The crack cocaine of the school canteen. The only thing that could get us moving again after a long day of shredding the knees of our trousers knocking a sponge ball around a concrete pen and dodging dinner ladies. There was no bigger rush than getting home at 3:30pm and digging a tablespoon of the stuff out of the bright yellow tub and drowning it in an ice-cold glass of semi-skimmed. The perfect prelude to a four-hour smash on Crash Bandicoot or fish fingers with The Simpsons.
Before pound-a-pint Becks on North Hill wrecked our adolescent kidneys, and the discovery of other substances became the main source of brain-destroying entertainment, the only solace we had was the trusty diet of sugar we had been brought up on from early years.
Downing cocktails of Haribo and e-numbers before SATS exams while steadily coming down off the morning’s Frosties, the afternoon crash drooling over doodles of cocks and “4eva”s on the desk was inevitable. Sugar was taking our blood, our teeth, our heads, and our concentration and grades with it.
Soon enough, you couldn’t get your hands on as much as half a blue Smartie to kick-start your Saturday birthday party bouncy castle routine, as the government began to crack down on the constant supply of crystal white powder the nation was feeding its kids. Now the country is on this weird faux-fitness hype; children with six-packs in baby gyms and enough whey protein powder floating around in the air the clouds could probably bench more than you.
The once-undisputed champion of tricking kids into cows’ breastmilk, Nesquik still remains on the shelves in the supermarkets, a triumphant survivor of the Sugar Crash, though not half as potent as it once was. Gathering dust until someone on an apparent nostalgia trip submits to an unmissable two-for-three-pounds deal. (Banana and chocolate FYI).