In case you haven’t heard, our long national nightmare is over – Fritos barbeque flavored corn chips are back on a permanent basis.”

I’m not sure when this event of epic proportions occurred. Therefore, I’m not sure if it qualifies as breaking news. All I know is that in early December, as I stood at the dollar store checkout, my eyes spied two small bags of barbeque Fritos, as it’s known by fans. Fearing the company was teasing me by offering the chips on a limited basis, as they did in 2020 and 2021, I snatched both bags and added them to my order.

Oh, how I savored every chip as it would be the last. For, you see, I remember when Frito-Lay pulled the chips from the shelves, thereby breaking my heart and messing with my mind. Allegedly, this heartbreak occurred in 2018, but my taste buds say it’s been longer.

Regardless, I was in need of some barbeque corn chips in my life after Frito-Lay’s betrayal, so I tried Fritos’ chili cheese and honey barbeque varieties, but I didn’t care for either. And although I have eaten other companies’ barbeque corn chips, this has only occurred on an emergency basis. Along those lines, I will also only eat the original Fritos in an emergency because they leave an aftertaste.

In case you’re asking yourself, “Self, what exactly is a chip emergency?” here’s an example: Someone invites you to his or her house. You offer to bring chips and are told the chip situation is under control. You arrive at the house to discover Fritos Scoops being served with delicious bean dip. You find yourself in the middle of a chip emergency. The Scoops, aka oversized original Fritos, will leave an aftertaste, but you can’t not eat the delicious bean dip and you need chips to do so.

Anyway, after my find at the dollar store checkout, I didn’t expect to run across more barbeque Fritos. Once again, however, I was in for an early Christmas present. As I walked down the dollar store’s chip aisle, I spied several adult sized bags of the chips. I grabbed a bag without even checking the price.

When I relayed this to a group of friends, they legit gasped. Yes, dear readers, my cheapness is well-known among my friends. But what was I supposed to do? Not buy another bag after a years-long separation?

Since then I have bought only one more bag of the chips. I’m proud to say that the bag lasted four days. That’s a record around me. No, I haven’t gotten my feel of the “tangy, flavor-packed twist on Fritos’ classic corn chip,” to quote Frito-Lay. But I can buy a bag whenever I want because the chips are here to stay. I know because I checked the definition and that’s what permanent means.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.