There was a time when “just add water” was a way of life when it came to drinks. They came in various, delectable forms — mostly powder and frozen.
The number one drink in our household had to be Kool-Aid. Picking out the 10 packets or so every time my mom did the major monthly grocery shopping run was a real treat. I liked just about everything, except the purple stuff.
But that wasn’t the only plus about Kool-Aid. The other reason for buying it was to get the points to redeem for crappy things you’d play with once and then they’d end up in a Balikbayan Box to the Motherland.
Most packets had 1 point on them, but the ones coded in yellow were often worth 2 points (probably to promote that flavor). I remember cutting out the points, which could probably fit on my thumb, and gluing them onto some scrap paper (This site does a great job of illustrating it). It was so time consuming, especially when you had 1500+ points. Also, if the inside of the package was not properly rinsed out, my fingers would look like I dipped them Rainbow Brite’s butt.
The two prizes I recall ever getting from Kool-Aid were a radio-controlled Kool-Aid racecar and the Dancing Kool-Aid Man. The RC car was pretty neat, actually. It was quite heavy. I guess guzzling down the artificially colored stuff with cups and cups of sugar was worth it. The Dancing Kool-Aid Man was pretty neat too. It was so much better than those dancing flowers with the shades on.
It’s been probably more than 25 years since I’ve heard the packet being slammed against the counter to loosen up the colored powder. Kool-Aid eventually got replaced by Sunny Delight, then Sunny Delight California Style (i.e., not so sour because Californians are so not like that), then Tampico, then Tampico Pineapple Banana, and so on. Basically if it came in pre-mixed in a giant jug, I was drinking it.
Seeing the “Belly Washers” drink made me realize things haven’t changed. And “Belly Washers” seems like the opposite of what it’s doing to your insides.
Lesson Learned: Just say “No” to colored powder and water.