all I want for Christmas…

I’ve been looking for classic, well made toys for Griffin’s Christmas and upcoming birthday gifts. In doing that, I’ve been reminded of so many cool things from my childhood… like the Fisher Price record player!

I LOVED this thing!

Luckily, you can still find them, so Griffin WILL have one when he’s a bit older. (of course he’ll be wondering what the hell a record player IS which is sad in it’s own way… but I digress…)

So anyway, this made me think about all the other things I’ve loved as I’ve grown up- that either no longer exist, or are just no longer available to me. Boy how I miss them… or at least the memory of them! You will notice a food driven theme…

The Miss Piggy Colorforms Paper Doll with Steamer Trunk– This came for Christmas when I was about 5 and I can STILL remember the awesomeness of it. Man, Santa got it right that year.

Sharkleberry Fin Kool-Aid– I no longer drink things like Kool-Aid, but you bet your britches that if I found Sharkleberry Fin again, there would immediately be a pitcher of it in the fridge. This was by FAR the best kool-aid flavor and they ripped it away from my tiny hands…

Bonkers Candy– grape and strawberry really bonked me out.

Peach Jolly Ranchers– you can still get many flavors of Jolly Ranchers. And I’ve heard that Peach exists in the weird passion mix bag… which I refuse to buy since I’m sure it will be 47 fruit punch and 2 peach… but when I was a kid I’d ride my bike down to Ruccasin’s and buy peach Jolly Rancher sticks for 5 cents each. I’d sit there & suck on them until the stick softened and conformed to my tongue. Gross? Sure. Delicious? YES.

Burple and Squeeze It– more terrible sugar drinks, but I was in LOVE with the burple container and how you could convert it into a water gun… and I distinctly remember only the cool kids bringing SqueezeIts in their lunches…

The ORIGINAL Optimus Prime– none of this pansy plastic crap. Mine was metal and a BAD ASS. They just dont make toys like this anymore.

BubbleEez- I couldnt find any pictures of it- almost like it didn’t exist! But it DID! It was soft, round bubble gum balls that came in a package where each ball had it’s own compartment. I think there was an astronaut on the front. And the jingle was “bubble-ubble-eez, bubble-ubble-gum!” BEST. STUFF. EVER.

Blueberry Hubba Bubba– ok, well only SLIGHTLY better than BubbleEez was this stuff. Such a potent blueberry flavor that set my 8 year old tastebuds aglow. I found something similar recently- some kind of mixed berry gum that had a resounding blueberry flavor, but it wasnt EXACTLY right. Oh, I miss it so.

Jello Gelatin Pops– not no be confused with Jello PUDDING pops… these were frozen fruit flavored jello confections. They were almost like sherbet when completely frozen and more jello-like in consistency as they started to melt. These were my FAVORITE summer treats.

New Episodes of My So Called Life and Pushing Daisies– Why do creative, unique, well written shows get cancelled after a year or two and yet Two and a Half Men is on it’s 35th season?

New York Seltzer Water– specifically in peach and black cherry. My parents never minded buying us this stuff because it had far less sugar than regular pop. And let’s face it, they probably mixed it with vodka. I loved that I got my own tiny glass bottle whenever they brought it home. Good stuff.

Shrinky Dinks– does anything get more fun than making your own hard plastic toys? I have no idea what I did with mine once they came out of the oven, but I remember being in heaven during their “creation”!

Rosetto Toasted Ravioli- ok, I actually found these and promptly fell in love during college. They would be part of our “Italian Smorgasbord” that we’d create after a long night of drinking…er…I mean studying. The breaded frozen ravioli came in a bag and then you could either fry or bake them. They were…AMAZING. And now, unfortunately for me, but fortunately for my ass, they are extinct.

Pizzarias Chips– I’m willing to believe that this MAY be one of those things best left to memory. But at the time, they were terrific. And then they vanished. I am told that Fridays has released a similar product. Though I havent tried them, I will not be fooled!!

Orlando Deli Italian Bread and Steak & Sausage Rolls– This is the bread of my childhood and may be one of my most pleasant food memories. I still remember that the bread was so fresh, you could smell it through the bag on the way home. The crust was chewy but the inside was soft… And it DOES still exist…only in Ohio. The first time I went to the grocery store in Denver to pick some up and couldnt find it, I thought it was a fluke. But no- not only does Orlando not come this far west, but we don’t have anything even remotely similar. I havent had a decent homemade sub in YEARS.

Lea & Perrin’s BBQ Sauce– I have literally never in my life had better barbeque. It was the perfect blend of sweet, smoky and spicy. I found it for the first time while in college and for the last time about 8 or 9 years ago. It was SO good that I even wrote them a letter and professed my undying love, told them life just hasnt been the same… and they basically told me to please enjoy their other items. Sigh.

50-50 Soda– Where are you, grapefruity goodness of my childhood?

Snyder of Berlin BBQ Chips– Snyder of Berlin makes the best chips hands down. I hope and believe that these still exist in the Land Of Cleves, but they are nowhere to be found in the Mountain West. Which is a sad, sad thing because all other BBQ chips taste like crap in comparison.

I’m sure there is more out there- toys, foods, memories- that I have loved and lost. But this is my quick attempt at an “if only” Christmas list. I wonder what Griffin will look back at with fondness one day when he is in his 30s? I hope is is something more happy and wholesome than Pizzarias.


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