When I was little, around grade 1 or 2, I used to go to our school canteen and eat Stick-O’s. It was one of my favorite treats/snacks back then next to wafers. I love eating it so much I could eat one whole canister in one seating, although it never happened since I was just a kid. I remember daydreaming about it, seeing myself growing older and being able to buy my own Stick-O, not one or two pieces but a whole canister which I can enjoy, not just one canister but all the flavors that Stick-O has to offer. I cherished that thought so much.I loved it so much I had a lot of ways on how to eat a Stick-O (I’d have to show you if you want to know, of course you’d have to provide the Stick-O’s).

But since I was so little back then, never having the means to buy a lot for myself and having no money at all to buy me a snack since my mom would prepare my snack to school, I had to do something. Good thing my aunt was working for the school canteen, she would give me a piece or two of my beloved Stick-O once in a while. Another plus was the woman who working at the school canteen specifically selling the Stick-O’s and of course all the other treats and snacks a kid like me would only dream of eating, she was a friend of my aunt so she knew me very well to be the one always wanting and craving for the Stick-O’s.

And because I knew someone from the inside, I had an easier access to the Stick-O’s. After school hours – since my parents were both teachers, I had to wait for them to finish their work so we could all go home together (that was a plus since I had a lot of time to play with my friends and classmates, and a lot of time to look at my Stick-O’s from a far) – I would go to our school canteen, specifically the part where they sell Stick-O’s and talk to the lady who sold them.  She would let me ask her different questions, and best of all, she would always let me hold the canister of Stick-O.

One time, while I was doing my usual stuff inside the school canteen (being a burden to the good lady who sells Stick-O’s) I asked her if she would give me one Stick-O. And astonishingly she gave me one, I was so happy I never ever thought she’d give me one, for free! Since she was selling those, but before my elated feeling of happiness, wonder, and thankfulness got the best of me, I was suddenly disappointed to find myself holding a shorter stick of Stick-O than expected. Feeling let down, I asked her why the Stick-O she gave me was short; she explained that since no one would buy the broken pieces of Stick-O’s I could have them for free. So instantly I took the canister, opened it, and again to my disappointment, there was no more broken sticks for me to eat for free.

Since that blessed day of being given a broken Stick-O for free, I made it a habit of mine to always look inside the canister of Stick-O’s and see if there are broken sticks especially for me. But most of the time there was none, the lady told me that broken sticks only happen when she opens a new canister and tries to take one piece out since it was so packed that there was a high probability of having some sticks broken in the process. Still never giving up my addiction, I suddenly came up with a sinister plan of freeing my beloved Stick-O’s from their misery inside the canister.

One day, doing my usual routine of checking if there were broken Stick-O’s, the lady went outside to do some errand; that was my cue, I closed the canister of Stick-O I was holding and violently shook it, making certain that there would be broken sticks inside. When the lady went back, and I innocently opened the canister for her to see the result of my evil plan, she said “Oh sorry, there’s no free Stick-O’s for you today”. In disbelief, I looked inside the canister and saw that my plan didn’t work; the Stick-O’s were like good as new.

Never losing hope, I came up with another plan. The next time the good lady went outside to do something, I opened the canister of Stick-O and intentionally broke two sticks. Before the lady returned, I innocently returned the canister and went outside to play. After a few minutes (or it must have been an hour since the wait was so long) I returned and asked her if there were broken pieces for me to eat, she opened the canister and lo and behold the sticks I have broken, she gave me my beloved Stick-O’s.

My plan worked!! Happily I would do that trick over and over until I forgot how many times I have done it.

And now looking back at my past shrouded with my addiction to Stick-O’s, I cannot help but smile to myself how and why I was able to do such a thing especially being so young, my plan was smart but evil. I never realized that the good lady knew what I was up to and even my aunt knew it as well. My aunt shared the story to me laughing; I still wonder why they never told me that back then. They coined the phrase “the kid who broke Stick-O’s” referring to me. Until now whenever I visit my aunt working at the school canteen, she would tell me whenever she had Stick-O’s for sale and ask if I would break some pieces just to have some.


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