Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2011

If It Looks Like Candy . . .

Diane - in trouble again.

Mmm. Candy.
The ultimate in gustatory delight for all children.
Well, for most children.
Okay, for me.
The dangled 'apple' that entices obedience.
Or commands respect.
Okay, I'm not saying it was right.
Just yummy.
And, growing up in the 50's, I had my favourites.
Oh, the floors my Mom could get me to sweep, all on the promise of one delicious treat.
The dishes washed.
The bathrooms scrubbed.
With the prospect of yet another sweet, tasty . . . something.
And what 'somethings' there were . . .
But nothing quite compared to Lik-M-Aid.
The ads said it all, 'The Candy You Could Pour'.
Eating it was simplicity in itself. You didn't even need utensils.
Caveman forebears would have easily been able to figure it out.
You ripped open one end. Wet your finger, dipped it in.
And voila!
The fact that your finger and your tongue ended up the same colour – blue, red, purple – was just a bonus.
We connoisseurs could easily spot one another, too, by our discoloured pointer finger.
An added bonus.
It was like a club. (All Lik-M-Aid aficionados point to the sky!)
The only problem was that the end was too near the beginning. Within five minutes of ripping open that wonderful little bag of enjoyment, one was . . . ummm . . . licking the last.
And staring forlornly at the empty wrapper.
But I was undaunted.
If the Lik-M-Aid was gone, one simply had to . . . substitute.
Hmm. Mom had packets of cool-aid in the cupboard. I had seen them. I had watched her pour them into a pitcher, add water and voila! Deliciousness.
Cool-Aid? Lik-M-Aid? Are we seeing similarities here?
I had a hazy recollection of something else added to the cool-aid before it was poured out, but paying attention to insignificant details had never been my strong suit.
I headed for the kitchen.
I should probably point out here that finding the kitchen without Mom in residence was . . . tricky.
I managed it on several occasions.
I was a sneaky little monkey.
I know. I heard Mom say it quite often.
Back to my story . . .
I waited until she headed towards the basement.
A-ha! The coast was clear!
I stole into the kitchen, went immediately to her stash of cool-aid, and grabbed a purple pouch.
Mmm. Grape. My favourite.
Expertly, I ripped off the top, stuck in my finger and . . . tasted.
What was this stuff?
Someone had poured something different into this pouch. Disguised it as cool-aid to fool poor unsuspecting little kids.
The nerve.
How dishonest!
I sneaked another one. Cherry this time. Surely it would be better.
Rip. Taste.
Rip . . . you get the picture.
I have no idea how she did it, but Mom was always able to come upon me unexpectedly.
I think she had 'ninja' blood.
I dropped a packet of strawberry to the floor.
“What are you doing?”
I looked down at the . . . let's just call it 'several' discarded packets of cool-aid, then back at her.
Was that a trick question? “Umm . . . I thought it was Lik-M-Aid.”
“Well, it's not!”
Okay, yeah, I was starting to notice.
“Clean this up!”
I stared in dismay at the mess.
Mom sighed and helped me.
Mom was the soul of frugal. I guess the fact that the powder was slightly used really wasn't important. I watched as she poured all the unused cool-aid powder together into a container and capped it tightly.
It made really neat little lines of colour.
Huh. Cool.
Then she put it away.
Out of reach.
I didn't point out to her that her belated caution was unnecessary.
That stuff really tasted awful.
Her cool-aid was safe with me.
Unless mixed with that delicious 'something' that made it so . . . drinkable.
Hmm. Water. Was that the magic ingredient?
Maybe the cool-aid was worth another try . . .
I'd like to tell you that that was the last of my experiments.
But I'd be lying.
Candy floss and dust bunnies and I also have a history.


  1. Sounds like a reasonable experiment to me...but I'll eat almost everything. My candy of choice was green mint leaves, strawberry marshmallows, and long strips of pop fizz candy.

  2. LOL that reminds me of what I did. I have to tell you a funny candy story of my own:) Do you remember Chocolate ex-lax---I once thought it was candy and ate the whole box ended up in the hospital:(. You would have thought that would have cured me of my chocolate addiction, but it didn't:)

  3. Great story! I use to like those with the little candy stick that you would lick and place in the sugar. So gross to think about! I just cringe when my daughter wants a pixie stick. And Anna-Marie story above about the ex-lax. Oh my goodness!!

  4. BTM: Remind me to invite you over for snacks sometime . . .
    Adventurer: Ex-lax, eh? Sounds intriguing . . . How did I miss out on that?!
    OHR: Ah, the new and improved Lik-M-Aid! Obviously not a purist, like us finger-stained bunch! :)


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