When Inflation Came to Beech Bluff

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seacowboys, Sep 27, 2008.

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  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Pepsi bottles used to have a penny deposit so if you picked up five off the side of the highway, when the ice-cream truck came by late in the afternoon playing the circus music, you could buy a wonderful treat with two wooden sticks called a "fugickle". Mr. Henry's store, where you got the deposit pennies for your bottles had fugickles too, but they just didn't taste the same as the ones from the ice-cream truck; I never did find out why.
    Some days, you had your nickle and just couldn't wait on the ice-cream truck so Mr. Henry's fugickles had to suffice, or maybe a pepsi instead; they were all a nickle until one day, the ice cream truck driver said that the fugickles would be a quarter each! No warning, just five kids with nickles wanting fugickles and the ice-cream man turning into a monster. We rushed to Mr. Henry's store to tell him and he looked down for a minute then drew a deep breath and said his fugickles would still be a nickle until he could afford to pay us more for our pepsi bottles but that everything was going up and we needed to start bringing in at least ten bottles to get a fugickle, if we could find that many.
    The ice cream truck still came around each day and some of the kids in the newer houses would still chase him down and get ice-cream but they didn't usually get fugickles,; they always got the ice cream cones with nuts that costed a lot more so they weren't overly concerned about the increase in fugickle prices. The rest of us would pretend to be busy hunting bottles alongside the road, we didn't need his over-priced fugickles anyway, not as long as they could still be had at Mr. Henry's store.
    One afternoon, we found a bonanza of bottles, cokes, pepsi, orange crush, Diet-rite...nearly a hundred of them thrown in a ditch alongside a little picnic stand...a real treasure trove that required an emergency trip back to the house to get Mike's new red wagon to haul them in. We were reveling in the thought of how many fugickles we could eat in just one afternoon: might even share them with some of the rich kids. We loaded the wagon with bottles, which now brought .03 each, a fortune! More fugickles than we could count! Off to Mr. Henry's store and the door was locked. Mrs. Henry has a son that sold cars and he saw us standing on the porch with our faces pressed to the window wondering where Mr. Henry was. He got out of his car and said that Mr. Henry had gone to the hospital in Jackson and that they might have to sell the store.
    Weeks went by with no deposit coins or fugicles while we waited. At first, we continued to stockpile our growing collection of bottles but with no where to sell them, they started to develop more value as BB-gun targets. Until finally, one day the store re-opened and we rushed down to see Mr. Henry but there was a new sign on the window and a new person behind the counter. We marched over to the ice-cream box and got our fugickles and pulled Mike's wagon onto the porch and the new proprietor said that that would be .35 each and he didn't want to fool with bottle deposits.....
    When we explained that fugickles were 5-10 bottles each, he laughed and mumbled some about "no wonder Henry went broke.."and told us to call our Momma to bring money for the fugickles. That was the last time that I ever ate a fugickle until today, nearly half a century later. I heard circus music in the distance and stopped what I was doing to listen and remember, years rolled away and I found myself almost in tears at the sweetness of the memory and knew that I had to have a fugickle. When the ice-cream truck made its way down the road, I waved it to a stop and ordered a fugickle, he handed me one but it only had one stick! I tried to explain that they have two sticks but he assured me that this was the way they all came now so I reached into my pocket for change to pay him....$3.50....but damn, that was a good fugickle!
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