People have such a strange relationship with food. So many of us relate a particular food to a certain event in our lives. And in most cases, it's usually happy times. Why is that? I often feel grief-stricken when something I really enjoy is discontinued. It's like closing the door on a specific point in my life. How many of you feel a little somber when you realize the McRib is gone, even though you know it will eventually be back? Who else misses Choco Tacos, Crunch Tators, or Puddin Pops? Here are my top 5 ALL TIME favorite and dearly missed food/beverage items:
5. Mr. Pibb
Now I'm talking about ORIGINAL Mr. Pibb, NOT Pibb Xtra! Some will argue that Pibb Xtra is the same as Original Pibb but they are mistaken. The way it burned your throat after that first sip has yet to be replicated. I remember drinking copious amounts of Mr. Pibb every time we went to Six Flags AstroWorld. Nothing quenched your thirst quite like it! I will still drink Pibb Xtra as a paltry substitute for the original, it's just not the same.
4. Crystal Clear Pepsi
Am I the only person who actually enjoyed Crystal Pepsi? I've never been a fan of Pepsi in general. To me, it tastes really flat and medicinal. It was so refreshing when Crystal Pepsi came out! There was a crisp, clean taste that I haven't found in any other soft drink. I can only compare it to Sprite, but better. Not many people remember the taste. They only remember the Van Halen song and the SNL gravy skit.
3. Morning Star Mini Corn Dogs
I've never really eaten pork, but I do love a tasty dog. Veggie dogs have been a staple in my diet since I can remember. Morning Star used to make these delicious bite size corn dogs that were straight from heaven. I could eat a whole box of them! I once had a Winona Ryder costume party and served these tasty treats as appetizers. They were such a hit and no one could tell they were not pork. I took it very hard when Morning Star discontinued the minis, but I took it even harder when they recently discontinued the regular dogs. What am I supposed to do? Oh, I'm well aware of Smart Dogs, but Smart Dogs taste like rubber! If I weren't so attached to their bacon, I would completely boycott Morning Star altogether for their rash decisions. Fortunately, I still have a savior in Hot Dog King. Anyone interested in enjoying the BEST veggie dog of all time can find it at a trailer on Red River between 7Th & 8Th St. They don't call him the Hot Dog King of Chicago for nothing!
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies
Hostess made these pies when The Secret of The Ooze came out. They were similar to the cherry, apple, and chocolate gas station pies we're all familiar with. Only these pies were green! They had a green crust and the filling was a vanilla flavored green pudding. Essentially, the pies looked like something the girl from The Exorcist barfed up, but they were so delectable. The pies also came with a collectible sticker of various scenes in the film. I recall being envied by many kids because everyday I'd open my Ninja Turtle lunchbox to find a glorious pie inside. Just so you know, there's an online petition to bring these beloved pies back!
It's hard to recall what life was like before Sparks. To sum it up in one word, I'd say "boring." Some of the best/worst decisions I've made in my life were the result of Sparks. We really had a good run together. Just when I thought SXSW couldn't get more ridiculously out of hand, then came Sparks. What a genius idea to combine caffeine and alcohol! And what an even better decision to combine that with vodka & cranberry juice to create the almighty Sparkle Berry (courtesy of Mike Sanchez former Emos bartender). Having an orange tongue was like a badge of honor. Wicked Celtics even wrote a love song to this amazing beverage. I can only compare the Sparkle Berry to drinking unicorns blood while sitting on a cloud inebriated. Why would something so enjoyable be ripped from our clutches? Oh, because asshole parents thought it appealed to kids. The only group of people Sparks appealed to or targeted were hipsters and lushes. Now supposedly, it's been revamped but it's not the same. It's like taking your girlfriend back after she's banged the whole football team. The era of Sparks will live on in infamy. I guess all good things must come to an end.