Stuff I Miss: Junk Food Edition

Welcome to another entry in the ongoing series about stuff I miss.

Cinnaburst Gum
Cinnaburst gum had these flavor crystals that made your gum crunch. It sounds gross but it wasn’t. Cinnaburst was awesome. It had a milder sweeter cinnamon flavor than Big Red. Big Red is OK, but Cinnaburst was awesome. One day I stopped seeing it stores. Years afterward I occasionally would see it in gas stations on road trips and always stock up even though I suspected it was probably really old. There was also a mint version called Mintaburst, and a fruit version called Fruitaburst. There were also tasty. Whoever made this gum needs to bring it back already!

I also miss these gums
I miss, Gatorade Gum and those gums with juice in the middle. I think they were soda flavored like A and W root beer gum.

Flaky Flix
Flaky Flix were the best variety of Mother’s cookie brand cookies and I never see them anymore. They were delicious chocolate wafers with corn flakes on them. You can have those overrated pink frosted circus animal cookies I want my Flaky Flix!

Loco Stix
These were these awesome giant cheesy taquito things that Costco had for one week when I was in college. I bought some loved them went back for more but they were gone. I never saw them again.

Icy juicy
Frozen Triangles of fruity awesomeness, I originally became aware of these when they were the dessert portion of my school lunch. Right after the Hot Diggity Dog or Poor Boy Sandwich. (Why yes I did have a lunch ticket and a Mom who wasn’t that into packing me a lunch every day, why do you ask?)

Goldrush Bars
These were chocolate covered ice cream bars with caramel inside. They were so good. Another good ice cream treat were the smaller chocolate covered rondos.

Oreo Big Stuff
These were giant oreos. You could pack one with lunch and be satisfied. The jingle was sung along to the 60’s some Mr. Big Stuff. Now I can’t hear that song without craving a giant Oreo. The only thing more awesome would have been an Oreo big stuff with doublestuff!

New York Seltzers
I miss drinking these circa 1988 and peeling the styrafoam label. The object was to get the label to peel off in the longest stripe possible. I saw them again a few years ago at Big Lots, bought a ton for the nostalgia factor but never saw them again. Stupid Big Lots getting my hopes up.


The 1977 Burger King Travel Guide


When I was a kid my family did not have a normal atlas. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to them to head to the nearest B. Dalton or Crown Books to pick up an updated one, but they didn’t. Sure we had plenty of maps, and if you wanted a guide to the regional Lakes of California, we had one, but if you wanted to spend awhile looking at a book full of exotic places like Sheboygan, Wisconsin, or Walla Walla Washington, you had to go dig out Burger King Travel Guide from 1977.
I’m guessing that the Travel Guide was a freebie given away with a Whopper combo or something, since I didn’t see my parents going out of the way to purchase an atlas from a fast food joint. The majority of the guide is like any other travel guide, with maps of every state and a mileage guide. Burger King showed amazing restraint by not pointing out where each and every restaurant was on the maps themselves, instead you had to go to the restaurant directory to learn where every American Burger King was located. So if you happened to be writing horror novels about teens with dangerous magical powers, you could consult the guide and find out that yes Burger King had a restaurant right near you in Bangor Maine.
The travel guide had some valuable coupons inside that Mom and Dad never availed themselves of for some reason. These included a comically small looking free regular sized soft drink, buy one sad looking cheese free whopper and get one free and not one but two chances to get a free Ice Brr Grr. The Ice Brr Grr looked just like the icy juicys they sold at school. Icy Juicys were a frozen slushy Popsicle thing sold in a triangular tube that was basically the highlight of every school meal. Yes you had to put up with weird Po’boy sandwiches and awful pizza, but Icy Juicys made having a lunch ticket worth it. I remember looking through the guide once circa 1984 and getting excited once I saw the Brr Grr coupons, then I saw that they all expired on Dec. 31 1977.
Across from the coupons were the house guest gifts. In 1977 you could buy a variety of items with the burger king logo. The items you could get were golf balls, tennis balls, a pen set, an alarm clock, a canvas bag, and a stylish faux Tiffany style desk lamp with the logo and the slogan Have it your way. If you wanted to show off your brand loyalty to the king (suck it Mickey-Ds), you had to buy the items with a check. You couldn’t use trading stamps or proof of purchases, cash was king at the King back in 77. I wonder how much a Tiffany style burger king lamp is worth now, and how big a market there was for golf balls with fast food chain logos on them.
The atlas also had pages full of games which I never filled out for some reason. Maybe I was afraid I would get in trouble for desecrating such an exotic travel guide or maybe I was holding off for an exotic cross country road trip to Delaware. After the games were a few pages with places to see in every state. Then came the restaurant directory followed by the most 1977 page in the entire book. Yes it’s true the Burger King Travel Guide had an entire glorious page devoted to CB Talk.
Like every other non map page in the guide America Loves CB Talk was introduced with a poem.
America loves CBs
Talking on the road
Meeting different people
Helping share the load
And if you’ve got the language
If you’re gonna use the thing
Here’s a CB dictionary
From America’s
Burger King (registered tm sign)
Poem from The Burger King Travel Guide page 19
And they say you can’t make a living as a poet. The CB Talk guide didn’t just have the sayings everyone knew like breaker breaker, that’s a big 10-4 and Do you copy? No it was chock full of obscure CB chit chats no one has used since that one day in 1977 where they had an episode of B.J. and the Bear paying on TV while in the back ground their 8-track of Convoy was reverberating off the wood paneling in the rumpus room. Did you know that Bear was code for police? Starve the bears meant don’t get a ticket while Stepped on the bears toes means you broke the speed limit (or double nickel as it was in 1977). Open season meant cops everywhere and a sky bear was a police helicopter.
I didn’t know 90% of the things listed but I was too young at the time. The CB craze passed me by. My brother as well, in fact he was born one day before the travel guides coupons expired. Like most other children of the 80’s CB radios were one of those mysterious things your Dad kept in the garage next to the 8-track player, then wouldn’t fess up to owning. What are you talking about? I don’t have one of those.
So there you have it. An ode to the road atlas of my childhood. There are pictures going up at if you want to see some quality Burger King swag, or brush up on your CB talk. It’s due for a comeback any day now.

A Childhood Confession

I’ve been working on nostalgia products and checking stuff out on pinterest and I have a confession. Though it’s fun to read posters about idyllic childhoods where you slept under the stars, danced to a scratchy am radio in your pajamas, read under the covers with a flashlight, and watched fireworks over a lake and wished on stars, there is one thing everyone is supposed to have done that I’ve never done. I’ve never caught a firefly in a jar. I’m not really sure I’ve ever even seen a firefly just out in the open. If I have it wasn’t close enough to catch or touch.

I don’t know where you were supposed to go to do this either. It must be a secret kept from me by people whose parents held parties outside in a field somewhere with jar lanterns strung overhead, and artisanal honey and home brewed beer were made available to all. Everyone danced to music played by combination blues, rock and zydeco band with members culled from various 1960s groups who’s song went to at least #16 on the charts, and nobody went home till at least four in the morning kids included.

Oh well. At least I had a Nintendo and then a Sega. Those were fun.



The Environmental Playground

Old yearbook pic doesn't really do it justice.

Old yearbook pic doesn’t really do it justice.

When I was a kid was my first knowledge of the word environmental came from the school’s biggest and most popular playground. It was known as the Environmental Playground. I have no idea how it got this name other than it was made of wood and sat on bark. You would think a 90% wooden playground would be bad for the environment but maybe all those trees had it coming.

There was even one slide there that was entirely made of wood. I don’t know if it was placeholder and they forgot to put a regular slide in or what. Sometimes if you were feeling brave you would risk the splinters, especially if it was a hot day and all the metal ones would burn you. Usually the metal slides were taken over by kids who played hot lava. I forgot how hot lava went exactly but I think you had to climb up the slide and not get knocked down by all the kids trying to push or pull you down. It was violent but so are most kids’ games if you put the children in charge.

The playground was 2 levels and there was an open spot where kids would hurl them off just for the hell of it. One time a kid did this and fell directly on top of me by mistake. Luckily I have strong bones and was fine.

When kids were not hurling themselves off the big playground they would go to one of the other ones and play on the bars and rings. The girls would do things like the cherry drop, and the daddy drop and the double death drop. I am terribly uncoordinated so I never got farther than the daddy drop but that was fine with me. You have to know your limits. I also refused to go down the pole,. So I guess neither firefighting or stripping are in the cards for me.

Every time I pass my old elementary school today, I am glad I grew up back in the day. Now they have one of those super boring looking playgrounds with too much padding everywhere. I kind of wish the old Environmental Playground and I also think it would be a cool band name.

Stuff I Miss: Toys Edition

Welcome to another entry in the ongoing series about stuff I miss.


It was a Saturn looking ball you jumped on that was all the rage in 1988. It was a good way to burn off all that junk food energy you had stored up from your diet of Oreo Big Stuffs and Chicken Littles washed down with a New York Seltzer or some 7up Gold.

Tabletop Arcade Games

All of the rich kids had one of these circa 1983 and they would bring them to school to gloat. I never had one and I still want one but they are crazy expensive on ebay. My parents should have bought me one. It would have been an investment!

Scratch N Sniff Stickers

Do they still make these? I especially remember the little round ones and the ones that were fake products.

Trapper Keepers

They sometimes make newer versions of these but I like the old school 80’s versions with kittens, or unicorns or hot air balloons. I would cover parts of it with vintage scratch and sniff and puffy stickers then I would totally take it on job interviews and pull my resume from it. If they don’t hire me then I would be better off because who wants to work at a place that doesn’t appreciate the awesomeness of a trapper keeper. These are also expensive on ebay. I should have kept all of mine.

The gift Bags at Sanrio Stores

Yes there are still Sanrio stores but now they are crazy expensive places with Hello Kitty purses for 80 bucks. What? Back in the day they had these gift bags for 5$ and if you were lucky you would get some erasers, a puffy pencil box, some pens, some shoelaces, some hair stuff and a purse. All in one bag. There were also boy versions of the bags but I don’t remember what was in them.

 I miss Big Wheels

Nowadays every time you turn on the news they talk about childhood obesity and the fattening of America. I don’t remember ever hearing about this growing up and it’s not like 80’s children never ever consumed any sugar. (See all of the above stuff I miss) The whole childhood obesity epidemic came directly after one thing. The introduction of those powered wheel cars where kids would just sit in them and they would drive you around. Back in the day you had to actually pedal your big wheel and burn calories. I can’t believe I am the only person who has ever made this correlation. Maybe someone should give me a Nobel Prize for this observation or something, because that would look good on my resume and I need all the help I can get. I guess the big evil toy corporations are trying to keep their secret from getting out.


I don’t have any kids yet so I don’t know if these are still around but I haven’t seen any at Target or anything. Anyway the sit’n’spin was pretty much the best toy made ever in the history of the world. The whole goal was to get on and spin until you got sick or tired of spinning. I never got sick. You were the one who actually spun using your arms again burning calories. The faster you moved them the faster you went the goal being to fall over or try and get your sit’n’spin to magically hover somehow. If they made sit’n’spns today they would probably put some lame motor in them and make them go really slow so no one would ever get sick, fall over, or have any actual fun. That way the big corporate toy company wouldn’t get sued.

 Hippity hops

I never had one of these; I only occasionally rode my friends. I miss them though. Are they still made? My kids are going to have awesome toys. That’s all I’m saying.

Check Out my pinterest, There are tons of nostalgic pins for you to enjoy there.




Why is this blog called the Locker Seventeen Blog?

It’s named after my book. I was originally going to do a lot more posts about the book, but then I realized that would get boring fast. So I did the prudent thing, I let this blog sit empty for ages and let it get stagnant like 94% of other blogs out there. Then I decided to start a blog and remembered I had one already, so here we are.

Get it here.