Saturday, December 1, 2012

Things On Sticks

I don't know whose idea it was to put things on a stick. Musta been a pretty smart cookie though.

Human beings have probably been putting stuff on sticks since the ol' opposable thumb thing happened. Maybe some dude or dudette was eating Tyrannosaurus rex drumsticks one night and discovered they have a knob on the end that allowed them to pick up their food without having to put their fingers all over the end with the meat on it that they were going to eat. And the next day when they were spearing fish or small rodents – they said to themselves, "Hey, maybe I'll just leave it on the stick to eat it."

It's a mystery lost in time. But I'm pretty sure it lead to popsicles and other neat things. 'Cause things on sticks are cool.

Things on sticks isn't the same thing as 'sticky things' but sticky things are great when put on sticks. Candy apples to name one. Marshmallow brooms and all-day suckers are pretty sticky if you let them heat up in your pocket for a bit.

(not an actual tag line)
When I was a kid, popsicles (invented by mistake by eleven-year old Frank Epperson in 1905) came with two sticks and a dent running down the middle that helped you break the popsicle into two when you hit it against the corner of the building outside the store (while still in the wrapper) to share with a buddy. You had to eat them right away while sitting on the curb on a hot summer day because even with your 3-speed Supercycle they wouldn't last if you tried to take them home. And the great thing was if you saved up all your popsicle sticks you could glue them together and make boxes for trinkets or death-defying jumps for sandbox dinky toys.

And you want hot? Get yourself a hot dog dipped in batter on a stick and you save yourself the cost of a bun. If you're into lining small bits up and eating them in a row, give yourself over to exotic yogurt-marinated lamb kebabs or Thai chicken satay with a spicy peanut sauce.

Cold or hot, it's all about convenience and allure and most of all, it's all about the stick. About the only thing that isn't better on a stick is anything thin, slippery and long; like spaghetti... or worms. (Although I hear snakes on a stick are great... with cinnamon.)

There's a phrase in Dutch that goes, "Alle gekheid op een stokje." I don't speak Dutch but I'm told it translates to, "All the silliness on a stick" – and is what people from Holland say when they want to say, "Joking aside," or, "Silliness is great but let's get down to business." The fact that they make it a point to put their silliness on a stick says to me that they recognize that sticks make even silliness better.

This made me realize that things other than food can be put on sticks to make them go from good to great.

So, of course, this week I went around putting things on sticks. I think they look much better.

You can do your bit to make things better too.  


  1. Some of my ideas could go on a stick. I'm just not sure if that would make them go from good to great. It might actually make them worse.

    And it would encourage everyone to take them OUT OF CONTEXT. We would then all agree that they had gone from good to great.

    You have such grand ideas, Rand. Easy and ready to use with the added bonus of making me feel wonderfully smart, with none of my edges blurred!


    1. Ha! Thanks Lynn Marie! (I try, actually I'm very trying :o)

  2. I suddenly realize that it's been a long time since I've had a banana popsicle, and that might have to be rectified. Or a banana on a stick that's been dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts. Yeah, you're right, everything is better on a stick!

  3. You had me all the way to the 'snake' bit! :)
    I remember our childhood Dentist handed out lollipops after a check up-guaranteeing a return visit I think.

    1. Hiya Karin! We never got lollipops. It sucked to be us. lol