Monday, March 26, 2007

Red Vines

I, as many of you readers may know, grew up in Portland, OR. Near my house was a pharmacy that sold candy and other miscellaneous items. One of the best items that they sold were Red Vines. They came in 5 oz. packages and cost 89ยข. A few years later the bad news was that the pharmacy closed, but the good news was that I could purchase Red Vines elsewhere. And purchase them I did. All throughout middle school and high school I ate Red Vines on a regular basis.

During college I was located in North Carolina where Red Vines were somewhat more difficult to find. Then I moved to New York where not only is it hard to find Red Vines, but some people haven't even heard of Red Vines. Not a single deli or bodega or candy stand has them. Once in a while you'll see them at a big grocery store, but otherwise they are not to be found.

About a week ago my girlfriend bought me a 4 pound tub of Red Vines from Target. This is one of the best gifts I have ever gotten. I have eaten about half of them so far and I'm not tired of them at all. Everything about them is great. They're a little softer than the ones in the 5 oz. packages usually are and they have that same singular taste that Red Vines always have.

Availability of Red Vines in New York City: D-
4 lb. Tub of Red Vines: A

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ice Cream Cone from Baskin-Robbins

Today I was looking forward to getting an ice cream cone for two reasons. The first reason was that I had a dream about ice cream last night. The second reason was that I had a five dollar bill in my wallet that I got as change the other day that I've been wanting to get rid of ever since. The bill had large spot of thick brown goo on the upper right hand corner. This brown goo might have been melted chocolate or it might have been something much less pleasant. In any case, about an hour ago I strolled into a Baskin-Robbins with this five dollar bill ready to spend.

I looked over the ice cream choices and ordered up mint chocolate chip on a sugar cone. The trouble started almost immediately. The Baskin-Robbins employee handed me my cone before I had my money ready. I accepted the cone as I fished, one-handed, for my wallet. I managed to get it out and hand her the five. She made change and handed it to me. I abandoned the idea of putting my change neatly in my wallet and decided to stuff it for the time being in my hip pocket. I exited the store.

Once outside my attention shifted to the ice cream cone itself. While it certainly looked tasty, there was a big problem. Nearly half of the ice cream was affixed, for the moment, to the upper side of the cone. I don't mean the ice cream was piled high and leaning. I mean the ice cream was wildly uneven and well over one side of the cone. I mean that a quick tap to this precariously attached mass would send it plopping to the ground. I looked up at the numerous passersby on the busy sidewalk. I looked back to my cone. This promised to be embarrassing.

Because of the ice cream's uneven contours it was difficult to know how to bite into it or lick it without either toppling the whole thing or getting a bunch of it on my nose. I managed to get a couple good bites in, but the situation deteriorated fast. Ice cream was beginning to stream down the side of the cone and get on my fingers. A drop fell onto the cuff of my pants. I held the cone away from my body so as to avoid further drops hitting my pants. I began walking home as I redoubled my efforts to eat away at the danger zone.

Within a block I had succeeded at little more than coating my hands in melted ice cream. A new tactic was in order. I tried to push the drooping mass to a better position, but this resulted in the whole thing becoming even more unstable. All I could do was eat away at it and hope for the best. As I did this I realized for the first time how good the ice cream tasted. This realization was worse than if it was a lost cause from a taste perspective. Knowing how much I might enjoy the ice cream in other circumstances added insult to injury.

In another minute I managed to eat all of the ice cream on outside of the cone. At this point I encountered another problem. I needed to remove the paper wrapper around the cone. I tugged on it gently, but I couldn't get it started. I tugged a little more and it gave. I peeled it most of the way off before I noticed that in its wake it left a thin trail of paper still attached to the cone. Another pass at it and I removed this too. I threw away the mass of sticky paper that I had removed from the cone. I glanced down at my hopelessly sticky hands before biting into the cone.

Although the cone was good, and filled with delicious ice cream, I ate it with minimal enjoyment. I frowned as I ate the last bite. I shouldn't have gotten a cone. Or I should have gotten a waffle cone. Or I should have gotten a brownie sundae like I really wanted in my dream about ice cream.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: A-
How Ice Cream Was Configured on Cone: F
Sticky Hands: F
Getting Ice Cream on Cuff of Pants: D-
Not Getting Brownie Sundae: D
Overall Experience: D-

Ice Cream Dream

I just woke up from a dream about ice cream. In the dream I was craving ice cream of any kind, but more than anything I wanted vanilla ice cream with a brownie. I walked into a shop that sold it, but it cost $6.75! I couldn't afford such an extravagant price so I walked out. I found a Baskin-Robbins, but all they had was strawberry. Even though strawberry is one of my least favorite flavors I decided to get it anyway. I walked out of the place with a cone in hand. After a couple bites I had to stop. The ice cream was too sweet. I put the cone and the ice cream in my bag for later. I spotted another ice cream shop. As it turns out the place was run by the guy who runs my local bodega. I saw that he had some kind of fudge/peanut butter/brownie ice cream and I got excited. I ordered it. He said he was out of that kind even though I saw it right there. He told me to look closer and when I did I saw that what I thought was ice cream was actually bran muffins all squished together. I asked for mint chocolate chip instead and he gave it to me in a cone. I took one taste and it was great. I thought it only cost $2.10, but now he was asking for $4.35. I realized that I had also bought some hot chocolate without my realizing it. I fumbled around for my money and to do so I put the ice cream and the hot chocolate in my bag. I paid up and walked away. I opened up my bag to get the ice cream out. In the bag were not only the two cones and the hot chocolate, but also a half finished Slurpee, an empty unused Slurpee cup, and a melted quart of vanilla ice cream. I found a trash can and threw away the cups, my first ice cream cone, and the melted vanilla, but now my hands were all sticky. That's the last thing I remember. The upshot of all this dream ice cream is that I plan to get a real ice cream cone later today.

Too-Sweet Strawberry Dream Ice Cream: D
Taste of Mint Chocolate Chip Dream Ice Cream: A-
Sticky Things in Bag: F
Overall Dream Experience: C-
Real Ice Cream Cone (projected): B+

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Too Many Fritos

Boy, I just ate way too may Fritos brand SCOOPS! Corn Chips. I already had a sandwich, but I was still hungry so I decided to eat some Fritos and hummus. After a few chips dipped in the hummus I started to feel like it wasn't the ideal combination. I love eating hummus, but it just wasn't going well with Fritos. I think pita bread or even potato chips are a lot better. Anyway, I put the hummus away and got out some Tostitos chunky salsa (medium hot). I proceeded to eat about twenty chips dipped in salsa. Before I knew it I had eaten way too many for comfort. I put the chips and the salsa away. The idea of eating chips and salsa seems horrible to me now. I brushed my teeth, but I still have a lingering taste, and even worse, a lingering feeling of those Fritos. Hopefully I'll feel better about them tomorrow because there's still quite a few left and it would be a shame for them to go to waste.

Fritos B+
Fritos and Hummus C-
Fritos and Tostitos Salsa A-
Too Many Fritos D
Lingering Fritos Feeling F
Overall Experience D+