The Strawberry Pack Of Starburst

Before boys started dreaming of other pink things, there was the strawberry Starburst.  (ugh, I'm sorry for writing that).

I can't even find a picture of this all-strawberry package on Google, but I'm certain I'm not making it up because I always bought it at my local diner.  I used to think Starburst put that awful lemon flavor in its variety pack just so the eater could further appreciate the strawberry.  Having a pack full of them was one of the only opportunities in life where you could have your cake and eat it too.

4) Pop Rocks

First off, look at that tagline.  Ugh. But I digress.  What could be better than a candy that exploded in your mouth?  A candy that came with a warning.  And a rumor that your head may burst if you drank a soft drink while eating them.  I don't even remember how these things tasted, I assume bad, but they were a fun novelty.

3) The Atomic Fireball

I don't really like hot/spicy flavored foods much, and I didn't love the fireball.  But in the 1980's, these little candies acted as currency.  Especially in my summer camp.  Wanna make a friend?  Give em a fireball.  Need a favor from someone?  Give them the promise of fireballs.  The reward for a job well done?  Fireballs!  The directors at my camp would keep them in their pockets as some kind of cheap version of crowd control.  Seriously, if the campers tried to revolt, it would have been easily squashed by someone holding a fireball like a carrot just out of reach.  Like if you were distracting a zombie by throwing a slab of meat off to the side.  To this day I can't understand why these things were so popular.  Who likes a cinnamon flavored candy anyway?  People, they're the worst. 

2) The Cookies N Cream Twix

At some point in the late 1980's, Mars inc. added two new flavors of Twix to their arsenal: the Chocolate Fudge and the immortal (to me) Cookies N Cream. It disappeared as quickly as it was introduced, and for a while only lived in twelve packs on grocery store shelves, but school lunches were never more exciting than they were when I had the promise of a Cookies N Cream Twix conclusion.   I always had the same eating method.  I'd first gnaw off the cookies n cream filling (which replaced the caramel in the regular Twix), and then finished the cookie portion with tiny bites.  Similar to a mouse.  The whole process took around ten minutes. I'd smile for a while and think to myself...what a wonderful world.  Then the bastards took it away. 

1) Chocolate Bonkers

I'm not sure if everyone was truly bonked out by the chewy chocolate Bonkers, but for me, it was love at first sight...err taste.  In fact, I still remember the first time I had 'em.  I can't recall whose birthday party it was, but it was at some sort of Color Me Mine-esque ceramics place, and the goodie bag featured an entire pack of Chocolate Bonkers. ALL FOR ME.  First bite?  I think angels sang that day.  Not sure when these were phased out, and I've heard rumors of a Bonkers revival, but the world would be a better place if they graced our candy shelves again.


  1. Such a fun flashback post to read. I myself have never seen the all pink starburts packs, but I also wasn't really seeking it out. I'm a red starburst kinda girl. Also, the orderliness of the nerds...my OCD side totally agrees with you!! Pure awesome. How funny that I share the same feelings towards both War Heads and fireballs. I didn't really care for either, but I knew other people did. =) Can't say I ever measured bubble tape though. But I DID take it all out at once and bite it like a cookie, which completely ruined the whole rolling it back up thing. But I still did it.

    1. No one remembers the pink starburst pack, it seems. Sad, because it was quite the treat :)