Friday, May 25, 2012

Candy I Ate in the 90s

There's a small store right on the corner of my block. It's been there for years and it's the place I bought candy as a kid. I asked my mom for fifty cents or a dollar and I walked a few feet to the store. The store closed at eight. There was a smaller store about a block away and it closed until nine, so that was always my back up store. One friday, when I was ten, my cousin came over and it was about 8:15. We wanted to buy candy so I asked my mom for money. "Just take some from my purse," she said. I grabbed her purse from the counter and started looking for a dollar. She didn't have change, so I took a five. My cousin and I went to the smaller store since it was past eight. I hate going there because gang members always hang out around there. But I was going with my cousin, so I wont be going alone I thought. It was pitch black. We had to cross an alley to get there. As always, gang bangers were there. There was about five of them, laughing abnoxiously in baggy clothing. We walked right through them. They usually don't say anything.

(Corner store in Chicago in 1909)

We went in the store. It looks just like a small 7/11. The little bell rang as we opened the door. Chingaling!  We started browsing for candy. All the colors. All the different buckets and boxes on the shelves. There's so much candy, how can we only pick a couple.

Chingaling! I looked up and saw a kid come in. I knew him from somewhere. I had volunteered to help out his class during spring break for community service hours. I got picked to help out the special needs class. I tought them how to spell their name, and count. He wasn't like the rest of them though. He was pretty smart. He was just crazy in the head. He approached me. Behind a shelf. Where no one could see us. Took out a knife and touched the tip of it to my stomach. "Wooaah," I said. I thought he was playing. "I'm gonna kill you." I had on that smile you have when you're panicking and don't know what to do. He put the knife away and laughed. He patted my shoulder and walked over to the cashier. They seemed to know eachother, they talked for a bit. Then the kid left. I took a deep breath and felt relieved. My cousin came from the back. I put a Hershey's bar on the counter and gave the man my five dollars.

"Where'd you get this kind of money?" he said. "What?" "Where'd you get this kind of money?" I didn't know what he was talking about. "It was a five wasn't it?" I said. "Fifty."  I had no idea. I must've gotten a fifty dollar bill by mistake. I explained it to the man. He gave me my change. "Be careful with that money when you go outside," he said. I nodded and we walked away. I was surprised that he actually admitted it was a fifty. He could agreed that it was a five and kept the rest.  There are good hearted people in the world. But man. The things we go through for candy as kids.

Candy, for me tasted better in the 90s. I just picture bright colors and creativity with the candy. Theres 10 in particular that I'll never forget walking to the corner store to get:

a.)          Power Rangers Lollipop. I tried to look for it on the internet, but I couldn't find a picture of it. I guess they weren't well known. But it was a round lollipop. Half of it was pink and half was white. The pink part was see through and you could see the Power Rangers logo through it. The thing I remember the most though, is that it came with a Power Rangers sticker. I would give every single sticker to my uncle and he stuck them on his door. He used to rent a room in our house. You could still see the residues the stickers left after all these years. Eroded away by the air if time.

b.)          Ring Pops. I remember I watched the commercials for these for the first time when I was a kid and immediatly wanted one. They looked so beautiful. After a while though, I started to hate them because they left my fingers sticky from licking them while I wore them on my fingers. Now that I think about it, it was a stupid candy.

c.)          Push Pops. They tasted just like the Ring Pops. Again, I always hated when the saliva ran through the bottom and on to your finger. I hate being sticky. Where do I wipe my fingers?
(I bet her fingers are sticky!)

 d.)          Neon Beach Bubble Gum. I wore this thing around my neck and thought it looked cool. It would always run out of gum so fast because you just kept putting more and more in your mouth. It was addictive. I never wanted to share!

e.)          Ice Cream Faces. Ice cream trucks had pictures on the side of characters from cartoons as ice cream pops. I remember The Ninja Turtles, Sonic, and Bugs Bunny. The thing I hated was that it would melt all over my fingers and mouth. My childhood was spent being sticky. The faces were always awkward and the bubble gum eyes were never in the right place!

(So disapointing)

f.)          Pixie Stix. There's two version of these. The ones you see below, and the Mexican kind. The ones that were made of plastic and were incredibly tough to open (at least for me). I always hated when saliva fell into the tube. Nothing would come out as the pixie dust would get wet and clog it. Scissors!

("Don't get saliva on them!")

g.)          3D Doritos. These were my favorite chips! I haven't seen them anymore since then. I always bit the end of the dorito and laughed at how it looked like underwear. What? I was a kid.

(When large chips were 99 cents!)

h.)          Squeezit. The top of these plastic bottles was hard to take off. I remember filling a cooler with them once and taking them to the park. Ahh. Nostalgia. Are they still around?

i.)          Candy Sticks. I pretended I was smoking with these. They were chalky and I probably only bought them because Popeye was on the cover of the box. These tastes terrible. But after a while, they were addicting. Just like the real thing, eh?

(Originally called, "Candy Cigarrettes")

j.)          Candy Necklace. I don't even remember where I bought these. I think I was always just given one. Like at birthday parties and things like that. But, I didn't like them very much. Now that I think about it, most of the candy when I was a kid was terrible, but I still ate them. We all did. There was just something irrestistable about them I think they also came in wrist bands. The sadness that came to your eyes as you had less and less candy on that elastic string.   

(Oh sure, NOW it's cool to wear them in public)

Candy is much more precious as a kid. You don't discriminate. You eat every type of candy, even if it leaves your fingers sticky. I wonder, what are the kids of today eating. As a kid, all the candy commercials stood out to me. I can't remember the last time I saw a candy commercial unless it was for chocolate. "Baby Bottle Pop! Baby Bottle Pop! You can lick it...."or something like that. But it stuck those things in my head like a catchy song.

Now, just looking at those type of candy makes me feel sick to my stomach. I hate hard candy now. It's too sweet. But wow, time flies by. All that sugar. All that running. All that falling. The scars. I miss the 90s. Such simple times. Every thing back then was filled with color and zigzag lines. My lines have been straight lately. Sometimes curvy. I miss the excitement. The sharp, unexpected turns. I wish I could give the 90s one last kiss. And hold on until she pulls away. She needs to move on. She says I'm too old for her now. And the new millenium begins to caress my face, like a cruel mistress. Like every passing decade does.

What candy did you like as a kid?

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