Welcome back to another unsolicited food review! In this post, things will be a little different. I will review three items with my anonymous best friend, Richard Hertz (“Please call me Dick. Richard was my father’s name.”) This pseudonym was created to protect the eccentric.

Item One: Iberia Aloe Vera Drink

The review of this aloe vera drink began when I opened my Voice Memo phone application. Why? I didn’t want to miss a single insightful line of commentary, because here at Merry Jane Writes, we are professionals. When I pressed record, I noticed that the app was attempting to pinpoint our location:

Jane: “It says Chick-fil-A. It says we’re at Chick-fil-A. We’re not at Chick-fil-A. We’re at an undisclosed location.”

Dick: “Why does it matter where we are?”

Jane: “I don’t… I don’t know.”

After the initial location-related confusion, we were ready to professionally introduce the product:

Jane: “Ok. So what we’re gonna do today is review Iberia Aloe, Aloe Vera Drink, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, with pure aloe pulp. I have the pineapple flavor, Dick has the-“

Dick: “Strawberry.”

It was at this point that I realized I had forgotten to introduce Dick to the tens of readers of Merry Jane Writes, and immediately asked him to say a little about himself:

Dick: “Um, I’m Dick. I’m a maniac. And I like to get high and eat food.”

Having known Dick for many, many years, I found this description to be sufficient. For purposes of journalistic integrity, I should tell you that Dick and I dated in middle school. Yes, that’s right. We were lovers. Well, we were lovers if holding hands once in a while counts as action. It should be noted that Dick and I broke up many years ago, as it turns out he is a bit of a homosexual.

With introductions out of the way, we were ready to get this taste test started. After “dinking” the two bottles together like we were drinking some sort of fine wine, we gave the concoctions a taste.

Jane: “I like it! It tastes like something I’ve had before.”

At this point, the synapses in my brain were firing at full capacity. Where had I had this flavor before? It certainly wasn’t the flavor of actual pineapple, which made me wonder what the “no artificial flavors” label was on about. Suddenly, it hit me.

Jane: “I think it tastes like a pineapple Dum Dum lollipop.”

We all know this flavor. We were always given Dum Dums lollipops at school when I was a kid, and I believe these treats are part of a universal American childhood dining experience. If you managed to get a pineapple flavor, you were in luck, as you could trade with a friend for a superior Blue Raspberry flavor if your bartering skills were high enough. It should be noted that giving Dum Dums to children on Halloween is a colossal mistake, as they will likely be disappointed enough to break into your house in search of better candy like a pack of rabid squirrels.

But what of the strawberry flavor?

Jane: “The strawberry one tastes like strawberry jam. What are your impressions, Dick?”

Dick: “I’ve had the classic Iberia aloe drink, and I definitely like the strawberry better.”

The strawberry flavor was absolutely better than the pineapple, as it tasted like an actual fruit that God put on this earth instead of chemical childhood-provoking pineapple. Both aloe drinks also come with aloe pulp- a gelatinous substance that is reminiscent of a Dr. Scholl’s Massaging Gel Insole. I am personally a fan of the pulp, as I enjoy texture in all of my drinks that aren’t milk. Dick generally doesn’t care for the pulp in aloe drinks, but in the Strawberry flavor he found:

Dick: It really takes on the strawberry flavor.

Yes, yes it does. The pulp in the pineapple flavor is adequate, but my mind suddenly jumped to more important matters.

Jane: Where did even you get these?

Dick: Walmart.

Jane: Walmart… Incredible.

Dick: Incredible.

It was incredible, for I did not know that Walmart carried anything besides gallon jugs of peanut butter. It was at this time that we turned to the nutrition labels on the back of the bottles, where we discovered that one serving of the drink contained

Dick: Twenty two grams of sugar.

Jane: TWENTY TWO GRAMS OF SUGAR?

It was at this time that we realized each bottle had two servings of juice-like-drink, leaving the strawberry drink with 44 grams of sugar. In the pineapple drink, there are 50 grams of sugar per bottle. For reference, that’s more sugar than a can of coke. That’s more grams of sugar than two Snicker’s bar. That’s more sugar than I’m willing to give the guy I’ve been seeing! (He doesn’t read my posts! I am crestfallen!)

Jane: 50 grams of sugar, and I’m gonna drink the whole thing and not feel bad about it. For all you health conscious readers, fuck off, I guess?

Please don’t fuck off. In retrospect, I need your views. Besides…

Dick: Juice is good for you.

Jane: It contains fifteen percent juice.

Dick: Fifty percent Jews?

Jane: Fifteen percent juice.

Dick: What is the other percent…?

Jane: Filtered water, fructose, aloe vera pulp… Pineapple juice is in… What are they called? Quotation marks. Citric Acid, pineapple flavor, calcium lactate, sodium citrate…

Dick: (burps) Six percent of your daily vitamin C. Zero percent of your daily vitamin A. Iron? Zero percent, not sure why they’re listen.

At this point, I began to read all of the text on the side of the bottle. This portion of the review is largely uninteresting, except for the fact that the aloe vera pulp apparently came from Taiwan. Though I did not say this at the time, I also wondered if the pulp would heal internal wounds like it heals external wounds. I think I may be onto something.

Pineapple flavor: six out of ten.

Strawberry flavor: eight out of ten.

Item Two: SLUSH PUPPiE SQUEEZE CANDY

In this review, Dick Hertz and I take on the world of candy you can buy at the craft store checkout aisle. This time, we would be reviewing SLUSH PUPPiE SQUEEZE CANDY, which insists on being totally capitalized except for the letter I. Looking at the container for this edible goo, I realized that the mascot is holding a slushie with a picture of himself, which is holding a smaller slushie with a picture of himself. Folks, I believe what we have here is SLUSH PUPPiE inception. Someone ought to alert the scientific community.

Dick: Dibs on cherry.

Jane: Thank God. I wanted the blue one.

This proved to be a massive mistake on my part. As the gentle piano music played in the background and Dick’s dog wandered into the room, we opened the packaging of the SLUSH PUPPiEs.

Dick: Okay, what’s your tactic for eating this? Just apply directly to mouth?

Jane: Yeah, I don’t wanna suck it out. I think that would not be good.

Dick: Four servings.

Jane: It’s only 40 calories a serving, which is not bad for pure sugar sludge.

Dick: Only seven grams of sugar.

For reference, it would take eight servings of this sludge to have slightly more sugar than the Iberia Pineapple Aloe Vera Drink. Jesus Christ, I can’t get over that.

Jane: The ingredient list is too long. I’ll write about it later.

Dick: Artificial color red 40!

It is now later, and I’m here to write about the ingredient list. After throwing away the unused portion of the product with the packaging, I was left to my own devices to find an ingredient list. I checked several websites, and I couldn’t find the list anywhere. What are you hiding from us, SLUSH PUPPiE? Are you trying to poison children and unemployed adults who write food reviews in their spare time? I know you used Red 40 in the cherry flavor, which tells me you clearly don’t care about my health and safety. I’m on to you, SLUSH PUPPiE. I’m fucking on to you.

Dick: I might put this on my finger and snort it like cocaine.

Jane: I feel like it would just slowly run into your nose, not fly up in there.

Dick: I’ll do it with my mouth. A mouth snort, if you will.

Jane: I’m just gonna squirt the… stuff… into my mouth.

Dick: It feels soft on my skin.

Jane: IT IS TART.

Dick: It is tart and THICK. After ten seconds of sucking I have gotten most of it off my finger.

Jane: I do not think it’s good. It’s not very sweet. WAXY.

Dick: I don’t hate it. Its only desirable thing is that it’s tart.

After agreeing that the candy was not very good and that it was of questionable chemical makeup, we decided to rate each flavor. And once again, I cannot stress this enough: THE SHIT IS WAXY.

Cherry: Six out of ten.

Blue Raspberry: Four out of ten.

Item Three: Just a Couple Fuckin’ Lychees

If you’re like me, you don’t come across just a couple fuckin’ lychees every day. This fruit, which originates from China, was given to Dick Hertz by someone he referred to as a “lover.” When asked for details about this lover, Dick declined to share any information. Fair enough, but you’ve left all twelve of my readers curious.

Dick: They have a beautiful rough outside-

Jane: It’s kind of like a rock…

Dick: With a nice, fleshy inside.

Dick was ahead of the game on this one, as he already peeled his lychee and was ready to eat. As I peeled my Chinese delicacy, I found the process to be incredibly easy. Easier than peeling a tangerine? Yes! Even a Cutie tangerine? Absolutely. Lychees are going to revolutionize the world of peel-able fruits, and when you tell people about it, make sure to mention that you heard it here first.

Dick: They smell, coincidentally just like (censored)!

Jane: They smell like the boba tea I always order, but that’s because I always order lychee boba tea.

I drink quite a lot of that tea. I’ve been going to Boba Drinkers Anonymous, and they told me the road to recovery starts by admitting I have a problem. Folks, I have a boba tea problem, and I’m sorry if my journalistic integrity has been shaken because of it.

Jane: If you try to listen to the lychee it doesn’t make any noise because it is a fruit. It looks kind of like a cocktail onion. I’m gonna eat it now.

Dick: I finished mine. It’s like chewing on an eyeball that is strangely sweet.

I wondered how Dick knew what chewing on an eyeball was like, but decided not to comment.

Jane: I think it’s nice. A good combination of sweet and tart. You can take them to the beach.

Dick: (whispers) Don’t give away my personal information! I’ve not been to the beach. I’ve never been to the beach.

Jane: Well, I could take them to the beach.

Dick: I’ve never done that.

And with that, the review of the lychees was complete. These little fruits are definitely the best thing I’ve reviewed so far, so don’t be afraid to get out there to find a gay lover who will give them to you. This has been another Unsolicited Food Review. Thank’s for reading!

Just a Couple Fuckin’ Lychees: Nine out of ten.