Ask and ye shall receive

Three times in my life, various producers of unnatural food products have hooked me with their goods and then yanked them away once my love was firmly established.

The refreshments of choice at my grandparents’ house were Hi-C Ecto Cooler and peanut butter Twix. I have heard tales that Ecto-Cooler still exists, and I am in no position to doubt them, because I know it outlasted all other forms of Ghostbusters promotion. But that was not the beloved part of the junkfood equation.

It was the peanut butter Twix. My grandma kept them in the freezer. I’m not sure why, but she did, and so we always ate frozen peanut butter Twix.

It was a completely different experience. When you eat a hot or room-temperature peanut butter Twix, it’s pretty much just like eating a normal Twix. It just kind of falls apart, it’s chocolatey, it’s gooey, whatever.

But when it’s frozen, you can dissect a peanut butter Twix with your teeth. I’d carefully pry off the ends, and then chisel away the sides all down the length of the cookie. Those sides were like the concrete reinforcement that kept the peanut butter fastened down. Once that was gone, the peanut butter had no anchor. Then the trick was to shear the remaining chocolate off the top of the peanut butter without prying it from the cookie. Once that was gone, you could eat the peanut butter solo, followed by the naked cookie.

I think it was around the time my grandma passed away that peanut butter Twix disappeared. I was talking with my friend Jill down at the Daily Nebraskan one day about how I loved peanut butter Twix, so we decided to place a phone call to the number on the back of regular Twix.

I was overjoyed when the customer service representative informed me that peanut butter Twix was coming back after the beginning of the new year (I think this was like 1999).

My second lost love was Mello Yello. I’ve told far too many people the story of how I lost Mello Yello in a Hinky Dinky parking lot in 1996 and then found it again in a western Nebraska gas station in 2000. I’m afraid I’ve stripped the story of its meaning by overtelling it. But just know that I loved Mello Yello, it was taken from me, and then it came back. Also in 2000.

The consistency of those dates is actually irrelevant and deceptive, because my third love has nothing to do with 2000. In the spring of 2004, Arby’s introduced two beautiful new sandwiches under the banner of “Sourdough Melts.” They had a beef and cheddar and a ham and swiss.

Then after about 2 months, they were gone.

I stepped into Arby’s this past weekend to meet my friend Nate. The first thing I saw, in the menu panel that briefly boasted the new gyro, was a backlit pane adorned with sourdough melts. “They’re back!” I shouted. “Ooops, sorry,” I said to the counter attendant when I realized I just shouted in his restaurant.

They’re fantastic – exactly as I remember them. The goopy yellow cheese on the beef and cheddar still tastes and feels like melted plastic as it sticks to your teeth. The ham and swiss is unrivaled in the fast food world. I had sourdough melts 5 times between Saturday and Monday afternoons.

The nice lady at the counter told me they’ll probably only be back for a month. So go eat them while you can. And I think I should go buy some peanut butter Twix and Mello Yello now that I’m thinking about it.

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