I had another irritating experience last night. I had a Vanilla Wafer. No, wait. It was a Nilla Wafer. They changed the name many years ago. Now I know why. The ingredient list claims "natural and artificial flavors," but there is no specific mention of what natural flavor they contain. I suspect wheat. It certainly isn't vanilla. The ingredient list also mentions high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Maybe they are the natural flavors. All I know is that the cookies don't taste anything like the Vanilla Wafers that were one of my favorite cookies when I was a kid. They had rich, densely flavored real vanilla in them then, and they were sweetened with sugar, not cloying corn syrup. They probably had a superior shortening in them, as well, rather than treated soybean oil. They might even have contained butter then. Now they contain whey. If I'm going to clog my arteries, I'd at least like to do it with something that offers some compensation in the form of enjoyable flavors and textures. I don't think I'll be sampling any more of the products I recall fondly from childhood. I'd rather remember them, however dimly, as they once were, than know what they have become.
In a few days, I'm going to feel quite differently about quite a few things. This has happened before. I know when it is coming.
VACANCY IN THE PARK
by Wallace Stevens
March . . . Someone has walked across the snow,
Someone looking for he knows not what.
It is like a boat that has pulled away
From a shore at night and disappeared.
It is like a guitar left on a table
By a woman, who has forgotten it.
It is like the feeling of a man
Come back to see a certain house.
The four winds blow through the rustic arbor,
Under its mattresses of vines.