Being anal-retentive has its drawbacks. My personal version of "anality" extends to sometimes extreme brand loyalty, and wanting the laundry folded the "right" way. This puts a real cramp in my lifestyle when perfectly good products are discontinued because the percentage of American population that enjoys consuming them is too small to continue to turn a profit.

I have been reduced to hunting on eBay for some of my favorite things. Oh Yeah Orange-Pineapple Kool-Aid is the most painful deletion from my life, and Revlon's Aquamarine shampoo is the second most painful. I have one packet of Kool-Aid secreted away for a special occasion - perhaps the birth of my first child, or my 5th wedding anniversary; and one bottle of Aquamarine shampoo under the bathroom sink which is saved and used only in conjunction with very bad days. When this bottle runs low (about one-third left), it will be reserved for very special occasions - baptisms, funerals, nights out to the Opera.

The least painful deletion from my life was the Bar None candy bar, which was manufactured by Hershey. I used to be upset with this, however, the advent of Reese's Sticks has placated me. For now.

I'm well aware of how terrible this entire idea is - that the ad execs and marketers have done their job well, and I don't want to have any other shampoo or any other powdered soft drink. I realize that this makes me a coveted brand of consumer, but so be it. There are very few things that I am so staunchly loyal about consuming - the rest I try to get from the thrift store or go generic when possible... but I really do miss that Kool-Aid.

Someone has pointed out to me that releasing Horned Lizards on ant hills sounds like endangered species torture. This could not be further from the truth. The horned lizard's staple food is ants. It is endangered primarily because of the introduction of the fire ant, which was unknown in the US in my youth. Releasing a horny toad on a red ant hill was like releasing Godzilla on Tokyo.

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