The Popsicle Parade – Part 4!

This will probably be the last edition of The Popsicle Parade for 2013, so please, a moment of silence from those who have enjoyed looking at old ice cream stickers.

Thank you. That was special.

#21: Firecracker Root Beer Float!

I’m loving the discovery that this “Firecracker” popsicle was actually a family of popsicles, identical in shape but with wildly varying colors and flavors.

Remember the bizarre version from my last review, which mixed red hot cinnamon with cotton candy? Well, here’s one with a slightly less iffy theme. Firecracker’s “Root Beer Floats” blended root beer and vanilla ice to create something that’d make the freaks at Jack in the Box proud.

More importantly, it looks like that super special Jell-O Pudding Pop – the one that married chocolate and vanilla into one swirlrageous piece of magic that every self-respecting junk food junkie had to eat first.

#22: Tingly Centers!

“Tingly Centers” may be the worst-ever name for a popsicle. I guess you could admire its directness, but it still seems like a stone’s throw from “Candy Coated” or “With Stick.” It doesn’t even flow nicely. Go on, say it. “Tingly Centers.” Yuck.

It only gets worse if you surround it with context. “Hello, Ice Cream Man. I’ll have a Tingly Center, please.” God, no way. Never. I don’t care if they taste like Rose Nylund’s Sparhuven Krispies. I’m never saying that, or anything even remotely like that. I have limits.

On the plus side, the popsicles make me think of Pac-Man ghosts wearing rain ponchos. Squint, stare, and I know you’ll see it too.

#23: X-Treme Sport Lemon Lime Ice Tube!

I guess this was the Gatorade of the popsicle circuit? A way to feel like you’re doing your body good as you slurp down a frozen rod of unnaturally green sugar ice?

I’m sure this wasn’t the case, but when I look at that label, I can only imagine the ice tasting like a 5-Hour Energy Shot. That’s not a mark in the “pro” column, by the way. They should’ve just called them “Fruity Wizard Wands,” or maybe “Luke’s Lightsabers.” And they really should’ve reconsidered the shape and color of that “Cool Fuel” burst, which only works if you find explosive snot appealing.

#24: Cherry Collision Crush Zone Cup!

Okay, now we’re back on track. This sounds delicious! Like a Marino’s Italian Ice, but much more fun to say. “Cherry Collision” implies some sort of cherry rubber room, where dozens of psychotic berries crash into each other until there’s nothing left but a puddle of gooey entrails, which are then collected, mixed with ice, and evenly distributed into paper cups. I am so down with all of that.

Take a look at those little cherry symbols on the cup. I once had a notion to get a tattoo similar to those, until several people suggested that I might look like a creepy virgin stalker, obsessed with “popping cherries.” That seemed completely ridiculous to me, but the fact that several people reached the same conclusion meant that there would be no permanent cherries on any part of my body. (In retrospect, thank God for their crazy brains. I didn’t need to add “cherry tattoo” to the list of things that make people question my place in society.)

#25: Klondike’s Neapolitan Ice Cream Sandwich!

I like this one. It looks like a full meal.

It’s also a reminder of how odd I was whenever someone brought out a box of Neapolitan ice cream, with its neatly separated slabs of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

For some reason, I would only ever eat the chocolate out of those boxes. God help you if there was a single drop of vanilla or strawberry in my bowl. It made no sense, because it’s not like I had any aversion to the other flavors. This was possibly the first sign of an OCD complex that still remains unchecked after thirty fucking years. If only someone had forced me to eat the strawberry, then maybe now I wouldn’t treat every light switch like a goddamned balancing scale.

PS: The polar bear had an iPad before any of you.

#26: Twin Pop!

You’re familiar with these, of course. Everyone is. I’ve always giggled at the idea that half of a Twin Pop could be split off and saved for later. Nobody has ever done that. Claim otherwise, and the world will know you as a liar.

Eating Twin Pops was such an adventure. Unless you prematurely forced the split to avoid drama, you just never knew which bite would separate the twins. You always had to be prepared for that. It was tempting to risk fate by holding the Twin Pop by a single stick, but if you did that once too often, you were guaranteed to experience the unimaginable pain of half a Twin Pop on the floor. In a quiet way, eating Twin Pops was like playing Russian Roulette.

#27: Strawberry Shortcake Cone!

I don’t know if these are still around, but yeah, Strawberry Shortcake bars came in ball-shaped “cone types,” too. I don’t think I’m a fan. Feel like you’d be trading an awful lot of crunchy coating for an everyday cone.

Something about this struck me as peculiar, and I think I’ve figured out what. Take a look at that bite mark. The innards look like cured Italian meat!

I’ve narrowed it down to prosciutto or sopressata. As much I’m trying not to, I can’t help but find this a tiny bit appetizing. My sincerest apologies to those I have offended.

#28: Rich’s Cotton Candy Twirl!

I’m not sure who this “Rich” guy is, but since I have around six hundred stickers that bear his name, he must know a thing or two about popsicles.

Rich doesn’t have the name value of Good Humor, but he sure makes up for it with his wacky flavors. A cotton candy popsicle doesn’t hold much appeal for me, but the COLORS on this thing are phenomenal. It looks like the sky in some utopian future, where everyone is happy and giraffes have wings. There would be so much handholding under a sky like that.

#29: Rich’s Rainbow Polar Pole!

See what I’m saying about Rich? He knows how to stand out. Here, Rich takes the classic orange push-pop and revitalizes it with multiple, segregated flavors! Point it at your enemies, spin it, and voila! Hypnotized slaves, ready to run into brick walls at your command.

#30: Rich’s Savagely Sour Blue Raspberry Pop!

Rich continues to bring the awesome. What, you don’t think this is awesome? Look closer:

1) The popsicle looks like the fin of a shark that swims exclusively in toxic waste.

2) The puckering caveman reminds us of at least a dozen video games, from Bonk’s Adventure to Kid Niki: Radical Ninja.

3) The raspberries on the left aren’t actually raspberries. They’re netted batches of beluga caviar.

Yep. Awesome.

Not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze in another Popsicle Parade by the month’s end, so if this concludes the 2013 run, thanks for reading about old ice cream. I hope the experience was educational and delicious.