Soda, purple stuff and Sunny D.

afterschool3A series is born! The fact is, we needed a junk drawer. Games, gadgets, snacks, ads, commercials, one hit wonders, fashion trends, and gak. I realize I’ve dabbled with this before (i.e. my glorious pogs and slammers post) but this is going to cover a wider umbrella of topics. AND, as always, I encourage your feedback. 

First stop: the childhood food and beverage aisle. 

  1. S’mores Pop Tarts. Even though mom was thoroughly against it. Compromises were  usually made in the form of Eggo Waffles, which calls to mind “Leggo my Eggo!” A phrase that exudes whining grubs.
  2. The array of Hostess products that catered to insecure girls in the cafeteria lines of middle schools everywhere. 
  3. Blow pops and Tootsie Pops. And what was up with the Tootsie Pops that had a star on the wrapper? A mystery. 
  4. Those plastic juice bottles with the tops that you tore off. Ten times more sugary than bug juice, but the same concept. I associate them with Wild ‘n Crazy Kids, visions of neon colors, and vice versa. 
  5. Freeze pops. I enjoyed the pink ones, but all flavors remind me of blazing Florida summers.
  6. Nerds. Better yet, their short-lived rival, Dweebs. The only time I located Dweebs was at Sun Splash Water Park. And the original Nerds could be found at the movie theater in a white box containing one flavor: grape. 
  7. Crystal Pepsi. The poor man’s Sprite, really.
  8. On the topic of sodas: Surge, the choice beverage for every boy in the cafeteria who convinced himself if he drank enough, it would cause some kind of crazy reaction in his brain. In theory, Surge is the reason for a lack of common sense within my generation’s male mind. 
  9. Orbitz drinks. The ones with the floating Jell-o like spheres that “defied gravity.” They only had a shelf life of about 3 weeks in 1996, but I saw one with my own eyes, just once. And never again. It’s a giant urban legend. I often question what their purpose was and why they suddenly disappeared. 
  10. Gushers, Fruit by the Foot, and Fruit Roll-Ups. I recall putting artistic skill to work with these snacks during afternoon Nickelodeon or Disney Channel commercial breaks. 
  11. Thanks to a friend, I was reminded of Warheads. I recall being a total masochist about these candies and always eating the insanely sour ones. What must’ve teachers thought of us? My Jansport was chock full of those devils 24/7. 
  12. And most importantly, my memory recalls upon something most people have forgotten: the light brown M&M. Before they elected the blue color as an addition to the bag, there were dark brown and light brown morsels. And I miss them more than any normal person should. 




6 thoughts on “Soda, purple stuff and Sunny D.

  1. Thank you for this post. I always find myself thinking of these things while trying to pick up the pieces of my insane childhood on Martha’s Vineyard…Orbitz and those nasty-ass jelly balls floating in gelatinous liquid space. I loved the Black Cherry Warheads. Surge – seriously, every teenage boy’s dream and nightmare in the same sip; and the phantom Crystal (clear) Pepsi…I thought for some reason, I was the only one who remembered these things…and somehow my world would be nothing because there would be no one there who knew. Kim, I know. We know. Isn’t it sad that our lives, our childhood experiences, are, at this point, emulated and identified through products? Tommy Hilfiger, Tootsie brand, Pepsi, Airheads, Warheads, Surge, Pop-tarts, Marlboro, Nerds, Major League Chew, Old Navy Performance Fleece, Express wind-pants, ADIDAS (All Day I Dream About Sex)…does this define us? I would hate to admit that.

    Posted by Marie | February 27, 2009, 5:07 am
    • What a great comment! You’ve made me laugh (not that making me laugh is some kind of crazy, far-fetched concept.)
      But, yeah….wow. I like your description of Surge. So valid. And, I am so thrilled you remember those gross Orbitz drinks. I was certain no one had any clue about them, even when they existed. I feel like this post kind of sums up my train of thought in general, because aside from this list, I remember insanely obscure things – like, every word to the Ribbon Dancer commercial, for example. That’s just hilarious to me. I have a book called “Soap Sex and Cigarettes” and it talks about advertising and branding throughout the 20th century, and what really set our generation up was the technology boom in the ’80s, and maybe that Swatch watch phase. Oh, and New Coke. But all in all, I think the explosion of print ads and commercials are what brought it to its peak and made 13 year old girls in LA think they had to have, like, mannequins holding Neiman Marcus shopping bags as centerpieces at their Bat Mitzvahs.

      Posted by thehoff | February 27, 2009, 6:00 am
  2. Wow, I loved reading this. How true. I still purchase some of these things just for the nostalgia factor, most especially Gushers and Sharks!

    Posted by Beryl | March 9, 2009, 12:04 am
  3. they still have light brown mnms at the mnm store

    Posted by rotomRASENGAN | March 11, 2009, 4:52 am
  4. I’m loving your blog. It’s great. Sadly, I can’t figure out a way to follow it, so I’ll probably lose it forever.
    I thought of the Orbitz as liquid tapioca. Maybe not the best descriptor, but it’s the image I got.

    Posted by Jason | March 26, 2010, 2:30 am
  5. I remember all of that stuff and then some, like Boppers, and Bonkers, Ice cream cone cereal by General Mills, I also remember Nature Valley’s experiment with a fruit spread granola bar. On a side note, I think I know why Orbitz came and went, they were awful, I bought one, one time and one time only, I gulped it and acted as though it was good so my friend would try it, then once he tried it I let out my taste disapproval.

    Posted by Kyle | May 23, 2011, 4:20 am

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