John Winters

I need a popsicle

One of the most agonizing feelings any parent goes through is seeing one’s child in pain.

This is more so when you know there is absolutely nothing you can do but try and comfort them the best you can. But the pain is still there and will be there for days to come.

Youngest SON of Thunder was lying on the couch. And he was in pain. We had just come back from the hospital where Youngest had his tonsils removed. Yes, we probably should have done it sooner when he was younger, but he rarely got sick. That is until this year, when he went through eight bouts of strep throat.

And all I can do is just sit there and hold him. Wishing the pain away, but knowing that won’t happen despite all the drugs we are giving him. There is nothing I can do.

Or is there?

Youngest wanted a popsicle. Orange-flavored to be exact.

And suddenly, I had a way to help him out in some small way. If Youngest wanted an orange popsicle, then an orange popsicle he shall have. Try and get in my way.

I now had a mission. A mission to find a good old fashioned orange popsicle - the kind with the stick at one end and, obviously, orange in color. The kind everyone has on a hot summer day.

So I head off to the local grocery store and right for the frozen treats section.

What the whatever.

I cannot find an orange-flavored popsicle. Heck, I can’t find a popsicle. I mean a lot of the offerings said “popsicle” but there was nothing “pop” or “sicle” about them. And the flavors?

Strawberry shortcake, chocolate eclair, cookies and cream, oreo, toasted almond, choc-dipped vanilla, root beer, banana, lemon lime. Whatever happened to grape, cherry and, obviously, orange? And who in the world would eat a toasted almond so-called popsicle?

And where were the popsicles? We had Big Stick Cherry Pineapple, something called a “Firecracker,” SpongeBob Squarepants Pop Ups, Slow Melt Mighty Minis, Sour Patch Kids, Hello Kitty, Airheads, Scribblers, Rainbow, Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome and on and on.

Let me repeat what I wanted. A four or five inch long frozen piece of ice with a wooden stick running one end. One of those all American popsicles that have been around since our country was founded. And not a one was to be found.

I look yet again. Buried in the deepest, darkest corner of the freezer section that clearly says “popsicles,” is a box. Low and behold it contains grape, cherry and, thankfully, orange. And they are the originals. Kind of like Levi 501s before “fashion” took over.

I grab the box and head to checkout. I’m thinking of getting a pack of gum - maybe Juicy Fruit or if I’m daring, Dentyne. Good old American gum.

Good grief. They’ve got rows of gum from companies I’ve never heard of and even several bizarre flavors sponsored by one snowboarder alone …

(John A. WInters is general manager of The Newnan Times-Herald. Follow his adventures at justflipthedog.com. Reach him at john@newnan.com)



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