Eating Like a Kid
the HOW not what of eating
There have been a lot of articles on what we ate as kids, but very few on the how. In this article I want to reminisce about all the crazy things I did with my food besides eat it. There may be a couple of generic ones in here, but for the most part I tried to remember the more obscure things I did as a child. Let's begin.
Okay, you probably saw this one coming, the licorice straw. My personal favorite was Red Vine for this. Not only did it taste better than a Twizzler, but it also made a much better straw. And for you health conscious adults that still want to eat like a kid, licorice isn't that bad for you as far as candy goes. No fat, low calories. Why you could scoop up a half cup of sherbert, stir it into a soup, and suck it up with a Red Vine eat the straw, and have yourself a dandy little snack. Quick food related ice cream story. When I was 9 I was playing Connect 4 with my best friend Jason. We both had a bowl of ice cream and were spooning ice cream into our mouths with one hand, and moving checkers with the other. That is until my friend got his hands mixed up and started crunching on a checker. I laughed really hard until my very next move and stuck my fingers right into my ice cream trying to pull out a checker. Only kids could not eat and play a game at the same time. Good stuff.
Licorice rope had a completely different use. Sure you could whip somebody with it and leave physical scars, but why not do something disgusting that could possibly scar someone for life? We used to have contests of who could chew and swallow the most licorice rope, and then bring it back up your throat. Nothing like a strong gagging sound while your friend pulls half chewed candy back out of his esophagus. I never won this game, my gag reflex always got the best of me. Oh well, I did go on to be one of the better burpers of my friends.
Yeah I just mentioned burping, but a true burper didn't need a soda, you could swallow air and burp that way. Proudly, I can still do that to this day. I have something different in mind with soda. I actually remembered doing this after one night of drinking. I had had a couple of beers and I dropped the can I was just about to open. To make sure I didn't spray myself, I opened the can real softly to the let the pressure out before opening it all the way. This triggered a long lost memory. My sister and I used to be able to drink an entire can of soda without opening the lid. We'd crack it just enough so the soda would slowly bubble out. It might take us over an hour to drink it this way with constant SLURRPSSS, but we did it all the time. We thought we were so clever handing someone an obviously empty can and asking if they want a soda and then laughing hysterically at their stupidity. For a while, my sister and I played another game. We'd put the "empty" back into the fridge and fool each other that way. The game ended when mom and dad grabbed onto an empty, they didn't think it was nearly as funny. That's alright though, food can be played with in many ways.
I'm sure there are lots of these that I'm neglecting but I'm only hitting my top two. The first, Fruit Roll Ups. You ever wrap a fruit roll up around your thumb so you had a huge sticky fruit blob to suck on? You bet you did. You'd drool and get sticky down to the wrist, or in my case elbow, but it was worth it. Or you could wrap it into a giant cone and have a red thumb of death to pretend to stab people in the neck with.
The other great on your finger food for stabbing people with, Bugles. Come on, how could you not feel like a tortilla version of Freddy Kruger with these on your fingers? Sometimes you'd have to search the bag to get ones that fit good but I didn't mind. After I was done slashing I'd like to pretend that I was in the middle of the desert and had to eat my own fingers to survive. Yeah, I was a messed up kid.
I believe most kids sort their fruit snacks or candy by color. Save the best for last, that's what I always did. Although I always had a hard time deciding which one I liked more, red or pink. Especially with Starbursts and Runts. Cherry and strawberry are so damn good it was impossible to decide. The bananas were an easy decision though. Up my nose and shot out at the nearest person, that's about all they were good for. There is only one candy that I'd save yellow for last, candy valentine hearts. Don't know why, I loved the yellow for those, then white. That was the only candy that those colors were popular for me.
But I'd also sort my food by coolness. I remember when stealth bomber fruit snacks came out, those ALWAYS got eaten last. They were so cool! How could you not play with them and blow stuff up before finally popping them in your mouth? T-Rex normally made it last with my dinosaur snacks too. I'm sure there are lots of other examples but I think this is pretty common and will give it a rest.
This next one may not be so common though. I used to play what I call "M&M Baseball". It's an easy enough game, but it's cool because you can try and beat your score from the last bag. The rules have changed since the bastards running the company keep adding colors, but it's easy enough. When I first invented the game, M&M's only had 4 colors, yellow, orange, brown, and red. Although there was a dark brown and light brown, but that doesn't matter. This was the game. Each yellow, was a single. Orange was a double. Brown a triple, and red were home runs. I'd then count up the final score of how many times I'd round the bases. Easy enough sure, but I'd get excited to see a lot of reds in a bag. Later when they added green, green became home runs and red upgraded to grand slams putting the score into the high 20's were a game of 13 was pretty spectacular before. I don't really do this anymore, but I don't really eat candy anymore. But it's a fond memory and not a bad idea to get your kids to add while eating a snack.
Cheese Ball Story
This last one is a story of how kids can be equal, but brutal at the same time. I was 10 at the time and went camping with my 11 year old cousin and her friend, also 11. We had a giant thing of Cheese Balls to be divided up equally between the 3 of us. Since we were camping and had no clean surface top, pouring them out into piles was out of the question. So what did we do? We formed a Cheese Ball triangle of death or grab, that's what we did. Let me explain. We all placed one hand firmly onto the container to make sure each grabber had optimum clearance while reaching in. It was then decided we'd do a round-robin of grabbing 3 at a time until they were all gone. If you grabbed too many, someone would shout AHH and you'd forfeit at least 1 turn depending on how many extra you took. But at the same token, if you failed to grab three and already had your hand out, tough cookies buddy. The next hand was already going in. You could design a machine that's only job is to grab animals from the Claw Grabber game, and it still wouldn't have a fifth of the dexterity my 10 year old fingers displayed during this dash and munch game. We got into such a rhythm that we didn't even talk. You knew exactly when the person before you was going to get their hand out and how to place your fingers to get exactly 3 cheese balls every time. Every time. Only kids could have this much dedication towards fairness while eating a snack. I miss the complexity yet innocence of eating like that.
Well that's about it. Have a food story you want to share? Sure you do, I'd love to hear it. Hope you enjoyed.