Photo: Thomas Kohler
Until I grew into a freakishly long body and started chasing girls—or awkwardly stumbling after them, to be exact—I could’ve lived off of Flintstones Push-Up Pops (and Golden Grahams for morning nutrition, naturally). That’s all I really remember eating as a kid in the summertime.
And, damn, did I eat.
Some kids handle snacks like drunk birds, where they do things like color-code and set aside Skittles “for later.” I was in the other category of youngins, the ones who eat and live in the moment.
Imagine my shock and awe when Flintstone Push-Ups hit the scene.
It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if a long-hidden conspiracy arose about push-ups being designed by parent-hired scientists back in the day. Not only were they fun for kids, push-ups were a straight up genius invention.
With its cardboard cylinder, you couldn’t make a mess. There was hardly a risk of spillage, and you didn’t wind up with a sticky face or hand since you were, by way of an elevator-like stick, only methodically exposed to reasonable portions at a time. The pressure was off! With push-ups, I instantly went from deplorable house guest to borderline tolerable.
The delicious sherbet prison concept wasn’t new in the 90s, though, and Nestlé’s push-ups still exist today. But without the friends and family of dedicated employee and doting husband-father Fred Flintstone, it kind of feels like a sham.
Fred and his kin were always there for you, from start to finish, like a good waiter always checking in on you without doing finger guns. Yes, I’d say, I am still enjoying this tasteful amount of sherbert, Fred, thank you.
The whole line-up was near flawless. Fred was Yabba Dabba Doo Orange, Wilma was Limerock Lime, Barney was Raspberry Rubble, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm split Cave Kid Cherry, Dino was Granite Grape, and then Baby Puss was Bedrock Berry for some reason.
But like all good things—rainbows, the Beatles, Kirk Cameron’s likeability—they come to an end. That’s why you treasure them. Flintstone Push-Ups hit fever pitch in the mid-90s and it just wasn’t sustainable. How could it be?
Looking back, it feels like their market presence melted as quickly as they did. Yet, if you ate a push-up right, even the sloppiest eater could leave someone’s house with a clean hand and a cleaner conscience.