Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Three Cool Things

I am known to my friends as a crazy sumbitch, who lives life with a carpe-diem, devil-may-care, je-ne-sais-quoi, shave-and-a-haircut-two-bits kind of recklessness. Sometimes I do insane things like wear a non-collared shirt to work. Other times, I might even forget to log off my computer at the end of the day. Once, I ate a whole 16-ounce bag of Doritos in one sitting. Another time, I told the McDonald's cashier that the carton into which my fries had been placed was inadequately filled, and I demanded that she add more fries to it. Yes, if you want to come with me on this crazy ride called life, you'd better strap in. But if you're not ready for that, and you want just a taste of the complete mayhem that I live every day, you might appreciate learning of three cool things I've recently discovered.

Here's the first: Neccos. You remember them from your youth, I'm sure. They are quarter-sized wafers of sugar in various bright colors. Each color is supposed to correspond to a particular flavor, but damned if I can identify any correlation between the intended and the actual flavors. I was standing in line at the drug store about a week ago when I saw a bunch of Neccos wedged in between the Sprees and the Sweet Tarts. My dad used to buy Neccos all the time. He always kept a roll on the console between the front seats in our car. I ate them because he did. When I saw them in the drug store, the part of my brain that regrets the passing of childhood took over and I bought a roll. Ah, yes, the chalky goodness of pure, chemically flavored sugar. A few days later, I bought two more rolls, and I've already plowed through them.

Given our general cultural obsession with the retro and the campy, I thought I might find a whole Necco subculture on the internet. But there doesn't seem to be one. No fan sites at all, as far as I can tell. The company that makes them -- the New England Confectionary Company -- does have a website, but I couldn't find any hipster irony on it at all. Strange. Get on board before the corduroy-and-Puma brigade: Neccos are cool.

Here's another endorsement: Flowers. Sorry, all you manlier-than-thou losers who believe plants are fit only for trampling and/or smoking. Flowers are cool. I mean, seriously cool. Flowers planted in seed form by my wife and me about three weeks ago are sprouting like little children. It's so exciting. Every day, I come home from work and see if I can find any new developments. I want to keep a little growth chart for them on the stone edifice behind them. These flowers are doomed though, and not just because I am a terrible gardener. They're annuals and will be dead and gone in six months. My dream is to plant perennials. We might go shopping for some this weekend. We'll need some hardy fuckers, of course, what with our abusive and militantly ungreen thumbs. Next year, we may be doing rock gardening. But, regardless of our success, flowers are just damned cool.

Third endorsement: Backpack. This new website is really cool. It's kind of a web-based PDA, but more flexible and … cooler. It just launched a couple days ago, apparently. I've already started using it a bit. It's the kind of digital thing that even analog freaks who fetishize office supplies will love. Kind of a flickr for words (though you can put images in too).

There you have it. Want to live like a rock star? Eat Neccos, plant flowers, and keep your to-do list on a web site.


Blogger Henry Baum said...

My wife had to explain Necco wafers to me. I've never seen or eaten Necco wafers, which I think means I'm not an American citizen.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Spiral Stairs said...

Well, Henry, it certainly confirms that you did not grow up either in my household or as part of any secret family that my Dad may have maintained on the side by taking extended, unexplained "work trips."

Let me warn you though: The best-tasting part of a Necco wafer is the nostalgia. The physical matter attached to the nostalgia: Not so great.

6:04 PM  

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