What is Fun Dip, you ask? It's powdery sugardust you eat off of edible chalk. It's packets of goodness in various fruit flavors. It's a treat seemingly forged exclusively for kings. It's anything you want it to be. It's Fun Dip.
I can't recall the first time I tried the stuff, but certainly, it's been around for a while. A long while. A miles-long while. In fact, it's actually a much rarer find these days, as singular candy packs have swapped out their former trump cards in favor of more chocolately foods. I don't remember how it all started, but I've always loved Fun Dip. My childhood best friends were all in Little League, and whenever there was a game, the whole damn neighborhood would go down to the miniature ballfield to feign interest in a bunch of little kids smacking Louisville Slug Thuggas over batting tees. Obviously, I was never in the Little League, and the closest I ever came to a baseball glove was my failed attempt at crafting Freddy's clawed glove with one for a Halloween costume. I still went to the games, though. Aside from having nothing better to do than sit with a bunch of mothers and their tagalong two-year-olds, I couldn't pass up the chance to hit that stupid snack shack as repeatedly as possible.
Aside from Slush Puppies, Fun Dip was the shack's top seller.
I'd buy one, sneak to a spot where no one could see me, and pour the three envelopes of sugar down my throat as quickly as possible. Then I'd return to the shack and repeat the process. Over and over again. Endlessly. These ballgames weren't things of finesse, but they were played at length. By the time the 7th inning rolled around, the amount of Fun Dip in my intestines would've supplied enough energy to hit that damn ball straight to Mars. At least, that's what I was told. Everyone felt sorry for the boy who didn't play ball.
Honestly, I didn't care. The sixty-seven packets of sugar threw me on trips so intense, I barely knew where I was anyway. Most of the time, I thought I was in an alien zoo where all the strange, purple creatures were forced to don clothing advertising the local locksmiths and tackle shops while throwing around spiked maces drenched in fire. I'm not sure what's in Fun Dip, but it makes magical things happen. Plus, it's sand you can eat.
Should I say it again?
SAND YOU CAN EAT.
You've really gotta consider that for a sec. It's sand...and you can eat it. Hence, 'sand you can eat.' I still love Fun Dip, but admittedly, it's for kids. And if there's one things kids always wanted to try despite their better judgment, it's eating sand. During adolescence, sand spent way more time in my mouth than anything put on the dinner table. It never worked out quite the way I wanted to -- tasted rather terrible, actually, but I couldn't give up hope because why would God invent sand if we weren't supposed to eat it? I refused to believe that sand's only purpose was to be dyed and distributed into empty glass cola bottles for boardwalk festival kiosks. I don't know how Lik-M-Aid did it, but they finally made the shit edible. Today, we relive the glory of Fun Dip. The sand you can eat.
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Obviously, this is the most recent version of Fun Dip. Over the years, there's been many changes to the available flavors. In the great Blue Raspberry Boom of the late 90s, Lik-M-Aid was there. These days, the public is more demanding, and the flavors reflect it. Don't get me wrong - most of the stuff tastes the same. Still, gone are the days when what we ate could simply be called 'cherry' or 'orange.' No, now it's 'Blasted Super Cherrybomb' and 'Orange You Glad You're Eating Orange.'
Each of the flavors is compartmentalized into their own little envelopes. It takes a masterful skill of paper-ripping to separate the flavors without lots of spillage, so scissors are recommended. The pack I picked up had three different flavors - other Fun Dip varieties have just two, and some only have one. By this logic, I assume my package of Fun Dip to be three times the fun. Also take note of the clever atomic dust creatures representing each flavor. That's what I used to see after the 63rd helping at those Little League games. They seemed much scarier back then.
To eat the sandy candy, you're supplied with two Lik-a-Stix. They look like chalk, but taste sort of like a really bland Smartie. While they're no sporks, the Lik-a-Stix definitely get the job done. Without them, you'd have to use your fingers, and if you're six, your fingers are covered in snot and urine and worm guts. When picking up your Fun Dip, always inspect the package closely to make sure that your Lik-a-Stix are still in one piece. Ain't nothing worse than broken Lik-a-Stix. Fastest way in the world to turn this bitch into Sad Dip. Keep your eyes open and you hands feeling when raiding the candy counter.
There's the sand. Okay, it's much softer than sand, but there's some clear associations shown. You don't get a whole lot of it, but the amount is ample enough to get your heart racing and your tongue doing those weird gymnastics thingies it does whenever you eat something intriguingly sour. Some people, like myself, prefer to simply 'drink' the sand straight from the envelope. It's tough to resist, but that just robs you of the chance to eat the Lik-a-Stix. Really, it does - those things just don't taste good enough on their own. They need sugar. Sand-like sugar. Blasted Super Cherrybomb sand-like sugar.
For those who've forgotten, here's how it goes: you lick one of the Lik-a-Stix, making sure to soak a good amount of it with your holy saliva. When finished, you must rush the stick into the envelope of sugar before your saliva dries. If done correctly, the sugar will pile atop your stick like magic. Yeah, some of it will spill. Yeah, most of it will spill. But the grains of sugar that touched the saliva portions of the stick? Those will stay. This is, bar none, the stupidest article on the site. So what? Fun Dip deserved a tribute. Let's examine the three flavors...
The latest version of cherry is called 'Cherry Yum Diddly-Dip.' Suffice to say, the last thing I expected to eat today was Cherry Yum Diddly-Dip. Cherry is typically my favorite flavor in the universe of candy, and it's no different with Fun Dip. A complete in-tune mix of sweet and sour, just like the Chinese perfected for use with slimy chicken. In a bright red, almost-pink hue, cherry has always been the cornerstone of Lik-M-Aid's conglomerate. Since candy knows no seasons, it's one of your only avenues to taste sweet cherries all year round. This stuff looks like the shit Joker and Catwoman turned half the UN into on the first Batman serial. I wonder if Fun Dip turns into the ambassador of Chile if you rehydrate it.
Secondly, we have 'Grape-Yumptious Dip.' I hate grape. If there's anything grape isn't, it's yumptious. I'll go for the occasional green grape, and maybe even a red one - but once they make the translation to candyized flavors, it tastes too much like cough syrup. Cough syrup without the added edge of ending your tormenting symptoms while making you giddy and sleepy. Crappy cough syrup. Not yumptious at all. The Beggar's Usual, grape only comes in handy if you have to share with someone else.
The final flavor is a real doozy, and indicative of the public outcry for wackier, more in-your-face candy. 'Razzapple Magic Dip.' THE DIP THAT WENT INSANE. Yes, the package boasts that the sand not only changes color with your spit, but also flavor. From blue raspberry to green apple? Can it be done? Here's the results, as best I could photograph:
Well, they do change colors, but mostly to your tongue. Going from a proud blue to a disgruntled green, the taste of this dip is pretty hard to describe. It's odd, but good. Good odd. Though now that they've done this, Pandora's Box is open. Who knows what they'll come out with next? I mean, Fun Dip is complicated enough as it is. Most candies only require you to shove them down your throat. With Fun Dip, you've gotta use chalk to collect sand from three different envelopes before getting anywhere near the first swallow. Making some of the flavors change colors and flavors is fueling things enough - I'm not sure how much more we could take. Whatever, I'll still stand by Lik-M-Aid. Fun Dip doesn't have the caramelly wonder of a Snickers or the stale crunch of a Butterfinger, but it's got one thing going for it that no other candy can stake a claim at.