Thursday, June 11, 2009

"No Expiration Date"

Recently I went back to my hometown to spend a few days with my family. While I was there I devoted a few hours to going through some items I hadn't seen in years- old comic books and toys, records, books, Mad magazines, yearbooks. Naturally, examining these items was a touching experience. I was so young and innocent- once.

Then, at the bottom of a box of old "Star Wars" and Mego superhero action figures from the 1970s, I came upon the tattered remains of an old Willy Wonka candy coupon:



Torn from the back of a box of Runts, or Tart n Tinys, or whatever it was I ate when I was so young and innocent, this coupon entitled the bearer to one free box of Wonka candy when he purchased two. I can't remember how old I was at the time, but I do remember having a stack of these coupons; I treated them as precious commodities because they represented money. No- what they represented was better than money. They represented candy.

Now, the ripped, creased, crushed, bruised, battered, and beaten coupon represents something else. Even more than those old toys and comics, it is an ironic and bitter reminder of my childhood. Unlike those toys, this coupon mockingly claims to have "No Expiration Date." But we all know that's a lie.

My childhood is over, Willy Wonka candy coupon! Damn you, my childhood is OVER!

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