When I was about eight years old,in maybe 1978,I went with my grandmother to North DeKalb Mall. This was a grand mall, not very big and built in, I think, the 60s. It is barely a shadow of its former self now, but I have an enormous backlog of memories from a lifetime spent of visiting it. Back then, North DeKalb Mall still had a supermarket attached to it—I think it was a Big Star. Anyway, it was Christmastime, and near the registers there were the usual stacks of holiday cookies, crackers and candies. And there was a GLORIOUS display of these giant suckers, flavored lime and cherry,colored green and red, the colors sparkling in the sunlight through the store windows. Each one was different as the colors/ flavors blended together in individual patterns on each sucker.The festive lollipops were beautiful, and I had always wanted one of those giant things—-these were about six inches in diameter.
They were $5.99, which back then was a lot, and although my grandparents spoiled me, they were still cheap. Still, y grandmother relented when I asked for one of the suckers. Joyfully I started unwrapping it as she paid for her groceries, and once we got outside the store, I had the wrapper off, anticipating the first taste…
…..and it broke into a hundred pieces. Somehow I couldn’t tell it had been shattered inside its wrapper and it simply crumbled into dust in my hands as Grandmother fumbled around in her purse, not even seeing the disaster unfolding.
I am embarrassed to say I burst into tears. Once Grandmother saw the demolished lollipop at my feet, she quickly assessed the situation and hauled me back inside. The next part is a blur—I don’t think she blamed the store, as it wasn’t their fault that some schmoe had busted up the suckers, but she somehow did convince the store manager(?) to give me another one. She made me wipe off my face and thank him, and off we went, me happily unwrapping a new, unbroken lolly and Grandmother probably very relieved that she didn’t have to deal with a crying kid on the way home.
And oh what an amazing lollipop it was. It took me three days to finish it, but it tasted AMAZING.