By Danny Boy Bent
UK in the 1980s. The good old days. When after school you'd jack up your tape player, slap on some neon lycra and celebrate the end of communism whilst you combed your mullet to the beats of the Pet Shop Boys.
But the real highlights were whilst at school. At lunch time. The moment you reached into your A-Team (with original, and best, characters) sandwich box. Your right wrist, sporting slap-on bracelets, reached past the scratch and sniff stickers that emboss the plastic casing and into the box with one thought in your mind.
"What crisps will I have?"
There, behind the neatly cut, slightly soggy (your E.T. drinks bottle is still leaking) sandwiches, and beneath the Club biscuit, you feel the crackle of the plastic bag containing your crisps.
If you're lucky, you might have Skips, Discos or Squares. A slight letdown but still kinda fun are the Salt 'n' Shake crisps where you add your own salt. Disappointment sinks in if you pull out a pack of Walkers plain crisps in the distinctly uninteresting red packaging. But what every child is looking for, hoping for, praying for, is to pull that packet out and see that their Mum has done them a solid, has handed them the holy grail of crisps, has put in the tingle on your tongue, melt in the mouth, sweet yet bitter, crunchy knockout gastronomic hit — Monster Munch!!!
Any mother worth her salt knew not to bother with the smokey bacon ones, or roast beef. It's all about the Pickled Onion flavour! (Yes 'flavour' — how it was written by your properly spoken English ancestors before laziness and insolence made people start reducing the letters in words.)
You may be picking up some annoyance in my tone. And you'd be right. Because here I am looking at a US Website that has put Monster Munch on its list of the worst snacks of all time ever!!!!! Our much loved Monster Munch. The cornerstone of the British schooling system, the staple of every 7 year old's diet.
Yes, they were full of salt, lard and oil, but who gives a shit, right? At that age you're gonna live forever and you're just after a taste sensation. And that’s what you got with every single mouthful. And when I say mouthful — in those days, the crisps were huge, almost impossible to eat in one bite. Many choose to nibble off the toes before consuming the circular foot. But for me it was all or nothing. Put it all in and scrape the skin off your mouth as you bite down. It was all part of the fun.
So here I am, reaching out to the American public, the American consumers, those with taste and discretion and true values. I appeal to you. Please disregard this website, ignore it, add the address to your System Security as inappropriate — offensive even. In doing so, you show support of Monster Munchers across the world. Do so and I may even turn a blind eye to the American spelling of flavour when you declare, "I love Pickled Onion flavor!"
Danny Bent is the author of You've Gone Too Far This Time, Sir! and Not All Superheroes Wear Capes: A Cross Country Relay Against Terror.
Check out Taquitos.net's reviews of Monster Munch:
More pickled onion snacks: