The pharmacy at Rady Children’s Hospital (one of my places of employment this summer) has incredible prices, so when I started feeling ill the other day I stopped by for some Motrin and Ricola, a total of $4.27. I just lurrrve those natural herb cough drops; they taste like winter.

While waiting in line, I was confronted with this large poster covered in medicine flavor options that absolutely blew me away. I didn’t get to take a picture because cameras/cell phones are not allowed inside to ensure patient privacy, but they offered everything from lime to root beer (!) to pineapple. There were a good 30 flavors or so. I’d probably sit next to the sick kids on the rug during story time if I could get a different flavor for every medicine. Geez.

Anyway, the best part about this pharmacy was the lollipop selection. It was as you would imagine a children’s hospital lollipop selection should be. Luckily, they had one of my favorites, the Caramel Apple Pops from Tootsie1 To my childhood self, this was about as good as it got. Green apple Jolly Ranchers were always my go-to flavor when the bucket got passed around after my 3rd grade class was well-behaved, and caramel was…well…let’s just say that caramel is the first thing for which I sought out a recipe. I wanted to know how this slice glob of heaven was made.

I thought it was going to be great. I thought it would taste exactly the same. I thought the culinary enjoyment would match the nostalgia. But eating this pop was not fun. I guess kids like eating hardened nuggets of pure sugar enrobed in almost hardened sugar goop more than I do.

The puresugarblitz of this confection led me to drink two tall glasses of water in the process of eating it just so my mouth could continue to feel like a mouth and not the inside of a jelly doughnut. Not to mention the stubborn caramel that lodged itself so securely on my top left molars that I swore it’d never leave. Added some sugar stalactites to my jelly doughnut.

The funny thing is, though, that I kept eating it. I held out hope that the pop was going to get better. The funny thing is, though, that I kept eating it. When it didn’t, I just bit the rest off, chewed it up (much to the chagrin of my teeth), and swallowed down the ground-up bits with the last swig of water. Pretty gross, I know, but now my stomach can deal with the sugar. Out of mouth, out of mind.

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