*Note: this post is part of a 20-day writing prompt 101 program I’m participating in. Today’s Prompt: “Tell us something about your favorite childhood meal. Today’s twist: tell the story in your own distinct voice.”
Sometimes I think it’s gotta suck to be seven years old today. Can’t kick around on a skateboard without first donning full-blown body armor lest a rogue pebble rolls into your path, or a pissy neighbor calls Child Protective Services. Can’t knock on a pal’s front door before all parties have completed an electronic round-robin of Outlook e-scheduling: play date between Jackson and Kelly. FIRM.
And ingesting a frozen concoction with equal parts high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, BLUE 1, RED 40 and other ingredients manufactured in a New Jersey lab? A half an hour before dinner time? Fat chance.
Thank God I got to. Even if I have a mouth full of fillings today to show for it.
It was the 70s. Barefoot and bored on the hot asphalt between our front lawns (yep, we played in the middle of the street), the faint jingle moving our way late in the afternoon meant one thing: my Missile Pop was coming.
“Bring back every bit of change!” my mom would rant as she pulled a dollar out of her purse. “And don’t spoil your dinner!”
We’d swarm Joe the Popsicle truck upon contact, jockeying for position to get to the frozen booty at the bottom of the cooler. I always managed to get there first, diving head first – feet dangling over the edge – to reach for my Missile Pop before anyone else could snag it.
Nothing else in there interested me. Not the lame single flavored pops on two sticks. Nor those yogurt-y push up things. Nope. My Missile Pop was badass. Bigger than the other pops, brighter too. It looked like a U.S. flag on a stick, and left a crazy shade of purple on my tongue and lips that lasted through dinner.
The party didn’t end with the last lick, either. Since every neighbor on our street competed for the greenest lawn, we used the sprinkler runoff to transform our little sticks into hydroplanes and race them downstream. Winner gets to choose the backyard for Hide and Seek. Loser has to be IT.
But not before running home for a slice of overcooked pot roast, Mac&Cheese, or foil-wrapped burgers from Dicks Drive-In, depending on whose house you ran to.
What do seven-year-olds get today? I don’t know, maybe a new and improved version of the Missile Pop. With kale and quinoa as the first two ingredients.