Memory is a funny thing.
One second you're thinking about your upcoming wedding.
The next second you're thinking about some great water slide you rode at Wet N' Wild Water Park back in the early 80's.
The next second you're thinking about how artistically cool of a movie There Will Be Blood was.
The next second you're thinking about something that happened to you at a football game involving six packs of Sixlets.
It was a Friday night. I was eight or nine years old. And my mom, dad and I were at the high school football game in Martins Ferry, Ohio, to see my brother perform in the junior high marching band.
Anyhow, we were sitting up in the bleachers and I felt a gurgling in my stomach.
It was candy time.
"Mom, can I have some money for some candy?"
"Sure," she said as she reached into her purse and handed me a couple bucks. "Can you get a Pepsi for me?"
"I'll take a Pepsi too," my dad said staring intently at the game.
Pepsi. Pepsi. Candy. Check.
I hightailed it through the throngs of people - Some young. Some old. Some dirty. Some smelling like alcohol - and reached the band booster's concession stand in no time flat.
A lady at the counter returned my smile and calmly asked "May I help you?"
"Sure, I'll take two Pepsis and...."
I glanced up at the candy section and found myself at a loss for words. There was so much candy to choose from that I simply couldn't decide.
Kit-Kat. Snickers. Hershey Bar. Mr. Goodbar. Lik 'Em Aid. Sweet Tarts. Candy Fish. Sixlets.
Mmmm, Sixlets. Not exactly M & M's. Not even close to Reese's Pieces. But somewhat tasty in its own special way.
Chocolate balls with a crispy candy shell and deep chocolate inside. Wrapped in a plastic cellophane wrapper.
I loved popping off the top of the wrapper with my teeth then shoving as many colored pebbles as I could fit into my mouth.
Sweet, sweet, tasty goodness dipped in a chocolate shell....
"And?" the lady at the counter awoke me from my chocolate daydream.
"Uh, sorry," I said as I shoved my jaw back into my mouth. "And I'll take six packs of Sixlets. The long pack. Please."
"Okay, two Pepsis and six packs of Sixlets. The looooong pack," she said rather mockingly.
The lady brought my merchandise to the counter and I paid my fee. Which was under three dollars by the way.
I grabbed the two cups of Pepsi with both of my hands.
And, I remember this like it was yesterday.
Three packs of sixlets were wrapped tightly around the Pepsi in my left hand.
While three packs of sixlets were wrapped tightly around the Pepsi in my right hand.
As I walked back to the bleachers, I focused my attention on the six packs of Sixlets dangling over my hands like chocolate vines.
The Sixlets looked so good that I couldn't wait to get up to the bleachers, rip the plastic open with my teeth and taste the chocolatey goodness inside.
Mmmmmm, tasty, tasty Sixlets.
Suddenly, these three skinny little black girls popped out of the crowd and blocked my path to the bleachers. They looked about 11 or 12 years old.
"Uh, hi," I said awkwardly as I tried to walk around them.
With these big, wide grins on their faces, they silently surrouned me like a pack of Jurassic Park raptors.
My chocolate Spidey Sense began to tingle. I could feel all the hairs on the back of my head expand. Something just didn't feel quite right.
Then they started to tickle me.
I shit you not.
All three dug their hands into my stomach and started wiggling their little fingers into my ribcage.
"Hey stop it," I started to yell. While juggling the two Pepsis in my hand, I attempted to fight off their tickling advances with my elbows. "Stop it. Stop it. Stop it."
I think I may have even yelled for help.
Then, while one of the girls continued the tickle attack, the other two girls started yanking at the packs of sixlets.
"Hey," I screamed. "No. No. No. Don't."
The packets of sixlets came loose. Then I lost my grip on one of the Pepsis.
You could hear the slow-motion "Nooooooooooooooooo" as the drink plummeted to the ground. It exploded into a brown sludge as it mixed with the track slate below.
Then as quickly as they arrived. The three girls shot off in three different directions and disappeared into the crowd.
There I stood. Violated. Defeated. Exasperated. And a little bit pissed.
I just got mugged for six packs of Sixlets.
With tears rolling down my eyes, I returned to the bleachers and told my mom and dad the fantastical story. My dad shrugged it off like it was normal. My mom gave me a hug.
"Don't worry," she said. "We'll go down at halftime after your brother gets finished playing and get you some more candy."
As the football game continued on the field, my thoughts reverted back to my terrifying tickling attack. I just couldn't shake it.
True to their word, my parents and I went back to the counter at halftime and ordered another Pepsi. They also ordered me a couple packs of sixlets.
However, as I bit into my first pack of sixlets on the way back to the bleachers, I kept my eyes peeled for another onslaught from the tickling bandits.
To be honest, the sixlets didn't taste that great at all either.
It must have been the bad taste in my mouth from the mugging.