Wendy Benton ParkerI bought a bottle of “Throw Back” Pepsi in a truck stop the other day. For those of you who aren’t able to find “TB” Pepsi, just leave a ‘non-throw back’ Pepsi opened for three days before drinking it and you have exactly the same product. Apparently, “Throw Back” Pepsi has (gasp) real sugar in it, as opposed to the modern glowing death crystals of sweetness (sugar is heavier than death crystals). This greatly disrupts the bubble force distributed, and requires the company to make us believe it’s awesome by putting it in the same packaging we bought it in as kids.

I do find great comfort in the simple red, white and blue label, and can fondly remember being allowed to go into the evil-spirit-infested basement of my grandparents home when I was little to get myself cans from the office cooler. Somehow, the sugary goodness was always better after having to forge my way through near demonic possession to get it. I’d come up out of the basement crying so hard from fear I had snot bubbles, but I was always clutching a Pepsi like a holy relic. Come to think of it, this memory doesn’t seem so fond or comforting. Nice. Way to go, Pepsi.

When I was a kid, a booger was the grossest thing you could possibly fling, show up with or eat. Children with sinus infections were ostracized and often sent to special schools to avoid spreading the dreaded booger virus. (This may be a complete fabrication.) An unnoticed boogie hanging from your left nostril could end your social life in junior high school. (This is NOT a fabrication – you all remember Sam Jones, right? You don’t? That’s right, he showed up in eighth grade WITH A BOOGER IN HIS NOSE and was never heard from again.)

I was watching one of the despicable and brain-rotting talk shows on television the other day, because I totally need my brain rotted some more. Featured guests were people who pick their noses and eat it. In public. In front of God and everybody. They see nothing wrong with it and want to be left alone about it. (Because everyone knows the best thing to do when you want to be left alone about something is to go on national brain-rotting television with it.)

One nostril offender even volunteered government classified information that boogers taste like ham. I’m sure all the pigs in the world feel safer tonight. I personally feel violated and will never look at a piece of bacon with the longing and affection I used to. The National Bacon Stockholders are going to have her assassinated if she’s not careful.

I grew up in the late sixties and early seventies, when national brain-rotting television consisted only of Phil Donahue and rock stars were fabulous, strung-out scarecrows, who strutted around on stage with what appeared to be two cantaloupes and a French loaf stuffed in the front of their spandex pants. They screamed and flailed and threw up on stage (I’m still talking about Donahue, too) and it was magnificent. We waited for the next horrible death with anticipation, taking bets on whether it was heroin, cocaine or gorilla tranquilizers to be the cause.

The rock stars today are boy fetuses who spend more time on their hair than I do and wear jeans that make their legs look like tiny twigs. They sing about texting and have never once vomited on stage. Ted Nugent would make these kids piss their pants. They’d all have to double up on their ADHD meds and put on a jock strap to rock with The Nuge. (To say I don’t listen to much new music would be a grave understatement.)

I’m not crazy about ‘throw back’ Pepsi, but I’d sure enjoy some ‘throw back’ in society. I long for the days when snot was shameful, the worst thing you could do is talk bad to your Mom, and Black Sabbath tickets meant a bad ass, ear bleeding, spectacle. Life was better when it was simpler – you had to rely on passing notes to find out if the super-cute guy liked you and no one knew what an I-phone was. We didn’t expect as much, and we were happier for it.

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