CLOSE

This Candle Smells Like a Defunct Discount Store's Snack Bar

Smell can light up the memory more surely and immediately than any other sense. So it makes sense that Pennsylvania-based Sugar Creek Candle Company has scored a nostalgic hit with a candle fragranced like the snack bar of Hills, a now-defunct department store.

Anthony Barravecchio, co-founder and chief operating officer of the Sugar Creek Candle Company in Irwin, Pennsylvania, says he has lost count of the number of orders he’s received for the "Pittsburgh Dad's Hills Snack Bar" candle. “It’s been thousands,” he tells mental_floss.

Barravecchio won’t disclose the ingredients that make the candle smell like Hills, but they apparently work: A woman on Sugar Creek’s Facebook page commented: “[M]y husband didn't know anything about the candle. He came through the door, stopped, smelled, paused for a minute and said, "[D]oes it smell like Hill's in here?’ Lol.”

At one point, the Canton, Ohio-based Hills department store had more than 200 locations in 14 states. The store’s trademark snack bars sold hot dogs, soft pretzels, buttered popcorn, and soft drinks. Their smells were an olfactory mainstay throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Lower Midwest before Hills entered a financial downward spiral and was bought and absorbed by competitor Ames in 1998. (Four years later, Ames also folded.)

Though gone, Hills lives on in the memories of the people who use to eat pretzels and ICEEs at their snack bars. One such person is Curt Wootton, a comedian who stars in the hyperlocal (and popular) YouTube sitcom Pittsburgh Dad, which features monologues from a working-class cheapskate father character. The series’ most high-production episode features a fantasy sequence in which Pittsburgh Dad uses the Back to the Future DeLorean to travel back in time to shop at Hills. (Wootton even purchased rights to the Hills logo on the cheap.)

Wootton and Barravecchio belong to the same gym, and the candle came to fruition after Barravecchio approached him and inquired about making a tie-in product.

Sugar Creek makes soy candles (better for scent, says Barravecchio), and the company often uses irreverent humor to sell their products. In addition to typical fragrances, their line includes "Waffles N’At" candles and the tropical-scented "Monkey Farts." Their candles, including Pittsburgh Dad Hills Snack Bar, are available online and at a few stores (including one that, like Hills, is a regional icon: The Giant Eagle grocery chain).

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Burger King
arrow
Food
Burger King Taunts McDonald's By Offering Free Whoppers to Scary Clowns on Halloween
Burger King
Burger King

The rise of the scary clown trope, fueled by movies like It and real-life pranksters, has left McDonald’s with a bit of an image problem. The fast food chain took its mascot Ronald out of the spotlight following the clown crisis of 2016, but a new promotion from Burger King proves that suppressing the colorful mascot won’t be so easy. As Food & Wine reports, Burger King is offering free Whoppers to customers who come in dressed as scary clowns on Halloween night, an apparent jab at its competitor.

On October 31, from 7 p.m. to closing time, select Burger King locations in Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles will hand out free burgers to the first 500 guests who fit the spooky description.

A video advertising the stunt shows a diverse group of creepy clowns, but their ringleader—a familiar-looking red-headed clown dressed in red and yellow—makes it clear that the trolling is intentional.

This isn’t the first time Burger King has used Halloween as an opportunity to poke fun at the golden arches. Last year, a Burger King restaurant in Queens, New York “dressed up” as the ghost of McDonald’s. Customers interested in helping the chain with its latest prank better start planning their costumes now.

[h/t Food & Wine]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for IMG
arrow
crime
German Police Tried to Fine Someone $1000 for Farting at Them
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for IMG
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for IMG

In Berlin, passing gas can cost you. Quite a lot, actually, in the case of a man accused of disrespecting police officers by releasing a pair of noxious farts while being detained by the police. As CityLab reports, Berlin’s police force has recently been rocked by a scandal hinging on the two farts of one man who was asked to show his ID to police officers while partying on an evening in February 2016.

The man in question was accused of disrespecting the officers involved by aiming his flatulence at a policewoman, and was eventually slapped with a fine of 900 euros ($1066) in what local media called the "Irrer-Pups Prozess," or "Crazy Toot Trial." The errant farter was compelled to show up for court in September after refusing to pay the fine. A judge dismissed the case in less than 10 minutes.

But the smelly situation sparked a political scandal over the police resources wasted over the non-crime. It involved 18 months, 23 public officials, and 17 hours of official time—on the taxpayers’ dime. Officials estimate that those two minor toots cost taxpayers more than $100, which is chump change in terms of city budgets, but could have been used to deal with more pressing criminal issues.

[h/t CityLab]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios