I stood in line at the checkout counter juggling a ten-pound box of Milk Bones and several other bags of dog treats. Yes, I should have grabbed a cart. No, I didnâ€™t intend to buy an armful, but there I was.
The man in front of me was cranky. He wanted to know if the childâ€™s toy he was purchasing came with batteries. The checkout person wasnâ€™t sure, so they were reading the box for clues. I continued to shift from foot to foot hoping I wouldnâ€™t drop anything.
As I waited I noticed a display of candy across the aisle. On the bottom shelf was a bin of Nut Goodies. Nut Goodies, my momâ€™s favorite candy bar. Actually it was more of a â€œcandy plopâ€ since it isnâ€™t bar shaped. The visual of the Nut Goodie wrapper immediately transported me to my childhood.
I remembered her leather purse that overflowed with stuffâ€¦pocketbook, checkbook, gum, cigarettes, lighter, and Nut Goodies. Always Nut Goodies. The leather smell of her purse mingled with the scent of cigarettes and sugar. It was as familiar as breathing.
By now the man in front of me had given up on the battery battle and had moved on to why he wasnâ€™t getting 20% off a bag of nuts and bolts. The clerk held the bad over her head and inspected it for uniformity. â€œAre they all the same size?â€ she said suspiciously. The man once again became huffy. â€œYes they are, canâ€™t you see?â€ I once again shifted the box of Milk Bones and wondered why he couldnâ€™t give me juuuuuuuust enough counter space to set my box down. He ignored me.
I glanced back at the Nut Goodie bars as an elderly gentleman walked up to the bin. His wife was in a motorized cart and heading towards him at full throttle. He yelled, â€œDo you want a Nut Goodie bar?â€
(Louder) â€œDo. You. Want. A. Nut. Goodie. Bar?â€
She stopped, looked at the bin, and then at him. â€œThey are 75 cents.â€
â€œTHEY ARE 75 CENTS.â€ Then she motored off.
He looked at the candy bars with a baffled expression and then trailed after his wife. Was 75 cents a budget-destroying amount? I couldnâ€™t tell.
The man in front of me finally put his purchases in his cart and moved on. With a sigh of relief I set the Milk Bone box down and rubbed my arm. As the clerk rang up my items I walked over and grabbed a Nut Goodie bar. I didnâ€™t intend to eat itâ€”in fact Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™ve ever eaten oneâ€”but having it in my purse suddenly meant a lot.
The clerk pushed the box and bags of dog treats over the scanner one by one until she came to the Nut Goodie Bar. â€œWell at least youâ€™re buying yourself a treat too!â€ she said, and laughed.
Little did she know how near and dear that treat was to my heart. Happy childhood memories? A bargain at 75 cents.
(Do you have a favorite candy from your childhood? I remember loving Slo Poke suckers and Milk Duds. Oh! And those little â€œIce Cubeâ€ chocolates. Yummy.)