Category Archives: Curmudgeon Rants

Just a Thought

On WPR in the morning they were discussing the human and dog relationship. Someone said something to the effect of, “after good dogs die, they come back to life as a human.” No, I think it would be the other way around. That is, if I were to believe in reincarnation, which I don’t. It’s a nice idea, but I believe when you’re dead, you’re dead.

Karl Marx said religion is the opiate of the masses. Within the 21st century paradigm of the mega-church, I think it is more like fast food.

Just Like Candy

You don’t know how good it is to open this dashboard window and see all text normal. But of course if it ever happens again, I’ll know to blame some font weirdness with Safari, rather than assume my site was hacked (which was a logical assumption considering).

Sometimes I think of things I remember eating/using/having from long ago that don’t exist anymore. I don’t know why I remember such silly things, but last night I was thinking about LifeSavers. Why? Who knows. But I miss them. Not that I’m big on hard candy. I seldom eat candy now except for an occasional dark dark chocolate or a free mini Mounds candy bar from the local pet supply store of the same name. In fact, Stan and I are so not into candy lately that last year for Halloween we skipped out on the trick-or-treaters, went to eat sushi, and then snuck back home, kept the lights off, and hunkered down in the bedroom and played cards, hoping no one would detect any light from between the blinds. We really didn’t want to spend money on candy, stock up so that we have enough just in case it’s a big year, and then have to eat it all ourselves for the next few months. Usually we get about 4 kids. But sometimes we get a lot more…you just never know how to prepare.

So anyway, I was thinking about LifeSavers, and how I really miss the “Fancy Fruits.” They were Black Raspberry, Apple, Pear and Pink Grapefruit. They were delightful and quaint. Black Raspberry was a dark maroon, Apple was red like the skin, Pear was golden and Pink Grapefruit was pink. And they didn’t seem to have any order in the little roll, so you never knew which one would pop up next. But that flavor selection is long gone. I guess it was just too…I don’t know…old fashioned? So not now. When you think about it, what would they do with it now? The Black Raspberry would be Blue Raspberry and colored bright blue. The Apple would be Sour Apple and be lime green. Pear would not even exist…how uncool, right? What a grandmother fruit. Replace it with something like Sour Cherry, bright red, and Pink Grapefruit would be “Wild Citrus” and colored some bright yellow or orange. Or maybe there’d be Sour Strawberree. Ugh. Because no one knows what real strawberries taste like since you can buy them in January from Mexico and they’re as big as apples, woody, and yes, unripe, hence, sour.

Super Wild Gummee Sourz
Super Wild Gummee Sourz ©Ann Stretton 2010
What I appreciated about the original flavors was that it was true to real fruit, and not “invented”. I remember Jolly Rancher from the 70s and they sort of started the whole “sour” invented surreal fruit flavors, at least in my memory. But LifeSavers should have stuck what they were good at…real fruit–not that any real fruits were used in the making of the product–I don’t know, maybe they did use some natural flavors, I can’t remember. But the original was a good facsimile. Even the illustrations were of real fruit, not some fluorescent colored bubbly, simplified, yet overly highlighted-by-airbrushing abstraction of a generic round, colorful fruit. Oh, and now they’d also be gummy instead of hard. In fact, I suspect the company already has bastardized some of their products that way. The horror.

Another LifeSavers that was my favorite was the Tropical Fruits. They still have it, but it’s been adulterated. The flavors stated are: Fruit Punch, Pina Colada, Tangerine, Banana, Mango-Melon. That’s not how I remember them. I remember no fruit punch. And there were no combined flavors, only pure ones. I remember Pineapple, Coconut (no coladas), Banana, Tangerine, Mango, AND Melon (which reminded me of Cantaloupe in its pale orange coloring, which isn’t exactly a tropical, but that’s ok).

What kid would dream of eating a cantaloupe-flavored candy nowadays? Eeeww…how grammaw. You know what? I wish someone would come out with something so old fashioned it would actually be cutting-edge. Like quince. Mincemeat-flavored candy. Rasin candy. Prune candy. Market it in dark, gothic tones with just a hint of tattoo graphics, but mostly those swirly spiral florals that’s so big in graphics now (or at least it was last year). Gooseberry candy. Huckleberry. Mulberry. And Blue. The berry series. Then there could be the orchard series which would include plums (and prunes), apricots, pears, apples (none of that sour junk). And what about the grape series? No, no, no sour grapes. And none of the overly-sweet fake purple Nehi Fanta Shasta soda stuff either, although that flavor does have its mid-century modern charm as well. I’m talking Pinot Noir. Merlot. Zinfandel.

It reminds me also of Crayola crayons. I always loved getting one of those big 64 packs when I was a kid. And it was a good introduction to simple color-theory for the future artist. Now they’ve replaced those “Grandma” colors with the Super Fruitee Wild Sour equivalents. Here is a page with Crayola Chronology. I can see why they changed the name of “Flesh” to “Peach” (I remember having a “Flesh” crayon…and I was only a year old when they made the change…must have been an old batch), but the other reasons for changes are rather specious, IMHO. Some of the new colors are rather quaint in their old tradition of naming after nature, like asparagus and tumbleweed. But seriously…a color called “Beaver”? Really? I think “Otter” or “Groundhog” might have been a safer choice.

Sometimes the Urge to Swear is Overwhelming

I’m ruminating about the colors of fruit and how often they are used in describing a color theme…just thinking about how I am going to describe some themes for WP I plan to make and feature on my revised graphic site. I’m thinking about how there is a strange lack of coloration of anything bluish green in the botanical world. Heavenly Blue Morning Glories are as far toward the greenside as blue can be with flowers, and any “green” flower is actually a greenish lemon color. There really isn’t any blue or teal or turquoise inbetween a blueberry and a kiwi. Why is there this strange lack of that part of the spectrum with plants and fruit?

I google “blue colored fruit” to see if it brings any results I am unaware of. Instead, I find a forum where a mother is saying her toddler is on an “eating blue fruit” kick and doesn’t want her to buy any fruit trees that are pink, red or orange. And she’s looking for advice on what kind of bluish fruit trees and shrubs to buy for her kid.

Excuse me for moment.

J#$&@ &(%^#$F&#*#$!

Really? Seriously? You’re making a very permanent sort of investment in a living, growing thing like a tree based on the whims of a TODDLER? Someone in the forum says by the time they ripen, the kid will be in a chartruese phase. But that’s as severe as it got. No one else dared to touch the subject of buying a fruit tree best based on other factors like how YOU will like the fruit (you’ll be buying it, and taking care of it, right? Not the kid.) or how well the tree grows in your climate, or how much room it will take and how much room you have, etc. Or how you just can’t give into kids’ whims based on their fickle fascinations for a fortnight.

I mean I don’t expect kids to have to eat cheap mushy grey canned peas like I had to. But there’s a balance between deprivation and spoilage. I think exposing a kid to lots of different kinds of foods and fruits would be the best, even if they only want the “blue ones.” How long can that phase last, anyway?

It’s not like we’re talking vegetables that last a season. Yeah, I can see getting vegetables seeds for your garden that are in the color the kid wants that year, and have them help with the growing as much as possible for a toddler. But we’re talking a permanent tree! It’s just crazy!