Popsicles and Ice Pops

The northeast is in a sweltering heatwave, and that means I'm thinking popsicles, and all things cold and sweet. When it comes to summertime refreshment, three frozen staples come to mind fast, the first being the Fla-vor-Ice popsicle sticks. They came with that infamous "saw blade" serated edge that was damn near impossible to rip off even with your teeth, especially without hacking a lip or mascerating the end, and especially without at least having a little bit of air at the end to work with. (You know what I'm talking about.) Despite being hard to open, they still taste amazing. The red and the light blue were the best, and yes so was the pink one, even if it was socially unacceptable for me to get a pink one. They always came in those big sheets with like a hundred in the box, so if it took you some time to get one finished, the others would be nicely melted. I always enjoyed letting them melt right down to a liquid before sucking them down until all that was left were the little streams running up the sides. (Once again, I know you know what I'm talking about. I can't be the only one to see these things!)

The second frozen summer treat of the typical 90s childhood usually came in a fishnet bag. The were like popsicle links, with two tubular juice pops connected in the middle. Whenever they were passing these out at the daycare, I always wanted to be lucky enough to be given a whole stick, but often they had to be broken in half down the middle and split between us. If that was the case, they came in two genders. One had a rounded bottom with a smaller opening at the top, and the other had a lipped bottom with a larger opening. They didn't taste as fruity as the Fla-Vor-Ice pops, but the grape and the green apple ones were probably the best. Either way, I could down a million of them on a hot afternoon, and still can, and I will never forget the distinctive sound these made when you had to snap them in half. It was like breaking a bone: *thh-pop!*

The double-stick popsicle was probably the most frequent of my refreshment retreats all those summers of yore, and only because they were cheap at the local 7-Eleven. But despite being my most frequent treat, these actually annoyed me. Even a single stick popsicle is better than one of these, and that's what's annoying about it because you'd think doubling it should make it twice as good, but it doesn't. First of all, there's no way to really hold the thing. The sticks are too close together to hold both, but the whole thing is just too heavy to support it on one stick, so you end up uncomfortably groping your fingers longwise aorund two sticks! Secondly, they were always a million times too cold and rock solid to discern any flavor out of them after you broke a chunk off with your teeth and endured that instant brain freeze they'd implant. Lastly, there was no way you could evenly break one in half. It was like breaking a wishbone. They'd always crack off at the top, causing one side to be tiny and the other side to be this odd L shape. Now maybe it's just because I've had a million of them, but there's just too many things wrong with this whole concept to really win me. Besides, they came in like three flavors and none of them were all that sweet.

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