New Soda From Pennsylvania – Frozen Run Review Along With An Accidental Candy Cigarette Retrospective

The last time I was in a play was at a local community theater, in a small suburb of the town that I lived in and we had rehearsals three nights a week. Nearby was a local mom and pop gas station that sold the original Necco candy cigarettes.

I loved these things! I would run over there before rehearsals and stock up. Then I would sit around like a cool kid and suck on the white stick with the pink tip, and my lungs had absolutely no damage. I must have cleared out their entire stock of goods during the three weeks of rehearsals and the four week run of the show.

Now there are many brands of candy cigarettes – more than you might realize unless you are a true candy cigarette aficionado like myself.

Unfortunately, most of these taste like you went to an old, abandoned elementary school, broke out a ground floor window, climbed through, made your way through all the mice and spiderwebs to one of the chalkboards on the far wall of the classroom, and found an old broken piece of Dixon Waltham chalk and stuck it in your mouth.

Oh, but not  Necco candy cigarettes. It’s not the shape, or the idea of edible cigarettes. I don’t like to pretend like I am Nick Nolte from Cape Fear, puffing away at hard sugar like a hefty kid with a Pixie Stick.

To me, it doesn’t really matter if you call them candy stix, candy cigarettes, or candy heroin pipettes. I just like the taste. It’s a kind of a mellow peppermint that is both simple, yet luxurious, and as a bonus, there was always that little pink dot on the end to break up the monotony. Yes, I realize that the dot was there to symbolize the cherry, but it just kind of made  the sticks seem . . . I don’t know . . . cooler . . .

If that wasn’t awesome enough, Necco also perfected the smooth texture. These sticks did not have the crumbly, chalky instability of the “other” brands. These were firm candy sticks with just the right crunchiness to them.

The original Necco Stix or Cigarettes, or whatever had cool names like: Dinosaur, Supersonic, and Hawk and looked like this:

Dinosaurs candy stix

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New Beverages at a Pennsylvania Convenience Store

Yes, they really make something this cool. . .

Yes, they really make something this cool. . .

Can you believe this?

One thing I love about road trips is the chance to sample local cuisine and libation. Recently, we were on a road trip, driving through Pennsylvania and stopped to fill up the ol’ Family Truckster. I walked into the gas station, parched, sweaty, and ready for a refreshing beverage, when I saw this:

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Now I don’t know about you, but I am a pretty big fan of the Choco Taco.

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I GOT MY LIME ICEE!

SO I had to run to Target today. OK, not really. I just wanted to.

I wanted that Lime Icee, darnit, and I was gonna get one. I made up some lame excuse to my wife about picking up some medicine or some other such nonsense, and then hopped in my car and drove to . . . THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN (dun dun dun).

And there, at the snack bar, in all its pristine red, white, and blue glory was the ICEE MACHINE, with four flavors gleaming under the florescent glare of the fixtures above. Only one flavor caught my eye – Sublime.

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Now, two things threw me off my game a little bit.

Number one, the Icee that I remember was just called LIME, nothing fancy or hoity-toity (yes, that is how you spell it. I Googled it). This was Sublime. Could there be a difference? Just what did the sub add to my lime?

But it did appear to be the right color, and I had gone to far to turn back, now.

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Numero dose, the stupid flashing red defrost light was on.

I hate that light.

Many a possible refreshing, frosty Icee encounter has been thawed due to the annoyance of there being absolutely no schedule by which these lights appear.

Don’t you think it would make sense to say that, oh, I don’t know, maybe every afternoon at 4:23 on the dot, we will defrost this machine, so don’t come around here expecting an Icee at 4:24, bub, these things take 25 minutes or more to go through their cycle?

Instead, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason that these things decide to defrost. I have asked every Icee clerk in town to tell me when their machine would defrost. Do you know how many were able to tell me?

That’s right. None. Zero. Natta.

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Of course, this time, my enrapture of finding my lost childhood summer love impaired my vision. I decided to go for it, anyway. . .

Which is why I ended up with a foamy soup in my cup, a sticky arm, and a mop in my hand, cleaning Target’s snack bar floor for free.

Twenty minutes later, the red light finally went off.

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Success!

With a trembling hand I lifted the plastic red straw to my mouth.

I took a deep breath, and a light sip.

The sensation of cold and sweet lept onto my pallet like a really sweet, really cold thing that leaps. As the taste of lime filled me to the brim, Icouldn’t help but ask myself if this flavor had tasted so creamy and delicious eight years ago. The answer was: heck freakin’ yes!

Thank you, Target.

See you tomorrow.

FREE ICEE SAMPLES!!!

I walked into my neighborhood Target tonight, in search of the elusive LIME ICEE.

“What?” you ask. “You went to Target just to look for a lime Icee?”

You bet your sweet bippy I did! In the summer of 2004, the Olympics were held in Greece, Yellow Livestrong bracelets hung on the wrists of hipsters around the country, Usher sang his Confessions, people were still trying to get over what Janet Jackson showed them at the Superbowl, Paris Hilton had made a video, Catwoman showed the world why Halle Berry’s Oscar was a total fluke, and the legendary fall flu vaccination shortage was still months off.

The Lime Icee ruled supreme. Imagine tasting the flavor of green.

I know, I know, in a previous post I spoke of how green smelled, but this is how green tastes.

Alas, like the fleeting scent of Yankee Candle Green Grass, the delicious Lime Icee disappeared.

But last Friday, I was on a side of town that I never go to. I was late for an appointment, but I had to stop into Target for just one thing. As always, I had to look over to the Icee machines, just to see what fantastic flavors they had to offer.

You see, one thing you should know about me is that Icees are my vice, my pleasure. When I become wealthy enough, I will have an Icee machine in my basement. I loves me an Icee.

Anyway, my jaw dropped, my pulse quickened, my mouth was instantly filled with water. There it was: THE LIME ICEE! Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to grab one, but I made a mental note to go to the nearest Target at the next possible moment.

That moment was today.

Image my amazed surprise when I walked up to the counter and discovered: FREE ICEE SAMPLES!!!

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Are you freakin’ kidding me?!?! That’s awesome! Any of you ever seen anything like this, before? I mean, this is like Icee-lovers heaven mixed with Icee-lovers Nirvana.

There was one caveat: This particular Target only had Lemon Lime.

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Really?  Are you kidding me? Crap. I could hear Daryl Hall singing, “So close, but so far away.”

But hey, free Icee samples, right? The good thing was that the lady behind the counter was overly generous with the sample. I think she really didn’t care about selling the Icees. She knew just how cool her job was. She got to give people free freakin’ Icees!

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I had fully planned on purchasing an Icee, but after all the samples, I decided to save my money until I could get back to the other Target.

Here is what some of my samples looked like. The Lemon Lime is on the left.

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Tomorrow I’m going to the other Target. If they have free samples of Lime, my head just might freakin’ explode.