Sea Monkeys and Mallomars and Nigerian Fortunes

As I get older, I realize the things that I will never see or enjoy again and, more importantly, those things that my grandchildren will probably never know.

For example, Walnut Cake from Pepperidge Farms. This sublime, fantastic cake shouted out for a cold glass of milk in its journey down the gullet. The Walnut Cake had just the correct amount of sweetness and smoothness and could always be counted on to make the day’s troubles, instances of unrequited love or undone homework disappear. Naturally, when such a delight appears, the creator realizes that too much happiness is not good for community morals and the product disappears.

Can one imagine that my three eldest grandsons, Joshua, Zachary and Adam, all brilliant and well-read, were not familiar with Sea Monkeys, those top-hated, spat-wearing creatures that danced across the back covers of comic books? I wanted these creatures so badly, I was prepared to train them, run away from home and go into show business with my gang of happy, dancing, prancing new friends

Another opportunity I learned from the back page of comic books was the selling of seed packets. If I sold just a handful of packages, I could obtain fabulous treasures, including Red Ryder B-B guns and x-ray eye glasses with which one could look through walls. (Of course, walls were not the obstacle that young boys wanted to overcome, but presumably the x-rays would work to uncover all sorts of things, the nature of which we were not sure anyway.) I never had the x-ray glasses but carton after carton of flower and vegetable seeds did come to our door. I sold three to my parents; they tossed the rest away.

When our children were young, pre-school and on vacation, each left the house and promptly disappeared into a horde of neighborhood kids playing all sorts of make-shift games only understood by them. At noon, there would be telephone calls to determine which child’s family was preparing the most interesting lunch and that is where all would aim. Late in the afternoon, the children would return to their respective homes. There was never any concern about molesters, bad touching, attackers, and the like. The fact that their children will never know of such childhood and freedom is the greatest loss.

There is some hope for tomorrow. It is the fall and Mallomars will return soon. (“They look like WHAT?”) It is almost impossible to go without Mallomars during the majority of the year, although there are rumors that in parts of New York the heroin and cocaine dealers have a lucrative business in providing Mallomars to wealthy Wall Street entrepreneurs. I have written to the manufacturer of this cookie/cake/treat and pleaded, no, begged, for the glorious Mallomar to be made available, if not to the world at large, at least to my family and me. I am not so altruistic, it seems, to forgo selfish desires.

I have just received official confirmation that I have won three foreign lotteries, with prizes in excess of $12 million dollars. I don’t recall entering these lotteries; I sort of keep to the Florida lottery which assures me that, “When we play, we all win.” After fifteen years or so, I have “played” to the tune of about $7,800 or so, but I have had a return of at least $100 total.

My luck has surely changed for the better. Last week I received a very friendly note from my newest best friend, a gentleman from Nigeria who, with his family, stole $15 gazillion dollars. It seems he wants to smuggle the money out of his home country and is willing, no anxious, to give me nearly half if I allow him to use my bank account. It would be perfectly fine with me, even though the gang at Wachovia will have a coronary, my neighbors will be green with envy and all of my relatives will now want loans or gifts..

So all is good, I’ll soon have loads of cash, a cupboard full of Mallomars and, soon, Girl Scout cookies will again be here.

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