Remember when box drinks were the beverage of choice for a bag lunch?
In the summers I went to a day camp in my town. The campers had to bring their lunch everyday. Virtually all the lunches were in brown bags, and everyone brought a box drink. The box drink was a little box containing a very sugary fruit juice in it. Orange and grape were the most popular flavors. A plastic straw shrink-wrapped in clear plastic was glued to the back of the box drink.
I loved box drinks. By lunch time I could see the condensation that had collected on the cold box drink seeping out through the paper bag. Lunch was fairly typical for that time – peanut butter and jelly, baloney, and always on white bread – but the box drink was what I really waited for. I would save it to the very end, and then enjoy the rush of sugar before returning to the drudgery of kickball or soccer.
The box drinks had brand names like “Ssips!” or “Motts” or “Juicy Juice” or “Hawaiian Punch” or “Capri Sun.” Capri Sun was not really a box; it was an aluminum pouch that required special skill to pierce properly with the draw. The few times I had to do the drink got stabbed so many times that I knew I could never be a doctor or a nurse. I needed a box to pierce the foiled aperture. What a satisfying feeling it was, driving that plastic straw through that little circle of foil into the sugary drink within.
I don’t know if box drinks are still in use today. If they are, people are drinking them when I’m not around. Kids today probably bring real juice drinks bearing names like “Naked” or “Vitamin Water” or “Nantucket Nectars” or maybe even the occasional “Snapple”. And their parents have to take out a home-equity line of credit to buy these drinks that, I am sure, are healthier and tastier and bigger.
But until you’ve drained a Ssips! in one sip, or pierced a Capri Sun on the first try, you have not really lived.