Bubblegum was a childhood delight. It had to be Fleer’s “Dubble Bubble” bubblegum. Other brands were almost as good–“Bazooka” and gum with baseball cards. Baseball card gum was thin and flat–somewhat brittle.
Inside the wrapper was a folded up cartoon strip “Fleer’s Funnies” featuring a young chap “Pud” and friends. There’s a moniker you won’t hear in the twenty-first century. The stories were lame–meant to sell more bubblegum. A quarter or fifty cents bought a sack full of candy in those days–which was a typical weekly allowance.
Experts could easily blow bubbles as big as their heads. This was imitated by little brothers and sisters, who eventually got gum all over their faces. Double Bubble tasted so good, that one piece wasn’t enough. About four pieces made a fist-sized wad–enough to make jaw muscles ache.
Mothers and dads hated bubble gum. It got disposed of in unhandy places and ended up on the bottom of dress shoes on the way to church or school.
“Don’t swallow that gum. Where is it?” “It’s too late–I already swallowed it,” was the usual answer. “Don’t do that. You’ll clog up your insides and I’ll have to take you to the doctor,” Mom warned. I don’t know if it ever happened to anybody.
“Take your bubble gum out of your mouth before going to bed,” Mom advised. The next morning there were globs of gum stuck in my hair. Mom got the dullest pair of scissors she could find; cut and pulled the gum out.
The worst part was at school. “What happened to your hair? Eww–do you have ringworm?” “Who cut your hair? …The Three Blind Mice?” All was soon forgotten and it was off to new adventures.