Opinion

Here’s to the sweet old days, best not to waist them

Sally Hopman3 May 2022
Lollies

How sweet it used to be – when lollies were lollies and dental bills ran into the stoutest of figures. Photo: File.

Any Smarties out there old enough to remember little white bags, a 20c piece and everyone’s best friend, Cobbers?

Specifically how, for 20c, you could fill one of those little white bags with enough Cobbers to make you violently ill. Sigh, those were the days.

Have you noticed how, today, you can buy a Cobber but will get scant change from a dollar and someone will make you feel guilty if you buy 350 of them and dare ask for a bag?

We get it. Inflation sucks. But so, too, should lollies.

Surely the four main food groups – lollies, sweets, candy and confectionary – should be immune.

Everyone knows lollies can help move us closer to world peace or, at the very least, make one of those meeting with whiteboards, butcher’s paper and lots of marker pens slightly more gummy bearable.


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So why don’t they look or taste like they used to?

There’s only one guarantee: that they’ll be smaller. Take Wagon Wheels for example – well, you can’t take them very far because they’re almost half the size they used to be and their chocolate tastes like gravel. The slash of jam barely shows its colours and the white fluffy stuff, don’t get me started on the white fluffy stuff. The best thing about the white fluffy stuff is that test tubes are now calling it home.

Speaking of reinventing the wheel, just don’t. Tim Tams are perfect. Bringing out a new flavour every other day is not necessary. What will be on the market next week? Sardine-flavoured ones?

Some things are sacred – like whoever was brave enough to downsize killer jelly pythons must have had a cane, or at least a licorice whip.

Now lollies taste like they’ve been overtaken by the bitter and very twisted. They’re made to explode/pop/burn your mouth. There’s never enough time for anything to stick to your teeth. They don’t even give you zits any more because they’re made of pretend sugar rather than The Real Thing.

Love hearts

Some people get really emotional when it comes to the sweet stuff, others just want it all to Be Mine. Photo: File.

At kids’ parties nowadays, they tell stories about the bad old days – not ones that involve monsters, witches and gremlins, rather red frogs, milk bottles and jelly babies. I mean, jelly babies, how can they be bad? Then they top it off with “party” food which includes carrots, celery and things with seeds that set up roots in your teeth.

Seriously, just stick to a diet of raspberries, bananas and pineapple lumps – how can that be wrong? Some manufacturers are even kind enough to do the hard work for you, making a readymade fruit salad mix.


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All things in moderation, we’re told. Okay, in moderation, please bring back things that taste like they used to.

Let’s start a petition, I know I’d sign it – if my brain ever worked again after being in a gob-stopper of a sugar coma forever. Top of the list would be the return of the Polly Waffle, the outlawing of compounded chocolate, restoration of musk sticks to their original size, and no green lollies of any description. Makes me think of vegetables. (Except, duh, spearmint leaves.)

But this modern, social media-obsessed world does have some benefits. Well, at least one. Thanks to a social media campaign on Facebook back in 2015, manufacturers of Jelly Tots were forced to reinstate the product because of popular demand. Don’t know what a Jelly Tot is? Think tiny jubes for even smaller people. Can’t understand why that never led the 7pm News.

How sweet it was.

Original Article published by Sally Hopman on Riotact.

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