Friday's Favs

(Note: every Friday I'll post a favorite rant from the archives)

from March 31, 2009

Good Humor Me

Tell me, do some things seem smaller than what you remember, or did they just seem bigger because YOU were small?

Probably a little bit of both. But you can strap me to a lie detector, make me swear on a stack of Bibles, and have me stand on the grave of my father. In all instances, I'll tell you that the Good Humor bar is smaller than it once was.

This isn't another example of a bug-eyed kid whose recollection, as an adult, has become skewed over time.

Grab me a rosary and stick it in my hands. Make me look my mother right in the peepers. Threaten to swipe my first (and only) born if I'm lying.

The Good Humor bar is shrinking.

This atrocity made itself present in our home last week. My lovely wife came home with two boxes of Good Humor bars -- Toasted Almond and Chocolate Eclair -- and it was enough to make me undress her with my stomach.

First, I must enlighten the babes among my readers. The older folks, bear with me. This won't take long.

The Good Humor ice cream truck tooled around the burbs, its driver dressed in all white and jingling a set of bells that were located above the rear view mirror. With his hand.

That's right -- no piped in music, no endless loop of calliope-style melodies. Just some bells, jingled and jangled by the driver, aka The Good Humor Man, as he saw fit.

The truck itself was white, too, and compact. It looked like an old white fridge that burst, like popcorn, on steroids and on wheels.

The Good Humor Man had an amazing sense of touch. Because he hardly ever relied on his eyes, when he was fetching your order at the curb. You'd tell him what you wanted, and he knew instantly which of the two hatches on the truck's sides to open. Then, simply by reaching inside, without looking, he'd pull out the correct item(s).

I still don't know how they did that.

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about!

The trucks disappeared from the neighborhoods years ago. But the Good Humor bars remained, in grocery stores and gas stations.

Toasted Almond is the best. I'll sock you in the kisser if you try to argue otherwise. But be that as it may.

So the Good Humor boxes are pulled out of the grocery bag last week, and we notice that the company is now paying homage to its past by including, on each carton, a color drawing of a Good Humor Man from days gone by, serving some kids from his truck. Pretty cool.

Until we opened one of the white plastic bags encasing a Toasted Almond.

I was tempted to tell my wife to throw it back, and tell him to get his old man.

If the Toasted Almond bar was made of wool, and you put it into the dryer, then the result would be what we held in our hands.

I was thinking I might be able to consume it with one generous bite, it looked that small.

My wife and I said it almost simultaneously.

"Look how SMALL!"

It was also noted that the price was conspicuously not smaller.

One nifty thing about the new Good Humor bars: you'll never have to worry about them melting before you can finish them.

I noticed the same phenomenon with the Bun chocolate bars. My folks gobbled them up when I was a kid. They came (still do) in a square-ish wrapper, the bar itself setting on a flimsy cardboard bottom. Of course, I remember the Bun bars as being the size of a paper plate.

But still, they're much smaller than they used to be, despite my glorification of them in my mind.

Again, the price doesn't appear to be shrinking.

I know that we sometimes remember licking suckers the size of hubcaps and watching movies on screens that went from horizon to horizon. I get that sometimes we exaggerate the sizes of things from our childhood.

But the Good Humor bar is getting smaller.

Either that, or my stomach is getting bigger.

Hey!! Wait a minute....


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