I'm a Phoenix native. Which, they say, is rare. Even more unusual is that I actually love this place.
There are just a handful of us out there and while there are so many things that make us uniquely Phoenician (we don't talk to our neighbors and we shower 7-12 times a week) I'm going to focus some of our fond childhood memories of growing up in the Valley.
Namely, our candy.
Everyone likes candy. Everyone likes lists. And everyone likes to reminisce.
So if this blog doesn't get more hits than my last blog, I will force myself to look in the mirror and say, "You, Lilia Menconi, you are a failure. Your dead grandparents are even embarrassed."
Anyway, here are the top five candies and sweets that only a native Phoenician can truly appreciate.
5. Otter Pops
I'm sure these things existed in other states. But
not like they did here. I would say they didn't merely exist in Phoenix, they
4. See's Candies
Now, these boxes of delicious bites of chocolate treats weren't strictly a
Phoenix thing. But, to this day, the stores are only in Western
states. I know it's shocking to think about a life without See's, I know. But their limited availability to other states is the reason Forrest
Gump had those disgusting, diarrhea-inducing Russell Stover's chocolates
in the movie. The rest of the U.S. (save for a handful of states
including AZ, CA and TX) doesn't know what the hell a Sees candy is.
Which is something we should be thankful for. Because if those East
Coasters and Southerners did know, they'd be even bigger fatsos than
they already are.
3. Cactus Candy
here's the rule about this line of sweets. If you grew up here, you
never even tasted this crap. This was the brand that your uncle from
the Midwest would pick up for his po-dunk, trashy kids (aka your
cousins who liked to play doctor too much) after a trip out to the
desert. He'd buy it in the gift shop at Terminal 2, chuckling at the
novelty as he exited your city probably for the last time ever (because
if your parents moved here they were probably escaping their family). For natives, your
parents never thought to buy Cactus Candy for you. After all, you're from here
and you have the opportunity to get them at any time. Which is the same reason they
never took you to the Grand Canyon, you poor soul.
2. Tequila Worm Lollipops
You know, as I write this, I realize that
our parents must have been total sadists. Who thinks to take that
nasty, scary tequila worm (which, by the way, made us all very curious
about liquor at a young age) and put it in a sweet-tasting candy?
An asshole, that's who. I admit that I never tried one of these...my
mother was poor, on a budget and didn't splurge on such luxuries. Plus
I was a total puss and the worm scared me. But I heard they tasted damn
good. The whole thing is screwed up, man!
1. Ladmo Bags
If you don't know what Wallace and Ladmo is,
find yourself a native Phoenician, say those sweet words, and watch as their
eyes immediately charge up with precious, precious nostalgia. Wallace
and Ladmo was the best children's show EVER. The show ran
on the local channel, KPHO-TV5, from 1954-1989. It was shot in Phoenix and starred Phoenix entertainers, Bill Thompson, Ladimir Kwiatkowski and Pat McMahon. With a real, live child
audience at every broadcast, the show's shtick was to randomly award
one lucky, lucky kid (usually a boy scout) with the ever-coveted Ladmo
Bag. This thing was filled with tootsie rolls, candy bars, smarties and
the sweet promise of a wonderful future. Because if you won
a Ladmo Bag, you were the most envied child in town. I remember my
older brother brought one home and I thought he was
famous...brings a tear to my native Phoenician eye, it does.
Like this list? Well, even if you hate it, you can see more like it here.