Dear Sweet Tooth, Let Me Fill You In by John Gorman

I’m thirty-seven years old and I love pop tarts. It’s not the pop tart part I’m embarrassed about, but some of the goopy lengths I’ve gone to eat them. When I get a craving, which is way too often, gang way. Take this past Tuesday as an example. I was all geared up to do my life-coaching seminar at the Ramada Inn, and from like outta nowhere I got this Strawberry jelly-filling urge that wouldn’t quit. I kept sniffing my Strawberry-scented air freshener, I almost licked the damn thing.

What was I going to do?—I nearly hit the divider. I did the only sensible thing I could think of, I took a detour off I-95 and stopped at the Filler-Upper. Got my fix, but I was late to the seminar and they slapped me with a demerit.

It’s not all about the jelly-filling either. If you wanna know the truth, I’m not a big fan, tastes like that dental goop when you go in for a cleaning. I’m more of a crunchy kind. I also have a sweet spot for frosting. What I don’t get is how anybody can not like frosting, boggles the mind.

Anyways I was out walking Rusty the other night, a sweep of stars like a pimply-faced kid dotted the sky and the moon looked like a nautilus doing stomach crunches. I passed the Manitoba kids selling their pissy lemonade, passed the VFW and Miller’s Crossing. Halfway into the schoolyard I noticed something peculiar: one of those pop-up foody shops. You know, some celebrity pastry chef selling overpriced cup-o-joes and starfruit scones, that sort of thing. Rusty had to take a whizz so I let him do his business, I checked out the curiosity.

This pop-up café had the granddaddy of pop tarts. It must have been a foot long, it wasn’t the size I objected to, and the broccoli shavings looked ridiculous, but whatever. What really irked me was the line of hipsters snaking all around the schoolyard.

I did the only thing a reasonable person would do. I took a little stroll to the nearest bodega and I got a box of the real stuff. I passed through the schoolyard, chomping away at my cinnamon frosting and those humps gave me the dirtiest looks—I was stoked. I haven’t seen it since. Do you think they got sick of it or maybe they went to another part of town?


John’s a recovering anthropologist and a Trilobite wonk. He enjoys fried pickles and hoppy beers. His work has appeared in The Missing Slate, Vector Magazine, Newtown Literary, Digging Through the Fat and Writer’s Digest. He is the author of the novels Shades of Luz and Disposable Heroes. He snagged his MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University. You can read more of his stuff here.