Today I ate too many Bugles, the corn chip snack, not the instrument. Yesterday I was flitting through the grocery store on a quest for eggs when a sighting of Bugles stopped me in my tracks. Bugles have that effect on me. The last time they stopped me in my tracks was this past Christmas season. I was visiting my sister in Texas when we both spotted the tasty, nutritionally empty specimens at the same time. We looked at each other, and she spoke first, “Remember these? Bugles were the only snack that didn’t make me sick when we were kids.” In adulthood she would learn that she has celiac disease.
Her simple question, “Remember these?” caused my heart to jump because there are many times I cannot answer such a simple question. I have large memory gaps from childhood, and anytime I can actually answer a memory question from childhood I am pleasantly surprised much the same way that Buffalo Bills fans are surprised when the Bills are faring well. The moment I saw those Bugles on the shelf at the HEB grocery store I saw a snack size package of those buggers flying out of a vending machine at the community swimming pool where we took swimming lessons as kids. She would get Bugles, and I would get Boston Baked Beans, the brown candy-coated peanuts. I’ve always been a sucker for snacks with nuts. But that is all I remember about Bugles, that they were part of our post swimming lesson repast as kids.
When I find something I remember as a child I tend to overdo it in my quest to find answers. It’s like the Bugles could be a possible missing key that will unlock more memories that are unavailable to me. And there I was this afternoon with the bag of Bugles unopened on my counter. I thought to myself that I could use a small snack. I should have known better, these were Bugles after all. With every crunch I would close my eyes, and see if anything would come to me in the form of memories. Nothing. I would crunch them cone end first, then cone end down, to no avail. Nothing except an overconsumption of salt.