Cracker Jacks or Cracker Craps?

A picture of an old Cracker Jack boxI love sugar and as a child I also loved little trinkets, no matter how junky they might be. Imagine my face when I found out about Cracker Jacks. I could satisfy my need for sugar and my need for a trinket all in one amazing little box! Problem number one was getting the necessary coins to purchase the super little treat. That was usually not a huge problem. As you know I have never been one to miss the opportunity to “borrow” a bit from The Girl Scout funds stored by our mother in a very obvious place.

Once I had the money to purchase my first box of Cracker Jacks, away I went to Pat’s Little Market, also known as a sugar lover’s paradise. I sashayed up to the counter and proudly set down my money. The owner was always excited when I had actual money and was not just slobbering all over the counters. I asked for a box of Cracker Jacks and was very excited to get the waxy package in my hot little hands. I left the store and couldn’t wait to rip open the box, eat the sugary treat and retrieve the prize from inside the box.

To say I was disappointed would be a gross understatement. The molasses covered popcorn was nothing like caramel corn and almost had a bitter taste. No sugar high from these kernels of sludge. They were dark in color and contained few peanuts, which were the only edible pieces in the box. Then I began my frantic search for the prize. I dug my molasses-covered fingers into the bottom of the box and there it was! I carefully pulled the prize out, ripped open the package and realized I had a brand new set of non-permanent paper tattoos.

I raced home, quickly dipped the tattoo in water and slapped it on my arm. When it had set. I carefully peeled the paper off and saw a true masterpiece. A lovely sailboat was now on my arm and although it looked sort of like a multi-colored bruise, I was happy with the effect. I was now the proud owner of a tattoo.

When Mother saw the tattoo, needless to say, she went ballistic.

What the hell is that on your arm? I know I didn’t pull your arm hard enough to leave a bruise. Get over here so I can figure out what to do and I mean now!

Never one to disobey (yeah right) I sauntered over to proudly show off my new tattoo. I told her that I now had a tattoo and there was nothing she could do about it. Mother loved a challenge so she began berating me and hollering until I rued the day I ever got a tattoo.

The tattoo was scrubbed off by soap that felt like sandpaper at the hands of a maniac, my mother. I never got another tattoo and seldom purchased another box of Cracker Jacks. I had standards after all!

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