1. Little Debbie Snacks
There is nothing about Little Debbie Snacks that isn’t nearly religious. The Cosmic Brownies, the Zebra Cakes, the two Orgasm Cookies sandwiched together with a liberal slathering of Hope For Humanity Cream commonly referred to as Oatmeal Cream Pies — it is truly our ambrosia. All of the cakes hold hands in a delicious demonstration of diversity that even the most politically correct college brochure would be ashamed by. You don’t need a favorite, you simply need an open mind and an empty stomach. The Little Debbie world is one of no pain, only sugar and vegetable shortening.
2. Fish Sticks
We managed to turn something that was once relatively healthy into something that is breaded and deep fried and rendered palatable to three-year-olds who normally don’t eat anything outside of ketchup and things they find on the floor. We will never be too good for fish sticks.
The second you think you’re too good to go home and have your dad put together a bologna-and-cheese sandwich on white bread with a side of chips, because your mom is not home and the kitchen utensils intimidate him, is the day you need to check your privilege. You are getting too out-of-hand with this whole “I’m an adult who eats real meats” thing, and it’s time you remember from whence you came.
4. Corn dogs
I think we should all take this opportunity to officially thank the mad scientist who decided, on a whim of sexual genius, to insert a hot dog into a luxurious cornbread batter and immediately deep-fry the results. A well-executed corn dog with a nice dip of spicy mustard is the kind of food that some Greek demigod is being brutally punished for against some giant rock for all eternity because he stole that recipe straight off Mount Olympus itself.
5. Haiwaiian Punch
Stains the entire lower half of your face red and tastes like running through a sprinkler on the first really hot day of summer. We are simply not worthy.
I’m not even talking to you if you don’t still have a soft spot for Kool-Aid. If one of your favorite activities as a child wasn’t sneaking a little bit of that precious powder from the cupboard, licking your finger, and using that shit as the world’s most low-budget version of Fun Dips, we have nothing in common. You might as well not have even had a childhood.
7. Count Chocula/Cap’n Crunch/Fruit Loops/Fruity Pebbles/Lucky Charms
One of the most inarguably precious things about adulthood is the ability to buy yourself as much sugary cereal as you like, and eating it at whatever time of day your lil heart desires. The fact that you don’t have your mom over your shoulder telling you to put the Captain Crunch back, because it is the middle of the afternoon and you are lucky she lets you eat that colorfully-boxed diabetes as it is, makes every cloying bite all the more satisfying. Enjoying a bowl of Lucky Charms with your Saturday night Netflix marathon is a pleasure that should be denied to no human.
8. Pop Tarts
Don’t even worry if they never actually make it to the toaster. That is a level of effort that Pop Tarts were rarely meant to see, and they are just fine at room temperature. Those little pairs of frosted pleasure are not here to judge you for your inability to wait thirty seconds for something to heat up, they know you have a job to get to. (Just remember to never, no matter how stoned you are, put them into the microwave with their wrapper still on. That is the Gods’ just punishment for our folly.)
9. Hi-C and Capri-Sun and Sunny-D
Capri-Suns literally turn you into liquid metal, and trust me — you are never too good or too old for that joy.
Remember the kid who, upon opening his lunch box at school or on a field trip, proceeded to make every other kid within a two-mile radius searingly jealous because he was in possession of Lunchables, and you were stuck with your pathetic PB&J like a plebe. That kid’s parents really loved him, and cared about him looking cool, and wanted him to have those adorable DIY pizzas and a mini bag of Skittles to chase it down. (God forbid he got one of the XXL Lunchables and opened it next to you. That is a repressed childhood memory I have no intention of revisiting.)
Now, you can be the cool kid at that lunch table any day you damn well please. Enjoy.