A trip to the local Big Lots discount store, Vestal, NY, 2017 was every bit as exciting as a safari for my mother . We went in to buy a few essentials. I took my eye off her in one aisle & found her loading up the basket attached to her walker with whatever she could grab from the candy aisle shelves. I had to wrestle them from her desperate clutches with her swearing under her breath as I returned about a dozen boxes to the shelves – her nursing facility didn’t allow sweets. It’s not much of a stretch to say that this aisle was my mother’s version of Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
There were: Dots, Mike & Ikes, Bottle Caps, Sweet Tarts, Sugar Babies, Sour Patch, Boston Baked Beans, Red Hots, Gobstoppers, Chuckles, Swedish Fish, Jujyfruits, Starbursts, Pop Drops, Sweet Tarts, Crunch, Caramel Creams, Lemonheads, Blow Pops, Skittles, Cotton Candy, Laffy Taffy, M&Ms, PayDay, Twix, Mounds, Muddy Bears, Chocolate Raisins, Hershey’s Kisses, Milky Way, Baby Ruth, Carome’s, Sixlets, Cookie Dough, Almond Joy, Root Beer Float, Cherry Cola, Mentos, Twizzlers, KitKat, Black Cow, Bit-o-Honey, Nerds, Bottle Caps, York Peppermint Patties, Cow Tales, Cry Babies, Butterfinger, Good & Plenty, Gum Cigars, Jelly Belly, Jolly Rancher, Sugar Daddy, War Heads, Smarties, Spree, Junior Mints, GooGoo Cluster, LifeSavers, Airheads, Laffy Taffy, Milk Duds, Orange Heads, Pixie Stix, Pop Rocks, Slap Stix, Razzles, Atomic Fireball …
bart plantenga is the author of novels Beer Mystic, Radio Activity Kills, & Ocean GroOve, short story collection Wiggling Wishbone & novella Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man and wander memoirs: Paris Scratch and NY Sin Phoney in Face Flat Minor. His books YODEL-AY-EE-OOOO: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World and Yodel in HiFi lus the CD Rough Guide to Yodel have created the misunderstanding that he is the world’s foremost yodel expert. He’s also a DJ & has produced Wreck This Mess in NYC, Paris & Amsterdam since forever. He lives in Amsterdam.