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HAZMAT-RETRO HALL OF FAME: CANDY WE LOVED AS KIDS! by JONATHAN KIERAN
TODAY’S DUBIOUS HONOREE: BUBBLE YUM BUBBLE GUM
RUDIMENTARY ANALYSIS: Bubble Yum Bubble Gum was the gum that children of my generation had only ever dreamed of encountering. It was the Messiah of chewing gums. The Wad that came down from Heaven. Flimsy, pathetic slices of Wrigley’s and chalky squares of Bazooka burned to ash, like vampires exposed to sunlight, when Bubble Yum came along. When we discovered Bubble Yum’s glory, we sang hymns of praise and fell writhing to the ground in thanksgiving, slain in the spirit. Every brightly colored pack of boffo-flavored Bubble Yum was like a trove of pirate’s treasure. You hoarded your Bubble Yum like a dragon hoards gold, or like an old lady with Borderline Personality Disorder hoards cats — by the dozens, even until your Bubble-Yum (like the old lady’s cats) grew stale, dry and forgotten in some dark closet, never to be seen again until city inspectors and news-crews arrived to take you off to the Booby Hatch. You gnashed your teeth and tried to bite people who threatened to take your Bubble Yum away from you, and you could do some damage, too, because your jaw muscles were so ripped from constant chewing! You never shared your pieces of Bubble Yum or, if you did, it was only within the context of a high-security schoolyard transaction on par with NYSE mergers & acquisitions or the transfer of millions in untraceable funds to the Cayman Islands. Bubble Yum was clout. Bubble Yum was POWER. Bubble Yum was CHILDHOOD.
DEFINITIVE QUALITY: More than just a flavorful means of making your mouth tough enough to gnaw tree-trunks faster than the baddest beaver in any dam, Bubble Yum was a multi-purpose candy! For example, you could upgrade your backyard clubhouse to meet earthquake-reinforced structural guidelines with just one summer’s worth of masticated Bubble Yum wads. You could also blow a huge bubble, take it out of your mouth and let it sit on the bedpost overnight until it hardened into something durable enough to kick-around the soccer field the next day. Or, you could blow two big Bubble Yum bubbles, stretch out some holes in the dangling wad-portions, put your arms through them and spend all day conquering a turbulent ocean with your awesome new flotation devices. If little Susie next door made you mad, you could just creep up behind her when she wasn’t looking and stick a mouthful of Bubble Yum in her hair, up near the base of the scalp. Susie’s mother would be forced to dunk her daughter’s locks in turpentine or else shave her head entirely, thereby ensuring Susie’s immediate preparation for a future in the nunnery, far away from your Hot Wheels collection and your G.I. Joe action-figures, which she shouldn’t have been messing-around with in the first place. Bubble Yum took no prisoners, suffered no fools, and it never, EVER let a kid down in a moment of need.
LAMENTABLE LEGACY: Although Bubble Yum is akin to the Holy Grail and worthy of all veneration, it’s never a good idea to fall asleep with some in your mouth. When you’re nine. I’m pretty sure I still have a baseball-sized wad of grape-flavor lodged somewhere in my lower intestine. It’s a burden I am never the less proud to bear.
BRUSH WITH SCANDAL: Even the very youngest among us is not likely to have forgotten the Great Spider-Egg Scandal of 1977. I believe it is currently being taught in public school history-books alongside Watergate and the Iran-Contra Affair. That seems appropriate, given that the Great Spider-Egg Scandal of 1977 was a an earth-shattering cultural crisis of colossal proportions. It seems that a rumor was started to the effect that Bubble Yum chewing gum was so delectably soft to the palates of innocent little children because Life Savers (maker of Bubble Yum) was putting spider-eggs into the mix down at the ol’ Bubble Yum Factory! Upon hearing of this, mothers across the nation ran screaming into the streets, pulling their curlers out of their hair, flagellating themselves with bedroom slippers or Harlequin Romance “novels” and, of course, yanking tons of Bubble Yum wads from the reluctant lips of their little darlings. Life-Savers actually had to launch a nationwide campaign with full-page ads in major newspapers like the New York Times, reassuring parents that their beloved offspring were not chomping-down on mouthfuls of spew from the ass-end of a Black Widow. The irony is that kids would have bought or begged for TWICE as much Bubble Yum if we knew beyond a shadow of doubt that it was being made with spider eggs. Corporate Candy Executives. They never understand anything.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Still Keeping Children Happy and Afloat on the Tempestuous Torrent of Time … with a diversified portfolio of Bubble Yum Soda and Breyers Bubble Yum Ice Cream products. There IS a God.
And He clearly wants you to be a toothless diabetic.
Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, Friends, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …
Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)
Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that might just destroy the world.
Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.
Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
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Rowan Blaize Official Website