This Dazzling Digital Age

If you're someone who grew up with smart phones and Google, then I'm about to say something that only a truly old person can appreciate. And having just celebrated my Sweet 16 (if you happen to be dyslexic), I'm someone who is continually Ga-Ga for Google. (Awesome alliteration.) And one of the things I most grieve about my brother's early demise is that he didn't live long enough to own a smart phone. It's the kind of thing he would have loved. As long as I'm talking about him, here's a picture:

He and his family were visiting a "dude ranch" on their way to visit us in Oregon one year when this picture was taken. I don't think I ever saw him looking so happy and relaxed before or after. 

But that's not what I'm here to tell you. I wanted to tell you about my trip to the grocery store today, because I know you'll be hanging on my every word before I'm finished. Yeah. Grocery shopping. Be still my beating heart. Actually, there's more to it than that. By the time I'm finished telling you about it, I'm confident you'll agree that this whole episode is Emergency Blog Post worthy. So here goes:

For my Baking on Friday project, I wanted to try this cake I found on Desserts for Two: it's a Red Hot Cinnamon Apple Cake. And the recipe calls for one half cup of red hots. You know, that candy those of us born in the 14th Century used to eat. And while I'm here, I just want to point out that Red Hots are a fat free food. (I'm reassured knowing that the cake I'm baking qualifies as health food.)

So while I was at the grocery store, I looked, and looked, and looked for Red Hots. I could find Hot Tamales and Atomic Fireballs, Red Vines, Mike and Ike, and those red cinnamon disks; but no Red Hots. Seriously crushed by my lack of success, I asked one of the folks working at the store for assistance. Have you ever noticed how colossally unhelpful that usually turns out to be? They tend to take you right back to the shelves you've already gone over with a fine tooth comb and then admit that they really have no idea where they are either...or whether they even carry them. And in this case, it was especially depressing because the young woman helping me obviously had never heard of Red Hots. Like I said, it's a candy for people who grew up before the great plague years of London.

So I gave up on the Red Hots, and decided to look at a different store. Only I couldn't resist a parting shot to the cashier who asked me if I found everything I was looking for. 

"Everything except the Red Hots," I quipped.

She too was younger than my unborn grandchildren and looked at me like I was from outer space. "Red Hots?"

"Never mind," I said. Explaining it was more than I could bear at that moment.

So I loaded my groceries into the car and drove to the Safeway just across the street. When I couldn't find the Red Hots there either, I pulled out my trusty and (at that moment) astonishingly beautiful smart phone and started to type into the Google:

"substitute for red h" 

Before I could even finish my search question, the Gods of Google suggested this question:

That'll work, I thought. Well, no. It really wasn't helpful. It just told me that hot tamales were probably a bad choice. So I want back to my original question which was to be "substitute for Red Hots". This is what I found:

Okay, I said to myself. (Have you noticed how often I talk to myself? It's worrisome, let me tell you. Even more worrisome is the frequency with which I lose arguments with myself.)

So I clicked there and scrolled through some of the answers and lo and behold:

OF COURSE!!!!!! I practically yelled it out loud, but managed to restrain myself. And sure enough, when I went to the baking aisle, THERE THEY WERE!!!!! Well. Don't you know, I kicked up my heels right there in the middle of the aisle. Truly.

And since I'm a really terrible judge of volume, I picked up two of these little bottles because it didn't look to me like I could get a half cup out of just one.

So, there you have it. It's my I--Google-and-Smart-Phones story of the day. I hope you didn't come all this way for nothing.

17 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dasha said...

I seriously love Google too. LOL. I had just finished saying to the Other Half how I love the graphics they put up each and every day before I started to read this post. I think us OAPs (a.k.a. dinosaurs) have a capacity for being awed and grateful for things a lot of the younger generation just take for granted.
What a lovely photo of your bother. Thanks for sharing it.

Marei said...

You had me zigging and zagging here...picture of your brother, then red hots (did she go to the movies) then hot tamales (LOVE THEM), then Google....but I hung in there and got the drift. You love Google. Well.....um....yeah! I keep wondering how you and I were able to get through High School without Mr. Google. It's a miracle I tell you.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Geesh - why didn't my name pop up?? I have 4 boxes of Red Hots in my baking supply cabinet - and that's funny to me because I don't bake - HA! I found mine in the local dollar store (candy aisle).

Anonymous said...

Glad you found the red hots. To second what Vrooman's Quilts said - the dollar stores carry a nice variety of candy from 'our generation'. I found Chuckles at Dollar Tree and just last week, DeMent's Turtles at Dollar General. Hubby was browsing and found Mary Janes (yes, that is a brand of candy and not just a euphemism for a recently-legalized-in-some-states 'medicinal' drug for certain health issues) as well as Cow Tales and other candies. I was surprised to find them still being made.

Teresa F.

Vicki W said...

I am so attached to Google that I tell people that I sold my soul to Google. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Oops! That should be tails, not tales. Goodness, I might have to turn in my grammer police badge for that!

Teresa F.

Junebug613 said...

I love my smartphone! I was a little behind the rest of the world (a year or two), but now, I can't imagine how we survived without them! Google is awesome (and sometimes down right scary) at how it predicts what I'm going to ask.. Hooray for finding what you wanted!

Dana Gaffney said...

You could have used that fancy smart phone and called me I would have told you where they hide them, Not a fan of Google.

gpc said...

You are an excellent judge of volume. Half a cup is 4 ounces. That's what you bought. Brilliant. :) Can't wait to hear whether the cake was worth the effort!

Barb H said...

Hooray for Google! Interesting that the humble "Red Hots" have now become "Imperials." :)

liniecat said...

I SO love your sense of humour, I am guaranteed a chuckle or two reading your posts.
I may never look squarely at cinnamon cake decorations again without thinking of you in the cake aisle LOL

barbara woods said...

Now i know where to look for them, thanks Barbara

Doreen Auger said...

LOL!!!! Been there (only looking for something else equally obscure & age related)!!!!!! You had my attention for every word!!!!!!

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for sharing the pic of your brother with us!
Who knew Red Hots would be such a treasure hunt! Now I'll have to look for them at the 99 cent store.

Tami C said...

Actually, as close as I have been the the computer world, I am just now learning just how much information you can get from Google!! Thanks for sharing!

Kate said...

I'm convinced that the world would collapse if we didn't have Google. It's especially useful when the teenager asks me about the value of chemical constants that I've not used since I left school (which was back in the dark ages).

Brown Family said...

I am glad you found them. I go to a candy store next door to a quilt shop once a month. I think they have real Red Hots. I would be glad to check for you! I remember ( I am the only one in the family that does) my Mother making an Apple desert using red hots. She cut up apples ads if for a pie or cobbler, added water (I assume) and red hots. She topped it with canned biscuits buttered and sprinkled with cinnamon. I have gone through her recipes and can not find it.