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July 13, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Wong View

A tale as old as time, a search that all have endeavoured: the quest for the Pop Tart.

The ‘Pop Tart’ resembles two sheets of rectangular, beige cardboard, sharing a strange, coloured substance (also known as ‘filling’). However it is much, much more. This ‘filling’ is three parts sugar, one part love. It is love that many children have had since it first was put in our pantries. Be warned. One bite and you will be hooked.

The quest is one that comes with many hardships. A dusty journal lies on my table, open at the stained (perhaps Pop Tart grease?) pages. The first page reads:

I wake up in the dumpster. Thud. Goes my head. Thud.

It’s nighttime. Neon lights reflect off the pools of broken glass and drunken vomit. Red white and blue. It’s a patriotic symbol for a country that needs an intervention.

Thud.

My head is killing me.

Why am I in the dumpster? I don’t know. I must have been hit from behind. Either I was distracted by something or whoever got me was just that good. Either way I’m a sucker.
My hands are stained with red. I hope it’s not blood. There’s something white on my sleeve. I raise it to my lips. Taste it.

Icing.

I was close.

I look at my hands. Could it be? I taste.

Nope, just blood.

But the icing was real.

I think I’m close.

Strange. But that is what a Pop Tart does: its hold is merciless.

My own search took me to four major supermarkets in Wellington, only to be disappointed, time and time again. Surprisingly, not many knew what a Pop Tart was. After a brief description, here are alternatives suggested by supermarket assistants:

1. “Shrewsbury”, the biscuits endorsed by Griffin’s brown, happy bear (A little too happy for my standard). Was this a joke? A biscuit as a substitute for pastry? However, I am not fazed. Moving on to next supermarket.

2. “Watties’ Toasties.” After describing the said Pop Tart, this is the solution they offered. Perhaps they fail to understand how it is savoury. My patience wears down.

3. “Poppadoms.” I give up.

The tale in the journal shares a similar story. A few pages after the first, I find:

I met her in the alley behind the bar. Just like my third wife. She looked like a supermodel. Skin like honey, hair like silk.

She also had a gun pointed at my face. Again, just like my third wife.

“What do you want?” she said.

“Breakfast.”

“In this part of town?”

“Cut the bull, sweetie, I want the pastry.”

“Don’t call me sweetie. And I don’t have it.

“Bugger.”

“I know where to find it though.”

“Then why don’t you go get it?”

“Let’s just say I need someone who knows how to wield a toaster. You know how to toast, don’t you?”

“Baby face, that’s what I was born to do”

Pop Tarts, the timeless breakfast (or rather anytime) treat continues to plague the hearts of many. Hot or cold, the choice is yours. But where to find them? The question is never-ending.

She left me a note. I found it in my left shoe when I regained consciousness.

‘I would have shared them, you know. But I love strawberry.’

I don’t blame her. I’d do anything for them too.

It takes a big man to know when he’s beat.

I guess it’s toast for breakfast this morning.

You’d think that our tastes would change. You’d think we’d grow up. It’s a tale as old as time. You’d think that after twenty-three beers and a questionable apple spritzer, the last thing you’d want would be searing hot jam in a soggy pastry container. (Also in Chocolate Banana Split, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge flavours, either frosted or unfrosted).

Seems that we would be Wong.

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