Saturday Rumpus Essay: Yodels by Chloe Caldwell


"Do you remember Yodels? Growing up, they were the most salacious treat we were allowed in my house. I remember the junk food drawer—it was the bottom drawer, to the left of the fridge. I’d open it with my toes by grasping around the white knob and pulling to check what was in there.  It’s gone now, it’s the container drawer now. Here was the problem—my mom let us have one Yodel. But Yodels came packaged in two. Like, in my brown paper bag school lunch, I’d pull out my sandwich, my apple, and my one Yodel, that my mother had taken out of the package and put in a little baggie of its own. My brother had the other one. Oh, how this made me want to eat two of them. When I was twelve, my mom, my brother and I stayed in a house on Cape Cod with my mom’s friend and her daughters. We had Yodels in the house. The Yodels taunted and tempted me and when I was alone in the house briefly, I pounded four of the packages as quickly as I could. This turned into a mystery. “Who ate all of the Yodels?” my mother kept demanding. I never told. Eating them was a way to do something that I knew I wasn’t supposed to do. It was a secret I could have to myself and it was a way I could have more than everyone else. More than was acceptable."

Chloe Caldwell writes on yodel binges over at The Rumpus.