Continuing on with posts about Mother’s Day week. This time about bubblegum. I still remember how sore my jaw muscles got from chewing big wads of bubblegum.
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 chubby 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 bubblers 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.
Adults hated bubblegum–especially parents and teachers. Gum smacking was almost as irritating as fingernails on a chalkboard. Gum got disposed of under desks and chairs. Gum got stepped on, ended up on the bottoms of dress shoes on the way to church or school.
“Don’t swallow that gum. Where is it?” Asked moms and dads. “It’s too late–I already swallowed it,” Was the usual reply. “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 bubblegum out of your mouth before going to bed,” Mom advised. The next morning, gobs of gum were stuck everywhere in my hair. Mom got the dullest pair of scissors she could find; cut and pulled the gum globs out.
The worst part was next day at school. “What happened to your hair? Eww–do you have ringworm? Who cut your hair? …The Three Blind Mice?” Hair grew back fast–it was off to new adventures.