I was about eleven when we discovered a new candy treat. We called them ‘Fizzy Sticks.’ That wasn’t what they were. They were actually Pixy Stix, a sweet and sour candy that poured from a straw-like wrapper. The corner candy store and other stores around town sold them for a penny each.
Just a matter of history here. Because parents weren’t very fond of Pixy Stix – the powder found its way onto the carpet, furniture and clothing, leaving them sticky and discolored – the company redesigned the candy into little tablets called Sweet-Tarts. Today, you can still find Sweet-tarts, but the Pixy Stix is all but non-existent.
At that time soda was a dime for a 12 oz bottle. However, you could buy a 12 ounce bottle of soda water for just a nickel. Adults tended to like the soda water, but for me, it tasted terrible.
You can see what’s coming here, can’t you? That’s right. I realized that if I poured a one cent grape flavored Pixy Stix into a five cent bottle of soda water, I could get a bottle of grape soda for just six cents! I would be a hero. All the other kids would love me because that would mean they could get a bottle of soda and four cents worth of candy for just a dime.
I bought a couple Pixy Stix. I figured if the grape wasn’t all that good I could try to again with cherry flavored. I bought a bottle of soda water, popped off the cap and poured the Pixy Stix powder in. I didn’t even manage to pour the whole thing in because about half the powder was in when the liquid exploded out of the bottle, almost all of it!
I had no idea what had just happened. I felt really ripped off. Not only did I not get a bottle of soda for six cents, I wasn’t going to be a hero. I was happy I had taken the precaution of not letting anyone else in on my wonderful idea. It would have been even worse if anyone else took part in my embarrassment.
I did get to taste the result of my experiment. One swallow of my marvellous grape soda. It wasn’t any good either. It smelled like grape soda, but still tasted like soda water.