Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to school.

This week marks the beginning of the '09-'10 School Year in my neck o' the woods.
Helping my 11-year-old nephew get ready for his first day back to school reminded me of my own school days, when the excitement of 'I'm going back to school!' was tempered by the stomach flu-ey feeling of 'oh crap I'm going back to school!'
But honestly, when you're a Hallowe'en kid in a Hallowe'en family, the end of Summer blues are merely a temporary set back. By the middle of September you're planning your costume and and awaiting the Great Pumpkin (and don't tell me you didn't). Those blues become orange & black so quickly.
Here are some things which always meant 'school's back in session and October's on the way' for me.

Can't you still taste these?:
And these? And I'll bet some of you can still taste these:

Pee Chee. Two for a quarter. Ready to draw your costume ideas on the track stars. And seriously, who didn't think that the tennis player smacked the football guy, who fell onto the other football guy, and the guys underneath were running to get out of the way?
My Old School. Well, the Church part of it.
Don't worry, I'm not going to turn the Skull & Pumpkin into one of the million 70's nostalgia sites out there.
It shall remain merely one of the million Hallowe'en blogs out there.

But 'back to school' is always a sure sign of back to Hallowe'en.

Since you're relaxing here at the pub, take a moment to think back to your school days, those early Fall days when mornings came too early but evenings couldn't get there soon enough; when the hints of Autumn in the air stopped being hints and declared themselves openly; when a boring lesson would become exciting simply because you suddenly remembered that October was coming, and bringing with it the best day of the year.

Back to ghoul-


  1. I remember them as SPACE FOOD STICKS. Supposedly they were that round shape so astronauts could fit them through a little round food port in their helments. At least thats what the ads claimed. They did not taste good with Tang, BTW. If course, in the early and mid 1960s danged near everything was space related.

    I must have gone through a hundred Pee-Chees in my school career. The multiplication table on the inside saved me in countless math classes. And, of course, all the pictures had to be customized with a Number Two Ticonderoga pencil. I had almost forgotten about the chain reaction on the front!


  2. Yes, they were originally Space Food Sticks; by the time *I* had them around Pillsbury had changed it. They actually didn't taste good with anything besides milk or water, but I swear I can taste them to this day! :-)
    Of course, #2 pencils (Dixon Ticonderoga or Eberhard Faber)were the mark of choice for Pee-Chee augmentation. There was a smiling skier in a ski lift on the back, if I recall, and I used to black out her teeth by the second day of school.
    SO glad I don't have school anymore, but this time of year I always wish for a little flavor of that time gone by.

  3. Space Food Sticks (or "Spood Sticks" or "Spoods" in our house) were chalky, throat-clogging, and only the peanut butter ones didn't end up hard as a tootsie roll or a puddle of goo within 15 minutes of opening.

    Today is a very reasonable 80 degrees, overcast, with a cool breeze. Autumn IS coming, and my Linus and Lucy music is playing her in.

    Still think school should be illegal until after the Jerry Lewis Telethon, though.

  4. Something about this requires a little "Figure 8" music, dontcha think?

  5. I was SO going to post that to the playlist but I am close to exceeding my limit for this month and it's not exactly an Autumn song. Dangit!

  6. They're Baaack!

    I remembered the original packaging having the name in all caps, stencil style. This site has the old commercial I remembered. Cheezy LM on the moon and all!

    Gonna have to get me some!

    Oh, and the baseball player: I always had to draw spikes on his bat to make it a killer club!


  7. WOW! I may have to get some just to see if my memory of them matches the reality; though I wonder if it's EXACTLY the same recipe... thanks for the heads up.
    OH yes, the killer baseball bat with spikes! We did that one, and turning the bat into a bone, and the player into a caveman.

  8. We bought them a couple of years ago for my kids to try. Just horrible and actually not at all like I remembered. I'm sure the originals were too toxic to meet today's standards. The new ones are just as waxy, but really tasted awful.

    In the other hand, I forgot to mention that when I was in the hospital with Mand, those breakfast bars were the absolute ONLY thing I wanted to eat. I must have been needing some nutrient that some part of my brain remembered I could get from those things. I believe someone finally found some- and it may have been you, Mike. Anyway, they were hard to find then, and I never saw them again in stores here.

    Also, I used to gag just reading the word "mucilage" on the glue bottle.