Sweet Pickles, and the bitter disappointment of youth

July 24, 2006 § 3 Comments

I’ve been tagged by The Random Muse to discuss the obsessions of my life.  There are probably too many to name, so this could get ugly.  But I will indulge you with one obsession that I had for a very long time in my life.

I grew up overseas and over in the Phillipines or Taiwan (or wherever the hell I was that year), and we didn’t have Saturday morning cartoons.  Y’all heard me right – NO CARTOONS.  But my various family members and friends of my parents back in the states took pity on us.  They taped them on VHS and shipped them to me so I didn’t miss out on the adventures of the Smurfs or Shirt Tales, etc.

However, my favorite part of watching these tapes over and over again were the commercials.  The commercials would almost always feature kids getting off of their yellow schoolbus and walking home from a bus stop.  Now, let me state that I never saw a yellow schoolbus until I moved to the US.  Ours was always a government bus, painted black on the outside and mint green on the inside.  And there was no such thing as a "bus stop."  We were all dropped of at our individual homes due to, um, security measures, so obviously the yellow schoolbus was FASCINATING to me.

Once these kids got home, they’d all run straight into the kitchen and this is where all the glory began.  Their mom would turn around with a tray of cookies fresh from the oven, and the kids would pour themselves a pitcher of kool-aid from a Kool-aid Man pitcher!  Most of the time my mom was either  volunteering or going to dances and things at the base.  The only person I came home to was Nenna, our maid, who always fed me american cheese & mayo sandwiches on white bread.  Yes, I just typed that.

But the most memorable commercial to me was the Sweet Pickles commercial.  These were a set of books that were advertised via tv.  The commercial always showed them arriving at the lucky kid’s house via the Sweet Pickles Bus, hand
delivered by the Sweet Pickles characters (giant costumed animals).  Their jingle went something like "Smart moms know how kids’ minds grow….upon Sweet Pickles!"  I begged and begged my parents to bring the Sweet Pickles bus to our door, but they just weren’t having it.  I’d get other books (ie. OTHER BOOKS NOT HAND DELIVERED BY A BUNCH OF FURRIES RIDING IN A GREEN PICKLE), but I was always disappointed.  I just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t just come to me.  ME!  I was good, I liked to read… in fact, I had no friends so I could devote myself to reading all the time.  Wouldn’t the citizens of Sweet Pickle find me to be most worthy of a delivery?!

So there I was, enduring the bitter disappointment of youth.  Soon we moved to the US and I realized that suburbia wasn’t entirely Sunny Delight commercials or Norman Rockwell paintings.  I became immune to all the temptations of a far away land via VHS, and indulged in some things that made me forget the feeling of want. 

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§ 3 Responses to Sweet Pickles, and the bitter disappointment of youth

  • hakeber says:

    You know what’s weird… I remember having those books, but I don’t remember the commercials at all.

  • Brooke says:

    Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve been trying to remember the name of the ‘furry animals in the school bus’ forever!!! I don’t remember the ads or books, but I had a school-bus shaped box filled with recipe cards that I absolutely LOVED!!! Thank you so much for posting this!!!!!

  • sky says:

    ha! Upon googling for “sweet pickles animal commercial” this popped up. I had to comment because the only time I ever saw these commercials was on a tape my grandma sent to me while I was living in Greece as a military brat.

    Black commercial coach school buses and armed guards at our school are also fun memories of my childhood.

    Funny enough, I also thought at my young age that the books would actually be delivered via fun bus. I never did get Sweet Pickles or those awesome wildlife cards. My mom probably told me “they don’t ship to APO addresses”

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