Friday, April 10, 2009

Bottle Caps and Modern Urinals

I really like root-beer-flavored Bottle Caps. Even as an adult, I will literally eat them until they make me sick. I am, of course, referring to the candies made by the Nestle company under the Wonka label.

Eating root-beer-flavored Bottle Caps until they made me sick used to be a pretty tall order when I was a kid. Anyone who loves root-beer-flavored Bottle Caps knows that they are the most scarce of all of the flavors. You hardly ever hit two in a row. Orange is the most abundant flavor, and I hate the orange ones. I am constantly hitting runs of three or even four of them. I just throw the orange ones away, or offer them to friends who don't really understand Bottle Caps. These days though, I am capable of affording multiple rolls of Bottle Caps and I have no health minded grown up standing over my shoulder to discourage this behavior. I think that maybe I was supposed to become this health minded grown up, but it never happened. So now, I buy a handful of rolls and just comb through them for the root beer ones. Hence the danger of eating them until I feel sick. I think it takes about thirteen of them to start feeling like I should have stopped. Figuring there are an average of about four or five per roll, that means I have to buy four rolls, minimum, which usually means that I cross the thirteen line and eat more like twenty and then I feel sick.

You know, I only assume that the ones I like are actually the root beer ones. In rolls of Bottle Caps (as opposed to the bags) there are two different shades of brown, a pretty goldenish brown and an ugly grayish brown. One is supposed to be root beer and the other is cola. Neither really tastes like either root beer or cola, but the ones I like seem slightly more root beerish than cola-ish, so I've always assumed that's what they are. The ones I like, in case you couldn't tell by the favoritism of my description, are the pretty goldenish brown ones.

They are so good it's obnoxious. They have a delightful, melt-in-your-mouth quality unique amongst the Bottle Caps. I have just gone through a streak of sixteen other bottle caps with only one root beer flavored one. I think the rarity contributes to my devotion. I also really love the lemon-lime ones, but they only come in the flat packs and the Bottle Caps in the flat packs are far inferior to the ones in the rolls. They are almost a completely different candy apart from the name and the kind of strange premise that they are bottle cap shaped candies that taste vaguely like soda pop flavors. The ones in the bags are thinner and harder and have a much more pronounced bottle cap shape. I've often wondered why they are so different from their rolled brethren. It's really a wild, inexplicable inconsistency. But I digress.

I hate modern urinals--the ones that are really designy and sleek looking. I mean, sure I appreciate that they are like sophisticated works of minimalist modern art, but I feel awkward peeing on art. Or, into it. And worse, they often give the impression that they will not make particularly effective urine receptacles. They frequently look like their sleekly designed, sometimes even ironic, forms may please the eye, but splash the pee. I've always been kind of prissy in that regard. I'm not comfortable with splash back, or "quiet reflection" as the deeply religious might call it. I guess I'm not manly enough to be okay with it.

Anyway, I encountered both things yesterday on a trip to Dallas. I bought six rolls of Bottle Caps and had to pee in an overly stylish urinal twice. Strangely, even though I hated the modern urinal, its overall negative impact was just to put me off a bit. The Bottle Caps, which I love, have made me sick to my stomach. Because I had twenty-two of them. I guess it just proves that age old adage: "Curse not overmuch the beautiful receptacles of thy loin waters! Tis the lid shaped confections a man lovest best that profit him least."

Oh, and the Helm graphic novel has been nominated to the American Library Association's Great Graphic Novel for Teens Booklist. Whoo Hooo!

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