All posts by Doc

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31 Days of Junk: Treat Street Gummy Zombie Hand (#26)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

I can’t believe I made it almost 30 days in before hitting my first “dud”.

There’s really not much I can say about this treat because it was so void of flavor. The packaging simply says “fruit flavor”, but the aroma when I opened it was pure green apple. So I expected something apple-y, perhaps something with the familiar tang that accompanies green apple-flavored candies. But no, there was no flavor whatsoever. It was kinda weird. The candy was also greasy, as gummy candies often tend to be, but also plasticky in a way.

Overall, the two most important components of any food—the texture and the flavor—were kinda gross and nonexistent, respectively. Now that I’m thinking about it, it was what I imagine eating a zombie’s flesh would be like. So maybe they nailed it?

I bought it from Michaels, which is where you buy craft supplies—not candy.

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31 Days of Junk: Starbucks’ Witch’s Brew Frappucino (#25)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

I’m not sure how many Pumpkin Spice Lattes I’ve had in my day, but I can say with certainty “not many”. I don’t frequent Starbucks enough to consider myself a regular drinker of their product, so when October rolls around, the PSL barely registers on my radar. Not to mention, the drink’s ubiquity in the last few years has turned the phrase “Pumpkin Spice Latte” into a sort of white noise for me. I hear it, sure, but the words no longer mean anything.

Continue reading 31 Days of Junk: Starbucks’ Witch’s Brew Frappucino (#25)

The Urban Legends of Halloween

The piece originally appeared on iHorror.

John Carpenter’s Halloween is one of the most revered horror films of all time, and in its wake came a surfeit of masked slashers attempting to replicate its success – most of them failing, more often than not.

There are a lot of components to Halloween which makes it such an effective film, from Carpenter’s piercing score to Dean Cundey’s eerie night-time cinematography to the terrifying, emotionless white mask Michael Myers wears – and all of it plays a part in creating a winning final product. Continue reading The Urban Legends of Halloween

31 Days of Junk: Haribo Ghostly Gummies (#24)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

I’m just gonna say it: I don’t like gummy bears.

It doesn’t matter the brand, I can’t get down with any of them. I’ve always found them to be oddly greasy, and there’s something about their lack of coating that makes me feel as if I’m just gnawing on blubber. *shudder*

Now, there are plenty of gummy candies and gummy-adjacent candies I can and do get down with.  Sour Patch Kids. Licorice. Those gummy coke bottles that are covered in granulated sugar (especially the cherry coke kind!) All of those pass the texture test for my mouth.

But not the plain ol’ goomy bears.

That being said, I can appreciate what Haribo did with their “Ghostly Gummies”. Four different designs—a bat, a skeleton, a pumpkin, and a skull—in colors like yellow, orange, and purple-black. For not doing anything new with the recipe, they did a good job of a switching up the presentation.

As I said, no new recipe—same old fruit gummy bear flavor. When I opened the bag and took a whiff, it was that distinctly recognizable scent that all original gummy bears have, that of orange tea. It’s such an appealing smell that I really wish I could get into gummy bears more, but I just can’t.

Strangely enough, I’ve almost finished off the entire bag since typing this, so maybe I’m a convert??

Photo: ObsessiveSweets.com

31 Days of Junk: Spooky Nerds Rope (#23)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

Nerds are cool—especially the duplex flavor boxes (what a fun concept!)—but they’re sort of underwhelming as a candy, right? Neon-colored tangy grit. That’s about it, really. Aromatic and zippy oversized sugar granules, not much more. Edible gravel.

I’ve enjoyed the occasional box of Nerds, if for no other reason than to shake up my candy eating habits, but I didn’t really take notice and intentionally seek them out until they came in “rope” form.

Nerds Rope are just the aforementioned candy stuck to a foot-long gummy strand. The flavor of the gummy never really stood out to me; everything still tasted primarily of the recognizable tart Nerds flavor. But that didn’t matter. There was something novel and enjoyable about the combination of candies—crunchy and chewy. It just works.

While I’m a big fan and advocate of the Nerds Rope, I have absolutely no idea what makes this particular Nerds Rope “spooky”. It’s not spookily flavored, like pumpkin spice or anything. Hell, the packaging is barely spooky; sure, it’s orange, and the little Nerds mascot is wearing a witch’s hat. But that’s it. I guess that makes it Halloween-ified?

Look, there’s really not much I can say about the spooky Nerds Rope. It’s exactly like a regular Nerds Rope in every single way, except for a slight variation with the packaging. Couldn’t they have made the Nerds themselves (on the gummy rope) look like bats or skulls or something? Or couldn’t they have been black and orange Nerds? As is, the “spooky” Nerds are colored orange, white, and mauve. *shrugs*

Spooky, un-spooky. Whatever. I’m a fan!

 

31 Days of Junk: Wax Fangs (#22)

Last October (2017), I made it a goal to drink 31 different beers—a new one each day—by the end of the month. Incredibly, I was successful in my attempt, which I dubbed #31FallBeers (look it up on any form of social media!) This year, I wanted to try something similar, but there were two important changes I needed to make. Firstly, I wanted to be able to expound more, so I decided against social media blurbs in favor of long-form posts on my site. Second: it needed to be much, much cheaper than drinking 31 different beers. The result? #31DaysOfJunk. Strap in and hold on tight, and please enjoy this month-long odyssey into the sugary, fatty belly of the autumnal beast.

When it comes to old-timey candy, I’ll be the first one to jump to its defense, championing every Necco wafer and candy-dotted folio from here to the Veach Short Stop gas station in Bumfudge, Illinois. (To further validate my allegiance to those dusty treats of yore, I developed an affinity for horehound drops as a child and went as far as ordering packs of Black Jack and Clove chewing gum online as a teenager.)

Still, I cannot understand–and have never been able to–the relevance of wax lips/wax fangs.

Nik-L-Nips, sure, I get those. Those are a functional wax treat. Bite off the wax cap, slurp out the popsicle juice inside the bottle, and toss.

But wax fangs? I looked them up on Wikipedia for the heck of it and see that they were never really intended to be chewed on, but that’s not what the contrary information on the pack I have in front of me says. There is an ingredients list, which includes sugar and BHT (to maintain freshness), and even a section that states, “For nutrition info, call…” Heck, even the catchphrase on the back plainly says, “Play Now, Chew Later”. These are meant to be treated like a candy, even if it’s not one you can swallow and digest.

Upon opening the pack, I’m blasted with the most delicious smelling wax lips I’ve ever encountered. I’m talking, like, whoa. Intense Fruit Stripe Gum aromas. Suddenly, I want to eat the hell out of these fangs. Wasn’t expecting that!

I bite a hunk off the side. Semi-tough at first, but quickly devolves into a spot-on chewing gum texture. And tasty; Fruit Stripe gum all the way. What crazy magic is this?! When did wax fangs become so goddamn good? I’m chewing and chewing, and the wax never changes consistency–just the most perfectly rubbery piece of gum.

I’m…shocked. These are fun to chew on! Who’d have thunk? Wax fangs. Functional candy. I love playing with my food.

Stop what you’re doing and go out and buy some of these right now.