Candy-Coated Nostalgia

Does anyone remember zines? The precursors to blogging, they were what all the cool kids were doing, until the Internet was invented.

Zines may not be as culturally important as they were a decade and a half ago. But their spirit can live on. Kansas City Star sports columnist Joe Posnanski has a post in his blog that is so zinelike it takes me right back to 1992. “Pixifoods” is an exploration of food “that is highly pleasant to the taste as a child and tastes shockingly unpleasant once you become an adult.”

It is full of entries that induce both sweet nostalgia and stomach-turning nausea at once:

Candy Cigarettes

As a child it tastes like: Sugary danger.

As an adult it tastes like: School chalk.

Tidbits: Ah, memories of standing outside on the front lawn with my old man, admiring the world, him smoking his Kents, me puffing on a candy cigarette, both of us breathing in that Cleveland air that was killing us, yes, memories. How in the hell did anyone think it would be a good idea to give kids candy cigarettes as some sort of simulation of the real thing? What a great idea. Why not just give us all a little heavenly heroin to shoot up? Maybe some lemon drop Jack Daniels to pound with our Pringles.

And while the Luddites among us may condemn the rise of the Internet over zines, blogs do have one advantage: The comments section of this post has allowed 142 more people to chime in with their own childhood favorites that somehow lost their luster when the tasters reached voting age.

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