Lollipops and Popsicles: Two Generations of Sticks

Sticks - Lollipop and Popsicle - in my familyMy dad came of age in the 1940s.

Everyone smoked in the 1940s.

Every morning, he would reach for a cigarette. He smoked Kool. As he got to a certain point in life, he surely realized smoking was not cool.

However, he like many of his age and time period, was already addicted.

My dad quit smoking when he was 60. He went cold turkey. No bumming a cigarette here and there for him either. He got to the point where he could not stand having cigarette smoke around him.

While I can’t attest to his mindset as to why he quit, I can tell you his secret.

It was the sticks.  Lollipop sticks that is.

My dad’s new addiction was lollipops. He preferred Tootsie Pop lollipops to be more specific. I don’t think it was the sugar that he craved though he certainly had a sweet tooth. No, for him it was about the stick that remained after the Tootsie Pop lollipop.

Anyway, it got to the point that those lollipop sticks were everywhere in the house, my dad’s office, and his car. Where ever he was, a lollipop stick was not far.  Yes, a chewed on lollipop stick was always lurking.

To confirm what you may be thinking, it was gross. However, the other option of stinky cigarettes that made my dad hack up to the point where it scared me was much worse.

So, I choose the sticks.

BR is slim. This is not because he has a healthy diet. This is not because he is always active. This is not because he has those type of genes.

BR takes medicine for ADD. An unintended side effect of the medicine is that his appetite is suppressed. He goes through long stretches of the day where he is not interested in food. Sometimes, he complains of nausea.

There is one food that BR has never turned down – popsicles.

Every morning, he goes to the freezer to reach for a popsicle.  BR eats multiple popsicles throughout each and every day.

By the way, my wife makes the popsicles from sugar free juice. The popsicles are not my wife’s greatest recipe thought it is surely her most appreciated.

BR eats the popsicles down to the stick. In fact, he often bites the stick as well.

As you must know, chewed up popsicle sticks are nasty. And these nasty popsicle sticks can be found in BR’s bedroom, in our sofas, and on the computer desk.

Now, I would rather BR eat a healthy nutritious diet in which popsicles are not the staple. Well, at least he is eating.

Ultimately, I choose the sticks.

I’d like to think that somewhere, my Dad – who shares a name with BR – is smiling about the new generation of ‘sticks’.