We never had snacks when we were growing up. Once in awhile Mom would bring home a package of Jewel brand sandwich cookies and the six of us would tear through the perfect rows so fast it would make her mad. "For crying out loud, those were supposed to last all week," she'd yell after us when she saw the empty package on the counter.
Dad's solution to the snack problem was to buy a bushel basket of apples every fall and put them in the garage to keep them cold. That was fine for a week or two and then nobody wanted them any more.
About November when there were still a couple dozen left, he'd munch on the spotted, mushy rejects and say, "I don't know what's the matter with you kids and these apples. You don't know what you're missing."
We knew exactly what we were missing.
About six blocks away was a shopping center with a dime store. As soon as any of us got a few quarters together we'd walk up there and fill a brown sack with candy. We wore a path between our house and the Almar Shopping Center.
On the corner of our street was an older guy named Joe. Joe was a talker and married to Wanda. I think Wanda would get tired of his yapping and kick him outside where he would stop us kids if we happened to be walking by. When he got done talking he'd think of dumb, little chores for us to do like move some rocks or pick up some sticks and then he'd shove a quarter in our hand.
Across the street from him lived Doris and Pork. They had a dog named Beans. Pork was always working on the in-ground pool that we were never invited to swim in and he'd give a wave while hyperactive Beans ran up and down along the fence barking at us while we did our chores for Joe.
I did some work for Joe one day and then walked up to the store by myself to buy a FULL-SIZE Hershey bar with my quarter. As soon as I got close to Pork and Doris' house on the way back, Beans started barking at me like the crazy dog he was. I scurried past his canine fool self with my chocolate treasure and ran the rest of the way home. Once there I slipped into the bathroom and locked the door. I unpeeled the wrapper and sat on the toilet slowly eating my Hershey bar square by miniature square....in peace away from my vulture siblings that would surely expect me to share it if they only knew.
Mom knocked on the door. "Are you okay? You've been in there a long time."
"I'm fine," I said. "Almost done."
I shoved the wrapper in my pocket to be discarded after dark deep into the metal trash can outside and came out. In the Apple World I lived in chocolate was the hands down winner.
Last week at work a Halloween Fairy put FULL-SIZED Hershey bars in our mailboxes. My first instinct was to go into the bathroom, lock the door, sit on the toilet and eat it in peace.....
Which isn't such a bad idea in a home overcrowded with siblings or in the workplace when you want to hide.