Are you surprised by all the publicity generated by the demise of the Twinkie? I was, but then, I think I received some insight into it – thanks to football. Well, indirectly – it was actually the half-time show on Thanksgiving afternoon.
I was in the kitchen, bungling a recipe for the stuffed Portobello mushrooms I’d volunteered to bring to dinner, and the Detroit Lions were playing someone or other in the living room. On my way to getting dressed I paused to watch Kid Rock give a great rocking shout out to Detroit, then continued on into the bedroom when a country singer came on. I think his name was Trace Atkins. The announcer pointed out that he was singing to his little girl.
Having been a daddy’s girl myself, I came out again to take a look. Trace was singing
“She thinks we’re just fishing. She doesn’t realize we’re making a memory.” (Or something to that effect)
……….and that’s when it hit me. That’s what the Twinkie hub-bub’s all about !
People aren’t mourning the passing of the pseudo-crème filled artificially flavored fat finger of cake.They’re getting dewy-eyed about the memory surrounding it. And for each person, it’s a whole different memory.
Now I was never a Twinkie-lover but I do eat my share of junk-food, if candy can be classified as junk food. And my memories of candy are linked with life on the streets.
It was a time when the world felt kid-safe. So come noon, once we’d finished lunch (NYC school lunches – now that could fill a blog in itself) we were set free to play. And when I say free, I mean free – no supervising teachers – no recess monitors– just hundreds of kids, all mixed in, first graders through 8th graders, all doing their thing in the street. The only restraints were the barricades placed at each end of 151st street
and the NYPD-issued sign – Play Street No traffic.
But this was meant to keep cars out, not us kids in. There was no hard and fast rule that you had to stay on the block. And many kids took advantage of the freedom to go down to Marty’s, the luncheonette/candy store on the corner. Marty’s had the classic varieties of fifties penny candy that varied from week to week and the standard candy bars. Since I received a daily allowance of five cents, I could be found in the middle of the mob at the candy counter.
During my eight years of frequenting Marty’s, my choices were in the hundreds, but three stand out.
First of all, I don’t know why it was called taffy because it sure wasn’t chewy and pliable.
It was brittle, and that’s what made it the perfect contraband to bring back to school to enjoy during afternoon class. if you hurled it, unwrapped, to the sidewalk, it broke into angular shards, much as a plate of glass would.
Once back at your desk, you’d unwrap it, place it next to the text books under the seat, and reach down nonchalantly for a piece from time to time.
These little wafers of assorted mystery flavors were not saved, but consumed at recess, or rather, “received.”
They were the same circumference as the communion hosts, and so we would play Holy Communion. (Yes, I went to Catholic School.) The purchaser would have the first turn at being priest. All her friends would kneel on the sidewalk in front of her, as she went down the line and placed a Necco Wafer on each outstretched tongues. And although the faithful only receive communion once a day, we took turns being priest, and received over and over until the wafers were gone.
I don’t know how many people know this, but the original Three Musketeer bars had two horizontal lines strategically placed in the chocolate coating indicating where you could split the bar into three even pieces to be shared with your two BFF’s. That’s why it was called Three Musketeers and that’s what the commercials on Saturday morning cartoons told us to do so we did. I usually shared mine with my two BBF’s Sharon and Gail. And even though our friendship didn’t last forever, I don’t doubt they were my Best Friends then. After all, I shared my Three Musketeers with them.
To this day, I’m scheming to have Three Musketeers all to myself. That’s why I always buy a bag of miniatures at Halloween. After thirteen Halloweens here, I’m pretty certain none of the trick-or-treaters would think of exerting themselves by climbing the hill leading to The House of Mars.
So hee hee hee
I have them all to myself!
Okay – your turn? What were your childhood dietary indiscretions?
C’mon share. That’s what the comments section is for.