Here's the Scoop: August 7, 2013

Still hooked on fish sticks
Every once in awhile, I think it’s healthy to slow life down and reminisce about times that were spent at a more leisurely pace. In reality, the periods being fondly recalled were almost certainly filled with their share of stress — it’s just not as vivid, thanks to the fuzzy blurring provided by the passing of time. Still, whether memories are 100 percent accurate or not, there are some that stand out boldly from the rest. The truth about these recollections is for others to decide.
I recently experienced quite a flashback when I somehow convinced my wife that having fish sticks for dinner would be a good (or even survivable) idea. I had purchased the fish sticks during one of my ventures to the supermarket. This was, of course, another incident where I had gone “off the list” in my grocery buying.

I can make these!
Nevertheless, this item fell under my heading of an “emergency meal” (translation: for whatever reason, I was doing the cooking) one night last week. In my defense, the fish sticks I had purchased were the “good” kind and likely even contained some real fish. Plus, these fish sticks actually had pretty decent flavor. Quite a catch, I thought proudly.
As I was munching on this quick and easy meal, my mind began to wander to my earliest encounter with this food.
“You know,” I told my wife, “I went through a Fish Stick Period as a teenager.”
She had undoubtedly heard this fish tale before, but it was too late for me to stop. Ignoring her rolling eyes, I continued.
“Yup, I think it was during the summers when I was 13 and 14 — too young for a full-time summer job,” I blathered on, swept away on the Nostalgia Train of my memory. “So, I passed away the two months at the end of school in much the same manner every day — sleeping late, bouncing a tennis ball off the house, listening to AM radio and eating a box of fish sticks for lunch,” I dreamily told her.
“Gosh, I can almost taste the fish sticks!” I added.
“You dummy, you’re eating them right now!” she laughed. Oh, yeah.

Working up a thirst
Then she helped me out a bit more. “Don’t forget the part where you washed down your lunch with about a gallon of Hawaiian Punch every day,” she chimed in helpfully.
I had almost forgotten that detail of my healthy diet and thanked her.
Let’s see, where was I? Yes, I had the notion that working on my arm strength for hours on end each summer would be helpful in achieving my dreams of becoming a professional baseball player.
My wife said she understood the “practice makes perfect” concept, but as the former manager of a health food store, she was a bit baffled by how the fish sticks and Hawaiian Punch fit into my scheme.
“Well, back then, there wasn’t such an emphasis on a healthy diet. Food was food. Especially for a growing teenager. I guess I thought the fish sticks and punch were the PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) for my baseball career, although I always thought of it as Performance Enhancing Dining,” I explained.
— Brian Sweeney