By regularassmilk 35 Comments
I was a kid once. Old people will tell me I’m still a kid, and they’re probably right. Here’s the rub: I’m a 90s kid.
What does that really mean? Basically nothing. It means that I’ve seen a lot of Dexter’s Laboratory, and that puts me in one of the worst internet clubs of the modern era. It is my peers and I that those lists of “27 AMAZING YUM-YUM FOODSTUFFS FROM THE 90s THAT ARE GONE FOREVER” are created for. Seek out any of those lists and marvel at the wonder Pepsi Blue, 3-D Doritos, and Oreo O’s. Crispy M&M’s, Surge, or French Toast Crunch are on all of those lists. Those last three are all “back”, because “you asked for it!”. I did ask for those things. In recent light, I was wrong.
I don’t want my childhood back. The 90s were a nightmare time when Bart Simpson would convince me every half hour that I liked Butterfingers BBs, and I didn't. I would find that out about every week.
The “petitions” and Facebook groups continue to roll in even now. Crispy M&Ms were my white whale. I had championed them for years, because they were unquestionably the best M&M! Here’s yet-another rub: Naw! They heartbreakingly are not the best. French Toast Crunch kind of sucks. Surge is indistinguishable from Vault (also discontinued).
Generally, adults remember childhood fondly. It’s a magic time in which little responsibility applies. Amenity, gifts, food--all simply there (if one is so fortunate). Every adult dreams of halcyon days as careless children. Here’s another rub in case you were starting to perk up: it’s over.
I’m an adult. I'm a chubby dad, so in that way I feel like I'm a major league adult. I’ll never be a kid ever again and that’s a melancholy sentiment at a glance. Those soft-focus childhood dreams will always be as distant as they seem and no amount of “back by popular demand” garbage will ever bring me back there. I actually think I miss Pepsi Blue, but it can’t take me back home again. If I wasn’t clear before, this is the secret heart of all of these discontinued snacks reappearing: Some people think that watching old episodes of Rugrats will transport them to a simpler time like a Pepperidge Farm ad. That's crazy.
Eight-year-olds have shitty taste by and large. They don’t know what’s good or what’s good for them. When I was eight I substituted orange juice in for milk in a bowl of Count Chocula and thought I was onto something because I didn’t know shit.
Almost nothing goes out of style undeservingly. That applies to a lot more than discontinued candy and pop, but that’s for another time. To date, every thing that has “came back” has just led me into the same conclusion where I say “Oh, that’s right! This is actually not good!”
It doesn’t diminish the memory. No matter how disappointed I am with what Crispy M&Ms actually are, I’ll still associate them with renting Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo games with my grandpa at Bob's Market. Chasing that memory is futile, however. The world is sweet to kids because they don’t know any better. The world had all of it’s dark corners and bullshit when I was born, I just didn’t know that. Not to be that dramatic--no discontinued M&M was shielding me from the harsh injustice of the world, but now, given the things I thought had defined my childhood, I’m just a little less fond of said memory. I just want to bask in the thought, instead of trying to resurrect them with some old-ass chocolate. That's so branded. My memories are deeper than brands (I hope), and I'm sure that Mars and General Mills are psyched that people are banging on their e-doors yelling about Ecto-Cooler. I guess I want that stuff to stay in the past, because I’m definitely done wasting my personal time wishing that some old supermarket bullshit would be purchasable once more. I would like to think I have more going on than that.
Just like they said about my Gen-Xer parents, I am a man child. I’m working on it. I’m self-aware enough to note that yes, I am in fact writing about candy on a video game website, but…god damn it. I’m trying to be an adult. I spent the first seventeen years of my life (as most kids do) wishing I was an adult, and now, a 20-year-old “grown up”, I have made it. I’m a dad. If I ever was cool, I’m definitely not now. Woodworking greatly interests me.
I dip into the well of childhood way too much as it is with movies and TV, and I think about what childhood is all the time. It’s why several of my written pieces are about how video games have affected me growing up. I want to figure out why I am myself.
That stuff is worth exploring. It's worth diving into childhood at any level for any reason. It's worth making sense of ones self. I'm always trying to better understand who I am, but who I am has nothing to do with a bunch of old bullshit. I'm done interacting with brands because that seems slimy. I'm not interested in pretending that Funcoland defined my childhood. I want to move forward into the future, and I don't need Crispy M&Ms to keep me locked in a quest to find my childhood sitting in the checkout lane.
Bring back the P’Zone.