So here is yet another comic. I wonder when I’ll get tired of this. Anyway, as always, here is the Larger Readable Version.
So here is yet another comic. I wonder when I’ll get tired of this. Anyway, as always, here is the Larger Readable Version.
So here is yet another comic. I wonder when I’ll get tired of this. Anyway, as always, here is the Larger Readable Version.
I was so excited on Sunday. Me and the woman were going to go out and have some lame fun at our local put put golf place, Pirate’s Cove. I was all set to take a zillion pictures and just have a lame (as the place is in disrepair) fun (as it’s all on a giant pirate ship so who cares if it’s falling apart.) We bought our 36 holes of golf, picked out our balls and clubs, took some pictures of the clubhouse and all it’s pirate themed glory and then … my camera battery died. Fuck Crap Shit. We hadn’t even started the first hole and there would now be no record of the event, and in turn no article here. We stood in the sweltering afternoon heat and had to decide whether to cut our losses, beg for a refund, or stall while one of us went home to recharge the battery. In the end, I had to beg an 18 year old girl in pirate garb to please just transfer these games to a gift card (which they do have) since they don’t do refunds. We lied and said that there was an emergency, that we got a call on our non-existant cell phone, that we absolutely had to go and that we desperately wanted to come back to finish our game.
She gave us vouchers in the end, but I felt like a dweeb. If it hadn’t been 20 dollars (an knowing that it’s a good five years between visits to this lovely establishment) I probably would have just played and said to hell with it, but damn it I wanted pictures.
I feel so dumb.
So this is the first of two possible mascot ideas that I’m fleshing out. He doesn’t have a name yet, though for sake of ease I’ll refer to him as clumpy. Like I said, I wanted the mascot to involve a weird food nostalgia memory and though I could think of a few (for a later podcast probably) only about eight were easily doodle-able. Of the eight, only four stood out as fun and of those only two that seemed relatively easy to draw dynamically. I really liked the idea of a burnt Cheez-It, but you can pretty much only draw them from one angle.
So I now present to you Clumpy, the wad of cheesy snack finger dust (think Cheetos.) This is the first doodle I did to try and get the concept down.
Well, I decided that he could be drawn from many angles and was kind of fun to draw, so I fleshed him out a bit, going with a more Jabba the Hut/Fraggle Rock Garbage Heap/Snuffleupagus kind of look. I threw some quick photoshop colors on him to get the concept down.
I was sort of happy with that and I kind of have a back story figured out, so I went ahead and tried to get some of his personality out in the following drawing. Here is a bigger version.
I’m pretty happy with his design though I think it can use some more work. I’ll update tomorrow with the second mascot possibility!
As I mentioned before I’m working on a mascot for this blog & podcast that will introduce and possibly star in my reviews and stuff. I wanted something along the lines of Timer from the 80’s Saturday morning PSA’s (he’s a hunk of cheese that educates kids on nutrition and crap you can do at home for free.) Well, I did a bunch of brainstorming and doodling and I’m proud to announce that I’ve come up with two ideas that I’m happy with.
I’ve got the character concepts done and I’ve started to draw the characters in more finished situations (like a mini comic strip and a weird piece of Pop art.) Anyway, I’m not sure which way I’m leaning, but I thought I’d share the process in the next few blog entries.
Part the last, my round up of 80’s nostalgia candy, or at least what I have nostalgia for.
13). Runts. I admit it; I am one of those people. You know, one of those people who buy Runts specifically for one flavor of Runt. I am a banana man, not THE Bananaman that used to bookend episodes of Danger Mouse and Count Duckula, but the dude that would buy a box of Runts, eat only the banana, flirt with eating the strawberry and Cherry and then would toss the orange and lime away. I even remember back in the day, when this was uncommon, my Dad took me to a flea market and there was this awesome booth set up with Mexican sodas on tap and a bunch of candy by the pound. Well one of the bags was pure banana Runts. I didn’t get it because I wasn’t supposed to have that much candy at once, but it was like the grail that I kept looking for since. Nowadays you can find just banana pretty regularly in vending machines and stuff.
Unfortunately for my friend Kevin who will be sharing these with me and who loves citrus flavored candy, Wonka changed the Lime Runts to Watermelon, so it won’t quite be a perfect trip down Runts lane.
14). Sugar mf-ing Daddies! Yeah, so I only had one Sugar Daddy as a kid and it was the hardest thing to eat ever. It was just so big and immune to the saliva in my mouth. I want to remember it taking like three weeks to eat it, but I’m sure it only took an hour. My mom was a lot fonder of Sugar Babies so we had those around a lot more. I found these mini Sugar Daddies and figured they’d be perfect for movie night. Turns out that the formula has changed because these went super quick.
15). Orange Tic Tacs! Are they a candy or are they a mint? I’ll lean towards candy as a pack of Orange Tic Tacs lasted about 55 seconds in my hands. These things were addictive too. I remember in high school, my friend Jeremy had found this mega box of individually wrapped Tic Tacs and I was so jealous. I’m glad they still make these. They even have Lemon, Lime and a Citrus combo now.
16). Warheads! I don’t think I was introduced to these until high school, but I think I was only in the 9th grade, so that’s close enough for nostalgia’s sake. For some strange reason Sour became the flavor du jour in the early 90’s and it’s had the staying power only rivaled by Cherry flavored products. In fact now it’s sometimes hard to find non-sour versions of candy products I know and love like the squeeze lollipops and most gums. Warheads were the penultimate sour candy. You can scream about Crybaby’s all you want, they weren’t nearly as volatile as Warheads were and they had the art down to a science. On the back of the candy wrapper it gave the timeline of just how long the candy would be mega-sour, it was like 20 seconds, and then you’d get to the plain candy center. Like habanero peppers, these are a good way to test someone’s limit to extreme culinary delights.
17). Freaking huge Unicorn Pops! First off, I don’t have a neat posed picture for this because no Legos outside of the life size Darth Vader at the Lego store can heft one of these pops. I first saw these at Disney World as a kid, along with the gargantuan regular circle lollipops and craved them throughout my childhood to no avail. I never got to eat a lollipop that was longer than my head. But I’m an adult now and damn it, I’ll eat one if I want to. I bought two, one for me and one for Kevin (I don’t think I’m the kind of comfortable that I can suck a lollipop with a friend…) and we chowed down on them while we watched The Last Unicorn and Water Ship Down. I must say that I was very disappointed. If I could pick one hard candy flavor to never ever have again in my entire life it would be tutti frutti, which is Satan’s gift to fruit flavors. It’s sort of cherry sort of any-fruit and it’s just plain nasty to me, and I’ll tell you, makes eating a foot-long lollipop mighty difficult. At least I finally got one and now if I ever go back to Disney I will only feel pity for the kid stuck eating one instead of green eyed jealousy.
18). My last candy entry isn’t technically a candy, but I was deprived of it as a kid because my parents saw it as one, Kool-Aid! The only powdered drink I was allowed to have was Tang, because you know, the astronauts drank it and we did live near Cape Canaveral. I so wanted Kool-Aid and would covet it at friend’s houses every time it was served. There just seemed to be so many flavor combinations and possibilities, not to mention the violent wall crushing commercials that would air ten millions times as I sat to watch cartoons every Saturday and weekday afternoon. I sort of OD’ed on the stuff when I first moved out from home, but have picked up a taste for it again recently. I’ll tell you what, my friend Kevin makes a mean pitcher of Kool-Aid too.
The one candy that I wasn’t able to track down because it’s no longer being made is Bonkers. I used to love Bonkers because it was like gum that you were allowed to swallow and I just remember it having the perfect commercial taffy consistency. It was also the first candy to do the flavor within a flavor, where there would be like strawberry wrapped in a banana covering. It was also the only fruity candy that also came in a chocolate variety (outside of fruity Tootsie Roll varieties that you used to only be able to find around Halloween.)
The other small thing I’ve done with this candy-consuming feast is to bring in another candy nostalgia memory, selling candy at school. One of my last great childhood candy memories was selling Atomic Fireballs in middle school. I was pretty industrious and got together with two other kids to form a candy selling alliance. We only sold Atomic Fireballs because they had the best markup since you could by them by the pound and they were individually wrapped. We’d sell ’em for a quarter a piece and then at the end of the week the three of us would pool the money and split it evenly. The one thing I always wanted to do was to branch out and sell all kinds of stuff. I saw this one high school kid do it once and he used a tackle box to show his wares. I was smitten with that idea.
Well because I’m frickin’ 29 and I’m not in college and it would just be creepy to show up at a local middle school, I can’t very well sell candy. But I can go out and buy a tackle box to store all this candy until it’s time to eat it, and that’s exactly what I did (well sort of, I bought a toolbox since the tackle boxes at the local target were all shaped like fish and I though that was kind of lame.) I keep all of the gums on the top removable shelf…
…and all of the other stuff piled underneath.
So thus ends my big ‘ol list of nostalgia candy. I hope I don’t get cavities ‘casue of this.
So lets get right the hell into Part 2 of my reliving Nostalgia Candy list.
7). Gobstoppers! Like I said before, I am very much into “hard? candy, be it the Brach’s Butterscotch candies, or the more tart chalky candies like Gobstoppers and candy necklaces. I think I really dug on these as a kid because a box would last me two weeks as I didn’t try and eat them as much as let them dissolve in my mouth. Later in middle school I made the switch to Atomic Fireballs, which are basically the same thing just larger and hotter.
8). Heads candy! I didn’t really get into these as a kid as the 7-11 by me didn’t have them, but sometime in middle school I went though a heads eating phase. I’m sort of bummed that the entire line of candies is now all Head related in name. I miss the weird racial names like Cherry Clan and Injun Grape, not because I’m racist or anything, but it’s just another connection to the past that’s gone. Not pictured, but I also have some orange and grape heads as well.
9). Nerds! I definitely ate my share of Nerds as a kid. I think this was one of the first gimmicky candies I got into heavily. Not only did you get two flavors per box, but they were also separated with neat little pull-tabs for easy consumption. This was also the closest thing to rock candy I was allowed to have. I clearly remember sucking on a mouthful one day until the colored candy coating came off and I was left with a mouthful of sugar, pure sugar. I actually find these kind of sickening now, though I adore the little lumpy Nerd character branding. Unfortunately, in order to get a better flavor variety I had to dispense with the classic two sided box and get the mini boxes.
10). Much like their cousin candy Nerds, I present Pixie Sticks. These are basically pure sugar in a paper tube with a little bit of tart flavoring. The only time I ever had these was on Halloween because they were in virtually every giant mega candy assortment bag along with Smarties, Tootsie Rolls, and Dum Dum lollipops. These are probably the only candy on my list that my parents might also have nostalgia for.
11). And now Pop Rocks! I don’t remember when I first had Pop Rocks, but I do remember that I never ate them originally. I think the first three or four packets when straight into the toilet just so I could hear them crackle and pop and jump out of the water. Though as candy goes, these are probably more entertaining them good, I will say that the company that developed them came through with flying colors on the whole fizzy thing, as anyone who has even been let down by the pathetic fizzy-ness of Bottle Caps can attest. Not that Bottle Caps are bad, just that their gimmick is pretty lame.
12). If I had to pick one candy only to eat for the rest of my life it would probably be Reese’s Pieces. They probably have the best balance of sweet and salty, with just enough crunch and creaminess. Of course, my memories of the candy are completely entwined with a little kids movie known as E.-freaking-T. Man, Reese’s sure as hell won the magical product placement lottery that year. Not since the Baby Ruth shined in the pool scene in Caddyshack has a candy so entered the public consciousness like that. In fact I’d be willing to bet that half of every kids Halloween haul that year was Reese’s Pieces.
Stay tuned for the final segment in the Nostalgia Candy list, where I show you how I can waste $12 bucks on a fun way to lug all this candy around.
So I’ve mentioned the ongoing Movie Night I hold with my friend on this blog a few times, and hopefully by now you know that I’m pretty obsessed with nostalgia. Well recently we’ve put together a list of flicks to see that are nostalgia related so that we can get our fill while we’re in the mood. Besides it’s going on 20 years since we’ve seen a lot of the flicks on our list and that’s sort of a good anniversary number.
Well along with watching the flicks, we also go out to eat. Well once again, in honor of nostalgia we’ve been trying to hit a bunch of places we ate at a lot when we were kids, Like Red Lobster, Long John Silvers and Pizza Hut. Part of this is also munching on candy that we were hugely (or only semi-huge in Kevin’s case) into as kids.
I was super bored at work and wanted to chronicle the vast amount of candy we’d soon be consuming so I did a mini photo shoot over the course of a few days, starring the candy and my Lego Mecha collection. So without further ado, I present 80’s Nostalgia Candy:
1). First up we have Big League Chew. Now I didn’t subsist on this or anything, but I remember it being pretty darn cool back in the day. Shredded bubble gum that was supposed to be like chewing tobacco, but without all the nasty brown dip juice and spitting. Hell, actually now that I think about it, any candy product that was modeled after tobacco products was pretty freaking cool in the 80’s including candy and bubble gum cigarettes. At the time of the photo I could only find the original bubble gum flavor and cotton candy, both of which I can’t stand. When we finally had it (in conjunction with watching Bad News Bears and Animalympics), I had managed to find Sour Apple which was a little better.
2). Next up we have Blow Pops. I had my fare share of these in high school when they started making them in more crazy flavors like Blue Raspberry. I never really liked the gum inside, it’s way too sugary for my taste, but I’m a sucker (har har) for hard candy. We haven’t gotten to these yet, mostly because I’m not sure what to pair them up with.
3). This is a sampling of the rest of the Bubble Gum on we’re going to get to. Included are Bubble Tape, Hubba Bubba, Bubble Yum, Bubblicious, and Bazooka. I didn’t think they even made Hubba Bubba anymore. I wasn’t huge into gum as a kid, mostly because my Mom & Dad had this antique looking bubble gum machine that we kept full most of the time and I sort of overdosed on gum. I do prefer chunks of gum, if only because it seems easier to blow bubbles than with sticks. Unfortunately, flavor-wise, this was the best assortment we could get. We both really wanted Orange and Cherry Cola flavored, but we couldn’t find any companies that made them anymore. We settled for Grape, Watermelon, Blueberry and Strawberry in most of the brands, and well Original for Bazooka, because I think that’s the only flavor they make (though I want to say they have a strawberry or grape too, I’m not sure.) Not pictured is Fruitstripe Gum, in both Chewing Gum and Bubble Gum flavor varieties.
4). Pictured below is a buttload of chewy taffy-like candy including Now and Laters, Airheads, and Starburst. Now I’m not sure when Airheads came about, I don’t remember seeing them until I was about high school age, though I think they were big in middle school, but I decided to throw them in for fun’s sake. Now, Now and Laters, those were one of my favorite candies growing up. They sort of start out like hard candy and then soften as you eat them into a more taffy-like consistency and they came in a bunch of flavors not to mention Banana which was my favorite candy flavor as a kid. Banana sort of gets the shit end of the stick when it comes to candy flavors, mostly because it’s almost impossible to replicate in the lab. Not that many candy flavors actually taste like the fruit they’re masquerading as, but they all sort of have their own unique flavor that’s roughly fruit like. Banana on the other hand is very chemical and is an acquired taste. Then we have Starburst, which was always good, but a little too mainstream for me. I was more into the candy that you could only get in gas stations, and Starburst was pretty damn common.
5). Now we move on to Chunky Bars. Though I’m not a big fan of chocolate, I adore Chunky bars because they have raisins. I love raisins in candy bars, and it’s pretty rare. I was convinced that Nestle had quit making them, as all the websites and actual stores I went into didn’t have them. Then one fateful day last spring I walked into this no-name Food Mart (it was literally called Food Mart) and there they were. I checked the expiration date to make sure and yup they were fresh. I was freaking ecstatic.
6). Last we have Fun Dip. I love me some Fun Dip, but not because of the dip. I can’t describe it but the flavor of Lik-Em-Aid sticks is beyond heavenly to me. It’s a little tart, and a little vanilla and it’s all-good. I never dip, I just eat the sticks.
So as promised, here is the next thrilling chapter in the textbook that should be a part of the curriculum of Frozen Drinks 101 (to be offered at any self respecting community college near you.)
Today’s review: Quick Trip Freezoni’s. I’m not sure how far reaching QT’s are, and I’m too lazy right now to look it up on their website, but suffice it to say, they are the most popular gas mega-station in the metro Atlanta area. Sure we have Shell’s, Texaco’s, BP’s, Citgo’s, Chevron’s, and the occasional Circle K, but QT’s are the only 16-24 pump stations with a nice large (and clean) convenience store as well. They’ve always been the gas station convenience store of choice, if not just for their selection than for their mega-awesome fountain drink station. They always have both Pepsi and Coke products on tap, and there are usually about 20 to choose from. They also specialize in the Double Quart fountain drink at a measly $0.99. Can you drink 2 quarts of soda in a sitting? Probably not, but it’s handy to have around during late night role-playing sessions, or for those not often enough Godzilla marathons on the Sci-Fi channel.
Well about a year and a half ago QT decided to get into the frozen drink business with their own concoction called the Freezoni. It’s available in 4 to 6 flavors, depending on the setup, ranging from Orange Cream and Sour Apple to a suspiciously basic Cola. They also offer the innocuous White Cherry, which is typically both bland in color and flavor.
I was pretty excited about this new direction in refreshment opportunity as I have QT’s within a mile of both work and home. Unfortunately, and once again because I was weaned on the 7-11 Slurpee, these Freezoni’s just don’t cut the mustard. For the sake of this review and my own taste buds, I decided to go with the only flavor that’s even partially drink-able, Blue Raspberry. Now I’ve tried all the flavors and all of them are hideous. I’m not talking bland or kind of bad, I’m talking impossible to keep down.
First off, the general consistency of the drink is like too dry oatmeal. The syrup to ice ratio leans heavily towards the syrup, so much so that it’s like drinking honey. There is so much, well flavor for lack of a better term, that it actually hurts a little so swallow it. Second, the flavor is so intense that there is an aftertaste for hours, most likely because it coats your throat like cough syrup and takes that long to clear. My frozen drink shouldn’t be this combative, though because of this “thickness” it does form a pretty nice firm head.
What I’ve found is that you have to cut the consistency and flavor with something much crisper and well wet. When I’m in the mood for seriously intense frozen drink flavor and I feel brave enough to attempt a Freezoni, I’ve found that the best way to get through one is by mixing it in a 50 to 50 ratio with either Sprite or Mountain Dew from the tap. The Freezoni acts as the ice in a normal fountain drink and the soda cuts though the “so sweet it’s bitter” flavor. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
Though that may not seem appetizing, it’s they only way it’s drink-able. At the end of the day I’m not sure it’s worth it for your basic adult who just wants a good frozen drink. For kids though, it’s a whole ‘nother story. When I went to the machine to get the pictures and a sample, there was a guy with four kids all screaming and clamoring for the damn things. So much so that it took twenty minutes to get my drink and pictures in peace. It just so happens that on this day the Cola flavor was on defrost and this seriously pissed off one of the kids who was like on this mission to get one a day for the whole summer or something, I couldn’t get the entire story over the din of his whining. But then again, kids have a tendency to go towards stuff that the typical adult doesn’t have the time or patience for. When I was young candy couldn’t be too sour or sweet. I remember when the liquid lollipops in the toothpaste like packaging came out and I would suckle off that for hours even though it was just about the same consistency as the Freezoni’s above.
Anyway, this unfortunately seems to be yet another bad frozen drink review. Trust, me though, keep attending this class and you will eventually see something positive, like maybe next time when I hit the next gas mega-station entry the Racetrack Frozen Drinks. Till then, do you homework and if you live by a 7-11, drink a Slurpee for me.
So here’s another exciting chapter in the book of Frozen Drinks 101. Today I’m going to review the second leap in frozen drink technology I encountered when I moved to Georgia, the Burger King Frozen Coke and Frozen Fanta Cherry (formerly Frozen Minute Maid Cherry.) If you’ll remember last time I reviewed the less than stellar Slush Puppie.
I was pretty excited when Burger King added their frozen sodas to their menu because from all appearances it was built on the same foundation (or at least a similar lot) as the 7-11 Slurpee, the king of frozen drinks in my humble opinion and the one by which all others are judged.
When I first tired one, I was a little bit disappointed. Whereas it was much more like a Slurpee, there was something that just wasn’t right. It was too light and air-y. It almost seemed kind of watered down. Though I haven’t started my own lexicon for frozen drink conditions, I’ll take this opportunity to borrow from an already established one and say that they seemed to be Foamees. Though since they were also weak and since I’m not sure if this has a term I guess I’d also have to call them Jipees, which is the condition of being jipped on syrup.
I tried the other flavor at the time, the more classic Cherry but I didn’t like it too much because it tasted a bit too much like cough syrup, which was how a lot of the Minute Maid brand sodas seemed to taste to me.
Well for this new review I hoped that maybe BK had changed their formula, as its been awhile since I’d been to one. The fiancee and I both picked up a basic medium Frozen Coke (that’s the BK large equivalent, which just brings up another gripe I have with the various names of drink sizes that’s for another time.)
Though I still like it a hell of a lot better than a Slush Puppie, it sadly hasn’t changed much in the last 7 or so years. It’s still light and sort of watered down.
This one in particular developed a nasty case of the Chunkees, which is to say that there were large air pockets in the dink that cause you to have to reposition your straw a number of times to get it in a better position.
On a separate occasion when I didn’t have my camera handy I tried the new equivalent of the Cherry flavor, which is now under the Fanta brand. I was really disappointed in this one because not only does it suffer from the basic physical problems of the BK frozen Coke, but it’s also the weakest tasting Cherry I’ve ever tasted. It was like the crystal light version of crystal light or something.
Anyway, stay tuned for the next installment of this education series when I discuss the Quick Trip version of a slushie.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about Slurpees lately, or more accurately the lack of Slurpees in Georgia. I figured it’d be fun to cruise around to the various gas stations and fast food places to do small articles on the state of the frozen drink availability in rednecksville GA, so today the fiancée and I tooled around the city looking for Slush Puppies.
When I first moved to Georgia I was in serious Slurpee withdrawal as we’d already been 9 months removed from Florida and there were no 7-11’s in New Hampshire. I was hoping, since we were trekking down south again, that there would be a 7-11 somewhere, but no luck.
The first drink I came into contact with that was even close to a Slurpee was a Slush Puppie, but I was wary of the concoction because instead of simple pumping out the frozen bliss into a cup you had to combine the ice/liquid mixture with the flavoring syrup yourself. I had good reason to be wary too because when I finally got one I messed up the ratio of icy liquid to syrup and made one of the nastiest drinks ever. It was beyond sour to a point where it hurts to pucker your lips any further, and no amount of sugar packets swiped from the coffee section would sweeten it. As I’ve said before, I’m not the brightest boy and it took me a bit to realize that there were cryptic instructions on the cup that you mixed the drink in. Each cup had a “paw points�? number on it that was the number of syrup squirts you were supposed to add. This isn’t explained; at least it wasn’t on the machine I came into contact with.
The next ones were better, but it was never in the league of a Slurpee and here’s why:
The above picture is of one of the newer Slush Puppie machines that took us the better part of an evening to find (it was the 4th gas station we tried and the second Chevron). In the new format, you no longer do the drink mixing yourself. I assume some kid died from adding too much syrup and the company had to rethink their strategy.
So since I’ve never had a great love of the drink I picked up a small to try for old time’s sake. You can see the trademark Slush Puppie on the cup.
I chose the Blue Raspberry flavor purely because I liked the bluish tint to the drink and in the end it really didn’t matter because I don’t care for them. See the drink is made up of a very liquid-y mixture of sugar water and large (think sesame seed like in size) ice crystals with a sour syrup flavoring to add color and well flavor. To me this is just too wet for a frozen drink and because of this you can easily suck out all of the syrup and sugar water in like three sips. Every Slush Puppie ever has ended its poor excuse for a life as a giant chunk of flavorless ice that’s tossed into the nearest trashcan. The only way to sidestep this phenomenon is by drinking it without a lid. This can be very dangerous.
Before today the last time I had a Slush Puppie was about 7 years ago. I was particularly craving a frozen cherry drink and decided to drive 15 miles out of my way to get one from one of the last remaining Amaco gas stations in our area. I got the drink and made my way to Blockbuster to return a video. I was waiting at a red light sipping my drink sans lid for the full Slush Puppie experience when I was rear ended by a girl applying make-up in her car because she was late to work. Upon impact the entire contents of the drink exploded onto my windshield and dash scarring the bejesus out of both the girl who hit me and the guy infront of me that she knocked me into. When I stepped out of the car dripping with red Slush Puppie, they thought I was going to die.
So what’s the moral of the story kids? Leave the damn lid on and even though the drink will suffer, it’ll be less of a hassle to clean your car in the event of an accident.
Next time I’ll review the next frozen drink on my list, the Burger King Frozen Coke.