I was a late comer to the world of pop culture history and appreciation. Obviously my childhood was spent immersed in the worlds of G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Thundercats. But that doesn’t count. That’s just stuff you’re into as a kid.
In high school, I didn’t really pursue anything. No sports or clubs, save a brief tenure as school newspaper writer and editor. I couldn’t help that. The advisor was an awesome, coffee-swilling, chain-smoking former journalist that remains one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met.
In college, I tried to get into music. And by “get into music” I mean downloaded songs on Napster by the thousands. I was able to use what little musical knowledge I actually possessed to swindle my way into a job at the local hip, indie record store. I faked my way through dozens of conversations with hardcore music fans about artists I’d never even heard of with the following formula. No matter who the artist is, be they a band from fifty years ago or five, you always say you loved their second album, then they lost you for a while, but now you kinda dig some of their new stuff. Seriously, the effectiveness percentage of this gambit is in the upper 90s. Try it.
It was in this dank retail dump that the first symptoms of my obsessiveness began to show. A coworker would play an album over the store speaker system; I’d like it and go home that night to download every single thing they’d ever recorded. We were allowed to take home used CDs to listen to at night. I’d take home handfuls and copy them with the thought that one day in the future I’d probably listen to them all. I still haven’t.
Nowadays I’m really into retro pop culture. Sadly, my sickness has evolved past having a normal passing interest. I can’t just watch one Godzilla movie. I have to watch all the Godzilla movies. I can’t enjoy a few old episodes of He-Man, I have to watch all the episodes.
And then there are the things I don’t even really enjoy but feel that I have to consume because they are famous or important. Case in point: Ken Burn’s documentary Baseball. I loathe baseball. Loathe it with the fiery hate of a thousand burning suns. I don’t want to watch it. I don’t enjoy watching it. But I need to have watched it. So far, it’s taken me two separate viewings over the last six months, but I am proud to report that I am 22 minutes in. Only 18 hours to go.
Ken Burns’ most palatable work is The Civil War, even though I’m not very far into that either. But I do have an interest in the Civil War. It’s not enough to read in-depth about it or anything, but I did buy a shirt during a pretty fantastic visit to Gettysburg a few years ago. The Civil War is tragic, and triumphant, and epic, and just amazing.
Sepia photos and fife music. Dammnit. Warms my insides. And I’ll be goddamned if a letter to a wife from a Union soldier the day before a battle doesn’t melt my icy heart completely. When I think of a man in a tent in some backwoods creektown somewhere, swilling mud-thick coffee and taking the time to handwrite his sweetheart an elegant love letter, it makes me ashamed that I live such a pansy-ass life. Forget the marching and the shooting and the warring. Just the thought of handwriting a letter makes me feel a little tired.
But you know what would make that a little better? Yea, that’s right, you guys! I brought all that around to flavored envelopes. I know. I even impressed myself with that one.
Flavorlopes are “the tastiest envelopes money can buy,” or so says their Twitter bio. They produce a line of envelopes in A7 and #10 sizes that come in a variety of flavors. Well, the adhesive on the envelope is flavored, not the whole envelope. That would be ridicu- hang on. (Note to self: edible flavored envelopes.) Ahem.
So far they produce envelopes in grape, strawberry, apple, cherry, and orange. And they have a seasonal line, yet to be released, offering candy cane, caramel apple, candy corn, chocolate, egg nog, and gingerbread.
This is the #10 variety pack that comes with five envelopes in each of the five aforementioned fruit flavors. Each envelope comes with a decorative strip under the flap (technical term?) indicating what flavor your about to rub across your tongue.
I enjoyed the apple flavor the most. It tasted like a green apple Jolly Rancher. Orange came in second with a taste very similar to those orange stick candies you find at places like Cracker Barrel. The strawberry flavor tasted very plasticky and artificial, though not terrible. The cherry variety recalled a harsher more medicinal Luden’s cough drop, and the grape, the cheapest of grape-flavored candies. Whatever the adhesive base consists of, it did not play well with the latter three flavoring agents.
Flavorlopes is an interesting novelty and the presentation is nice, but overall, a bit of a disappointment. Two out of five is a poor showing, but there’s room for improvement, and the seasonal line could have some potential. When the holidays roll around, I’ll jump in for round two.
See what I mean about my life? I’m complaining that flavored envelopes don’t taste enough like the real thing. Did they even have fruit on the front lines in Gettysburg?! Ugh. I disgust myself. I’m gonna watch another 11 minutes of Baseball. I need to hurt.