June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!10. Popcorn

Chewy and flavorless.  Yes, there’s salt and butter, but why not just have the toppings and save yourself the hassle of those annoying bits that get stuck in teeth?

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!9. Shepherd’s Pie

Ground beef?  Love it.  Mashed potatoes?  I like.  Corn?  Sure.  All three together? Disgusting!

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!8. Candied Fruit

I still don’t understand why anyone would add these to anything.

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!7. Max the 2000 Year Old Mouse

Every day, my sister and I would rush home to eat lunch and watch The Flintstones.  And, everyday, we would have to sit through a five minute episode this poorly animated Canadian “edutainment” production.

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!6. Sol en Gobelet

I didn’t even watch this show about two creepy clowns.  Merely channel surfing by was enough to give me nightmares.

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!5. Swimming lessons

Every Sunday morning, my sister and I would have to get up and join fifty other kids in a cesspool of cacophonous commotion.  Try not to brain yourself against some other unwary swimmer blindly swimming the backstroke!

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!4. The AFC East – but the Jets and Patriots in particular.

Back in the day when there was no such thing as an NFL package, fans were at the mercy of their local broadcaster. And so, every Sunday, instead of watching my beloved Raiders (back when they were actually good!), I would have to sit through the abysmal play of the Jets and Patriots (back when they were actually bad!). Honorable mention goes to the equally terrible New York Giants whose games used to monopolize the 4:00 p.m. slot.

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!3. Road trips to Toronto

Every year, my parents used to pack us into my dad’s Ford LTD and we’d make the exhausting 6 hour trek to Toronto for my grandmother’s birthday.  My sister and I would complain and my father would say: “Your grandmother’s getting on.  She’s going to be 99.  This will probably be the last time we make this trip.”  And: “She’s going to be 100.  This will probably be the last time we make this trip.”  And: “She’s going to be 101.  This will probably be the last time we make this trip.”  My grandmother lived to 112.

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!2. Wagon Wheels

Ceeripes!  I couldn’t imagine a worse waste of calories than these chocolate-covered graham cracker-sandwiched marshmallow “treats” my grandmother used to serve us when we’d go visit.

June 11, 2014: Things I Hated When I Was A Kid!1. Sunday school

If it wasn’t swimming lessons, then it was early-ish morning bible study.  Sundays just weren’t my day.  It’s even tougher when you’re a minister’s kid.

39 thoughts on “June 11, 2014: Things I hated when I was a kid!

  1. Joe, are you saying you’re a Preacher’s Kid (PK)?

    Swimming lessons: I hated them. One winter, must have been very early grade school, Mom got me up on cold Saturday mornings for a 30-min. drive to indoor pool. I’ve blocked most of that experience from memory; vaguely remember how cold it was, even in the pool itself.

  2. Well, I still love popcorn AND shepherd’s pie (what shepherd came up with it, though?) I agree that I don’t get candied fruit at all. It just tastes like sugar, so why not just use gummy bears or something? I remember Max, but I don’t remember anything about him, and those clowns are freaking creepy!

    About the Wagon Wheels – I used to LOVE those as a kid, or maybe it was just because my mom always packed them in my lunch. I guess that’s why I came to think of them as a poor man’s Vachon Jos Louis. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos._Louis) I actually bought some Wagon Wheels recently for old time’s sake. Apparently, they have been downsized. A lot. They’re practically bite sized now. No less graham crackery, though. And still not nearly as good as a Jos Louis.

    Haha, from the time I was very young we used to do road trips to Toronto to visit my aunt and uncle – a 16(!) hour drive that we usually broke up by staying at my other aunt’s and uncle’s in Montreal overnight. I hated that drive – and the 401 is still probably the most boring highway I’ve ever driven right to this day.

  3. Great, now I’m craving a Vachon “Ah, Caramel!” Those things were grossly delicious.

    A few pics! These are just from my iPhone since I haven’t had time to download the good camera ones yet.

    Twin Falls at Lynn Canyon:

    Brandywine Falls, south of Whistler:

    Peak2Peak gondola between Whistler and Blackcomb:

    Brandywine Falls: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/gforce2002/media/E9AD98E4-1CAA-4D89-BF85-0A107F6B0B79_zpsycornwqu.mp4.html

    Shannon Falls: http://smg.photobucket.com/user/gforce2002/media/EF2DFD78-835A-47B7-9BA3-CB27A5221FFF_zps9p7trljg.mp4.html

  4. I hated the swimming lessons at the crack of dawn in an outdoor, unheated pool. That was fun since the water was always just short of being ice.

    And switchbacks. I absolutely hated the switchbacks around Sproat Lake on the way to Long Beach. I remember sitting in the back seat looking out the window when we were way up the hill and seeing the tires right on the edge of the road and rocks falling away below. I still hate them to this day.

  5. Wagon Wheels are apparently a re-branding of Moon Pies, a food most popular in the Southern U.S. It’s said they have their origins where Marshmallow Creme showed up in a coal company store and the miners would sandwich graham crackers and the Creme together mostly because there wasn’t much else to do with Marshmallow Creme.

    It’s more a make-do kind of food, a snack where a large portion doesn’t cost much. Foodies aren’t supposed to like it. I’m not sure anyone loving it was ever the point of it.

  6. Wow…I’m with you on a lot of those…

    1. Shepherd’s Pie – still hate it, along with Hamburger Helper anything. GAH-ROSS!

    2. Candied Fruit – the cruelest ‘candy’ ever created…especially when it’s combined with rum-saturated cake. I mean, to get to the good stuff (the cake and rum) you have to go through a mine field of rubbery, tasteless fruit! If they were big enough I’d just spit ’em out like watermelon seeds, but if they were too small or too many I’d just skip the treat altogether.

    3. Swimming lessons – mom took me and my sister when I was about 5, and my sis was about 10. I was extremely shy and I HATED to perform in front of others. I was so embarrassed just being there and can remember to this day feeling like everyone was watching me. I stopped going after a few lessons and today I cannot swim a stroke. Heck, I can barely float. My sister, on the other hand, did very well and later became a lifeguard and scuba diver. Me? I’m just a slug. 😛

    Things we’ll just have to agree to disagree on…

    1. Popcorn – I loved it then, and I love it now. I especially love burnt kernels that are not fully popped. When I make popcorn (I do not use the bags, but pop it on the stove in just a little sunflower oil), I layer it with freshly grated pepperjack or cheddar cheese as I transfer it to a bowl. I don’t care for butter on my popcorn (thus the reason I don’t use the bags – they always have some sort of buttery flavor), but prefer cheese, and sometimes a seasoned salt. I like the texture of popcorn, and have learned to eat it very carefully to avoid breaking any more fillings. 😛 🙂

    2. Wagon Wheels – While I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those, I do (or did, before going GF) adore their tasty cousins – Mallomars and Whippets. I could always count on grandmom having some on hand, and since we rarely had cookies (or sweets in general) around the house at home, going to grandmom’s was always a special treat in more ways than one. And if she didn’t have Mallomars, I could always count on her having a box of bridge mix stashed away in the sideboard. 🙂

    Okay – what else did I hate when I was a kid? In no particular order:

    1. Vegetable soup. Mom always put canned tomatoes in it, and they reminded me of blood clots. 😛

    2. Pink cake. Long story, but it involved projectile vomiting. 😛 😛

    3. Visiting Aunt Myrtle. She was a lovely, kind lady – but her home was absolutely sterile, void of anything a child could be interested in. And she talked – a LOT. So that meant that I would have to sit (like a lady) for hours with nothing to entertain me, while mom and Aunt Myrtle droned on and on and on and on and on and on…

    Heh. Now I know where I get it from. 😀


    4. Liver. ‘Nuff said.

    5. Santa Claus. Yes, I said it…out loud even.

    6. Public speaking, talent shows, Christmas pageants, fashion shows, school Halloween ‘parades’, and anything else that involved me standing up in front of the class making an ass out of myself.

    7. Recess/Gym class. I can’t catch, I can’t hit, I can’t kick, I can’t run, I can’t jump, I can’t throw, so why the hell are they making me do this shite?! Absolute nightmare for me.

    8. My first and six grade teachers – married couple, old school, and obviously prejudiced against left-handed students who could slant their cursive letters.

    9. Clothes shopping with mom – it was like going to Aunt Myrtle’s, only with the added humiliation of taking your clothes on and off twenty-five times and then parading the ‘outfits’ in front of mom…and half a dozen curious onlookers. Ugh. 😛 Probably why to this day I just buy 12 sets of the same black shirt and stretchy leggings combinations and pray that they’ll last me a few years before I have to go into hell the mall again.

    10. The Osmonds. ‘Nuff said.


  7. I loved popcorn and homemade ice cream. Everything was homemade because we could not afford the “real stuff”. Of course now I know, homemade is the real stuff.

    I hated mashed potatoes. My mom said, “eat it while their hot and it will taste better”. Uh, no. But I love them now.

    I hated peas. One pea was vomit enducing. But I love them now.

    I hated liver. Love it now.

    We had a Ford LTD Station Wagon. I thought it was the coolest car! Long bench seats in the front, and that cute little fold out seat in the very back. But mostly I loved the air conditioning and automatic windows.

    And I can’t believe you admit to not liking Sunday School. Shame on you! You obviously weren’t in MY class. I taught 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School for many years. You would have LOVED my class!

  8. I’ve never minded road trips. I actually enjoy them, as evidenced by my 10,705 mile trip to Alaska and back again that was the grand poo-bah of road trips.

  9. @ das – You’ve got to try Hamburger Helper Spagetti and add a can of tomatoes. Mmmm good! 🙂

    Oh and I hated meatloaf. Love it now.

  10. @ Ponytail – I’m nauseous just thinking about it. There is a long story about me and Hamburger Helper. It also involved projectile vomiting… 😛 😛 😛


  11. Totally agree on the candied fruit.. just wrong on so many levels. I’ve had good and bad car trips, just depended on how much Mom and Dad were fighting… In California those Wagon Wheel things were called Scooter Pies, and they were terrible, but it was because of that gawd-awful chocolate flavored coating. So waxy and plastic at the same time.

  12. Ha! I’m a PK. I feel ya! I avoid church like the plague.

    I love popcorn and shepard’s pie! Kettle corn is awesome. I make an amazing Shepard’s pie. 😛

    I was in Olympic swimming training. That was intense. Six days a week. The coaches were relentless. To this day it’s hard to get me into a pool.

    Those clowns.. ugh. I think they’re the brainchildren who came up with candied fruit.

  13. Shepherd’s pie, properly made, can be very tasty.

    @gforce: I’ll see your highway 401 and raise you Interstate 88 in Illinois – 140 miles of mind-numbing highway-hypnosis inducing corn and soybean fields

    Things I disliked as a kid:

    1. Pound cake: My mother made it with lemon pudding mix. I was an adult before I discovered the regular stuff, which I like. My late mother-in-law gave me a great recipe.

    2. Fish: my mother was old school, which meant that no food was safe to eat until it had been cooked to the consistency of shoe leather. A Friday night feature in our house was halibut baked in milk. I think the milk was supposed to keep the fish moist. It didn’t. Yuck. You can include fish sticks and breaded fried shrimp in this category..

    3. Okra: the nasty slimy bits found in my Campbell’s vegetable soup. My late father-in-law taught me the proper way to eat it – dusted with corn meal and fried!

    4. Early morning swimming lessons in that cold outdoor community swimming pool; but I’m glad that I learned to swim. Why did they torture us like that?

    5. Sunday morning catechism. I dreaded it so much that sometimes I would be physically ill at the end of mass.

    I agree with the candied fruit. Nasty stuff.

    I will counter with “Weird stuff I liked as a kid”:

    Spaghetti with olive oil and fried garlic. (spaghetti aglio e olio)
    Liver and onions.
    Chicken livers. (my dad and I would fry them up with a little garlic salt and herbs – yum!)
    Bologna wrapped around a dill pickle.

  14. 112! She really was a grand grandmother.
    I just remember hating Tang, Mama made for us in summer. Puagg.
    The AFC East cant be worst than sunday soccer matchs in tv.
    I enjoyed road trips to see the family. Those clowns are very creepy.
    No edutainment cartoons here all plain & good Warner Bros & Hanna-Barbera stuff.

  15. My dad was in the Navy, so our road trips were long cross-country drives, three or four days at a shot. I found all the different parts of the US fascinating. To this day I love watching the scenery roll by.

    I hated tomatoes as a kid. I wouldn’t even eat ketchup. And now they hate me back.

    Giving talks in church. My parents never forced me, but the people I spent a summer with did. And they made me watch the baby, which was dumb, I was only eight and was the baby of my own family. Not a maternal bone in my body. They’re lucky I didn’t do something horrible and misguided.

  16. Urgh! Can’t stand popcorn . . . then and now . . . for exactly the same reasons you state.

    Shepherd’s Pie – If you’re using beef then it’s actually Cottage Pie. Shepherd’s Pie should be made with lamb. I don’t mind it. Just make sure it has plenty of Worcestershire Sauce in it.

    Candied Fruit – Yep, disgusting. I usually halve the recipe amounts when making fruit cake or stollen.

    Swimming Lessons – My Mum was a swimming instructor so I actually learned to swim before I could walk. I vaguely remember doing swimming lessons as a kid but since I could already swim and we always had a pool at home I don’t remember hating the lessons.

    Wagon Wheels – Yum! The Australian version also has jam in them and I think the biscuits were something other than Graham crackers.

  17. Wagonwheels… although the “Chocolate” was a mixture of wax and brown resin, I loved those damn things. Pretty sure that marshmallow could have saved a drowning child while still tasting delicious.

  18. I love popcorn AND Shepherd’s Pie. I actually make a bad ass version of SP with Guinness. It’s one of my signature recipes. But we can still be friends.

    Funny stuff about the trips to see Grandma. It’s almost Seinfeldian.

    Candied fruit? *puke* Cannot stand it.

    Swimming lessons? Loved them. Mostly because I became much more advanced than my friends. When I went to day camp in the summer, they had a wristband system that graduated from white to blue to red, based on proficiency. My first day, I got my red band, which meant I had the run of the lake. And was the only kid to do so on the first day. So that rocked a little.

    The only time Wagon Wheels don’t suck is when you heat them to melting. Instant s’mores anyone?

  19. Oh dear,
    for the first you hurt me a lot. “Sol et Gobelet” is one of my most vivid happy time when I was a kid…
    as it was La ribouldingue…
    and Startrek…
    Perdus dans l’espace !!

  20. Personally I loved swimming as a kid, I think learning to swim is more a mental challenge then physical, I found really that once you put your mind to it, it comes naturally. Never really had any problems there(Though in fairness, I had use of a large pool with not that many people around lol).

    Also Shepherd’s Pie is pretty good too, though I wouldn’t ever buy it frozen, either make it fresh or buy it fresh from a store.

  21. Narellefromaus: Waves!

    Das: Glad you moved the snake. Also, I’ll never look at diced tomatoes the same way. So thanks for that! 😛 FYI, My dad was a lefty.

    Mr. M.: I learned two things about you, you’re a preacher’s kid and you had a grandmother that lived until 112. Incredible! Good genetics or did she live a healthy lifestyle? It’s funny but when I see the news interviewing a centenarian asking them what their secret of longevity is, it seems they always say something like “I ate lots of bacon/eggs and had a beer every day”. 😉

    You had a pretty sweet childhood. I never got to take ANY lessons because we had no money. Swimming happened at a creek/river that had leeches, snakes and crayfish. I bet you didn’t have to wear shoes while swimming?!

    I’m sure I’ve overcompensated with my son. He had swim lessons starting at 6 months old and can swim like a fish. He had piano lessons (he asked) starting when he was four and switched to saxophone when he was twelve. He’s had French and Spanish lessons. If he sounded interested, we signed him up!

    The good thing about being poor though, is like Ponytail said, everything was homemade. FYI, Homemade milkshakes rock! Homemade dresses….not so much. My mom was no seamstress.

  22. That brought back some memories. I agree with Sparrowhawk, shepherd’s pie made properly can be very good.

    I absolutely hated going to German school on Sat mornings. We missed Sat morning cartoons and that was back in the days of 3 channels and no PVR/VHS/DVDs. I was so disgusted with it that I refused to speak any German or participate in class. The school thought I was slow and put me in a “special” class in which the teacher brought different animals every week and lots of games and arts and crafts. Worked for me. My folks didn’t seem to clue in even though I was fluent in German and straight A’s in regular school.

  23. @Sparrow_hawk:

    3. Okra: the nasty slimy bits found in my Campbell’s vegetable soup. My late father-in-law taught me the proper way to eat it – dusted with corn meal and fried!


    Forget boiled (you end up with slimy snot).

    Forget baked.

    Fried in cornmeal is the only way to go.

  24. i hear you on the candied fruit.
    as for swim lessons, i wasn’t in anything deeper than a plastic kiddie pool until mandatory swimming in the 9th & 10th grades. got some basic lessons then, but still can’t really swim. fat floats though.

    as for stuff i hated when i was a kid;
    school. everything about it, especially gym class.
    most vegetables. i still do.
    tomatoes, but got back into them later in life.
    i spent one summer hating milk. which was bad because that’s what they gave you with lunch in school.
    dressing-up (or wearing “nice” clothes) i was afraid to do anything that might dirty the clothes. i still don’t like this.

    i’m sure there’s more, i just can’t recall it now.

  25. Thank you oh so much for posting the photo for Sol en Gobelet and sharing the nightmare. I am so not going to sleep well tonight. I actually liked clowns as a kid, then I watched Poltergeist and Stephen King’s It. Not such a big fan of clowns any more.

  26. I never hated swimming lessons. I liked them quite a lot. (I loved, and to this day love, the smell of an indoor, chlorine-scented pool.) But when I had these lessons, at 6 years old, I was frightened of jumping off the diving board. It wasn’t even very high, objectively, but when I was up there, it seemed WAY TOO HIGH. I’d get to the end of the board, stand there trying to get up the nerve to jump into the waiting arms of my swim instructor, hold up the line for everyone else behind me, and then turn around and walk back to the ladder.

    Finally, after several lessons of this, my mom goaded me by saying, “I’m not going to take you for lessons anymore. All you ever say is ‘I can’t! I can’t!’ How do you know you can’t? You don’t even try!” I didn’t want to lose the chance to go to swim class, so I resolved that I must jump off the board the next lesson. When I finally did, I jumped so hard that I sailed right over my instructor’s head and landed behind her. While in the air, I saw where I was heading and panicked, thinking, “She’s not going to catch me!” Luckily, she was able to rotate the whole 180 degrees, and tragedy was averted. After that, jumping off the diving board was okay, but I’ve still never learned to actually dive, even off the edge of the pool.

    No shepherd’s pie? You’re insane. Or else you just haven’t had a decent shepherd’s pie. You must not like stew, then, either. Doubly insane.

    I like popcorn, but it has to be freshly popped. If it’s been sitting around for too long, like a lot of movie theatre popcorn when it’s not a busy night, I don’t want it. My oldest brother is like you; he detests getting popcorn bits in his teeth, so he eschews it no matter how freshly popped it is.

    People put candied fruit in their fruitcake to make it look pretty when they cut a slice of it. It looks like Christmasy stained glass. I like the cherries well enough, but the other pieces (the rectangular ones of unknown provenance) are just kind of there. I could do without them, as they really add nothing but colour to the cake.

    Never saw either of your hated kiddie TV programs — thank goodness. In Detroit, we only got CBC, not any other Canadian network. So I watched a lot of Friendly Giant and Mr. Dress-Up, both of which I loved.

  27. I love your list, it brought back some of my own childhood memories.
    – didn’t love popcorn as a kid, but I do like it now when I go to the movies
    – not a fan of shepherd’s pie, although my husband makes a tolerable one
    – despise candied fruit!
    – Max the 2000 Year Old Mouse! Wow, that brings back memories. I also grew up watching the Flinstones (and Max) during lunch.
    – swimming lessons; weekly lessons offered by our school, absolutely dreaded going to the pool
    – Wagon Wheels — gross!
    – Sunday school. I think you once said that your Mom was a United Church of Canada minister? My sibs and I also used to go to UCC Sunday school. It was hard having to give up a weekend morning for that. As a mom now, though, I sometimes wonder if should send my kids back to church!

    My family also used to make the long trek up the 401 every summer to Toronto to visit family. Unlike you, we absolutely loved road trips, and T.O. is such a great city for kids (Wonderland, Centre Island, Ontario Place, CN Tower, the zoo, Ontario Science Centre… who doesn’t love that?).

  28. I learned to swim in our backyard, above-ground pool. I swam with an inflatable life preserver, and my dad just let out a little more air every week until it was empty and I was swimming on my own. Pretty smart, eh?

    I hated everything to do with church: mass, catechism, and confession, from bad to worse. I don’t think a kid needs to go to confession, seriously.

    I hated the annual Jerry Lewis telethon because it took up one of our 4 measly stations for 24 hours, hours I could’ve been watching reruns of Daniel Boone or Mannix.

    I hated fish sticks day at the school cafeteria. So disgusting, made from frozen of course. Lima beans were the worst thing my mom ever tried to feed us, except for liverwurst, which really no one should taste before age 18.

  29. *waves at Joe* I’ve just popped in, for the first time in ages and see you are mixing up your Shepherd’s and Cottage. I’m sure you’ve already been told though ;).
    Your grandmother though, wow! You don’t need to go and have those medical MOTs: you’ve got longevity genes there. 🙂
    I like popcorn, cottage pie (or Shepherd’s if I have leftover lamb), glace cherries, swimming lessons and even wagon wheels. Well I assume I like the latter, I did when I had one about twenty plus years ago. And road trips, I don’t mind those either, as long as I’m driving. It takes me about 15 hours (plus a ferry) to get to my mum’s place.

    As for me the one thing I truly hate: swede.

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