Do you remember going to the space museum when you were a kid?
It … kind of sucked. Sure, there was the likely day away from school and the bus ride commingled with terrified parents to look forward to, but of the museums, the ones centered around space lacked dinosaurs and fun costumes. It was just planets and stars.
[Ed. note: This is in diametric opposition to my feeling about space museums now. Because space is awesome. And learning about space is awesome. I want to learn about all of the celestial bodies and phenomena and ponder whatever the hell infinity is. If this blog ever takes off, I’d love to very generously compensate Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain to me everything that’s ever happened. We don’t even have to go in his sweet spaceship, though I’m still secretly hoping he invites me. Space is the best.
But when you’re 7, dinosaurs and lightning and tribal weapons are just so much cooler.]
There was one aspect about the space museum, though, that shone brighter than that of any other museum:
The gift shop.
The space gift shop was the most fun. Telescopes, weird science stuff, planets of comparable size and shape to a baseball so you could pretend to hit dingers with tubes of rolled-up posters, things that GLOWED IN THE DARK, those plastic balls that expand and collapse and always seem fun until you actually are the one playing with it. It’s a vault of potential energy that to be unleashed needs the precise blend of curious and insane present in the mind of a 7-year-old.
The space museum sold exactly one thing for those who had a sweet tooth: astronaut ice cream, a flash dried dairy product that weighed next to nothing and was nonperishable. The name alone was worth not only the price of admission for the gift shop, but really also for the museum in general (because you definitely didn’t pay to get in to the gift shop). To think, you could eat the exact same ice cream as Neil and Buzz and all those Soviet guys did! Whoa!
It was always so exciting. Until you opened up your astronaut ice cream and remembered it was just Neapolitan-colored chalk. The quantity of cool that was having something in your hands called “astronaut ice cream” was the same as the quantity of disappointment when you finally ate some. It wasn’t bad, per se, an airy chalky texture not different than a hard-baked meringue, but it wasn’t something deserving of the name astronaut ice cream.
A Crunchie bar is astronaut ice cream that has been dipped in CDM.
I wanted to like the Crunchie because I support the naming convention of just adding -ie to a descriptor of something. But I couldn’t get past the texture similarity. It’s not bad. But it is perplexing.
I bet John Glenn would love it, though.