October 26 – Bazooka Joe

Tales from the Candy-keeper

There are numerous urban legends based on candy. Here are some of the juicier tales out there:

Recharge on Mars

Rockers sure know how to party. That’s why this legend involving Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger, singer Marianne Faithfull, and a Mars chocolate bar persisted for so long. When a party at guitarist Keith Richards’ home was broken up by police, rumours began flying that Jagger was interrupted while eating a Mars bar that was inside Ms. Faithfull (I’ll let your imaginations put that one together). The story was entirely untrue, but I bet Mars bar sales skyrocketed, with deprived lovers looking to spice up their sex life!

Mick Jagger

You’re right, Mick! It is a pretty funny story!

Pop Rock N’ Roll

As the story goes, if you mix Pop Rocks with Cola, this diabolic concoction would cause you to explode. The legend was enhanced when people claimed that Mikey, the Life Cereal ad campaign kid (you know, “Hey, Mikey likes it!”) was an original victim of the blast. A similar tale has recently surrounded Mentos and Cola, because the two products do combine to create fizz and can launch a bottle into orbit. The cute Pepsi girl of the 90’s was said to be a casualty. In both cases, no one has actually died from ingesting the two items together.

Hole-in-One

Creator Clarence Crane was said to have designed Life Savers with a hold in the middle after his daughter tragically died choking on a candy. The hole was to allow oxygen to pass through a person’s body, even if stuck in one’s throat. The reality, however, is quite a bit different. Crane fashioned his new invention after the floatable inner tubes that were becoming all the rage following the Titanic disaster in 1912.

All Wrapped Up

Legend had it, that if you found an image of Indian, complete with bow and arrow, on your Tootsie Roll or Pop wrapper, you would be the recipient of any number of prizes, ranging from Tootsie treats for life to a new bicycle to unimaginable wealth and celebrity (I added that last one myself!). I would have loved to have found that Indian, as I very much enjoy the Tootsie products. Sadly, the story is completely fabricated.

tootsie pop wrapper

Jaw Dropper

It’s hard to believe this one is actually true, but it has been verified by the fine folks at MythBusters. If you place one of those massive jawbreakers in the microwave it will explode. Why someone would ever put a jawbreaker into the microwave is a yet-to-be answered question, but here’s my theory: why not. Those jawbreakers are a pain in the ass (or more aptly, mouth) to get through and perhaps someone tried to accelerate the process.

Spider Yum

When Bubble Yum gum hit the market and became quite popular, stories began to circulate that the gum contained such grossities as spider eggs, spider legs, or spider webbing. These were all probably started by a rival gum company in hopes of curtailing the popularity of the world’s first soft gum. Bubble Yum’s parent company fought these rumours publicly with full-page newspaper ads ensuring people of the quality of their product. Most people actually listened and Bubble Yum lived on.

Bubble Yum Spiders

Razor’s Edge

Remember when we were all wee little sippers and when we returned home our parents sifted through our well-earned Halloween stash (probably contemplating which treats they’d take for themselves) to make sure there was no evidence of tampering? Good thing they did. In 2000, James Joseph Smith stuck needles into Snickers bars he planned to hand out and one boy bit into the chocolate bar. Smith was arrested and charged with adulterating a substance with the intent to cause harm… asshole!

Pick Your Poison

Similarly, the threat of poisoned candy given out at Halloween has always existed, but the only evidence of this occurring happened when some sick bastards poisoned their own children, including one loser who laced his kid’s Pixy Stix with cyanide to collect a $20,000 life insurance policy. Most cases were just overeating by the public (no surprise there) and not waiting to hear the actual results of why someone became sick.

Drink #299: Bazooka Joe

Bazooka Joe Shooter

  • Rim glass with Bubble Gum
  • 0.5 oz Irish Crème
  • 0.5 oz Banana Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Blue Curacao

Are there any candy urban legends you’d like to pass my way? I’m a skeptical one, but I’ll give it a chance!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I liked this shooter and always have. Truth be known, when I was taken out on my 19th birthday for my first legal drinks, this was the first shot that was ever ordered for me. I still marvel at how these three ingredients combine to fake the taste of bubble gum, but somehow it all comes together.

October 22 – Tootsie Pop

Candy Mascots

While every brand of cereal seems to have had a mascot for commercial purposes, finding mascots in the world of candy proved to be a little more difficult. Still, after diligent research, here are some of the best of the bunch:

Bart Simpson – Butterfinger

A lot of companies have capitalized on the enduring success of The Simpsons, highlighted by Bart Simpson becoming the mascot for Butterfinger chocolate bars. Most commercials would feature Homer trying to get his grubby paws on Bart’s chocolate, only to be thwarted by his rotten son. Then, Bart would deliver a catchphrase like “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!” After 12 years of disassociation, Bart will return to the brand sometime in the very near future.

Butterfinger-Bart Simpson

Mr. Owl – Tootsie Pops

This pompous prick of a bird (aren’t they all horrible) took pride in stealing people’s Tootsie Pops, licking them twice and then chomping into the entire treat. Meanwhile dumb kids stood around seeing if the vermin would solve the age old question of how many licks it takes to get to the center of the lollipop. Thanks to Mr. Owl’s lack of cooperation, Universities have actually wasted time testing Tootsie Pops lickability with widely ranging results. Some studies say it only takes 150-350 licks, while others say it’s in the thousands.

Red and Yellow – M&Ms

Red and Yellow are a comedic pair with Red being a smart ass leader to Yellow’s less intelligent lackey persona. This usually means that Red gets the guys into some sort of trouble, despite Yellow’s warning of issues ahead. M&Ms have also added Green, Brown, Blue, and Orange characters over the years. Brown is probably the most recognizable as she’s a sassy female, spurning the advances of men who want to be with the candy-coated snack.

Yipes – Fruit Stripe Gum

Yipes the Fruit Stripe zebra has outlasted his entire family to remain as the sole mascot of the brand. He was originally introduced with Connor the Tiger, as well as an unnamed elephant and mouse. Yipes is known to be quite active, as tattoos packaged with the gum portray him rollerblading, snowboarding, playing sports, and, of course, eating grass. Using the zebra mascot, Fruit Stripe raised $100,000 for the preservation of endangered animals in 1996.

Fruit_Stripe

Bazooka Joe – Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum

Starting in 1954, Bazooka Joe appeared on comic strips wrapped around pieces of Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum, along with characters such as Pesty, Mort, Hungry Herman, Toughie, and Walkie Talkie. The comics were discontinued in 2012 thanks to a drop in bubble gum sales (a sad day, indeed!). Despite losing his comic strip gig, rumours have circulated that Bazooka Joe may have a future in the movie industry. Plans for a film adaptation of the comics were announced in 2009.

Floyd D. Duck – Bubble Yum

This water bird is one bad ass punk, complete with nose ring, frosted tip mohawk, spiked collar, and… ankle bracelet??? Isn’t an ankle bracelet something you’d expect a young, sexually-charged female ducky to be adorning? Anyway, Floyd D. Duck blows bubbles in the face of authority and won’t take any guff from pigs – both the animal kind and the police variety. Can ducks even blow bubbles? It seems like a beak of that size would prevent the lip formations necessary for bubble making.

Floyd D. Duck

Willy Wonka – Willy Wonka Candy Company

The candy company born from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came into being in 1971, the same time the first film based on the novel was released. With Willy Wonka, the new enterprise had a perfect mascot and spokesman already built in. Being portrayed by Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp doesn’t hurt, either. Today, the company sells products such as Nerds, Gobstoppers, Laffy Taffy, Pixy Stix, Runts, and Kazoozles… everything you’d expect from the eccentric candy mogul.

Freddo – Cadbury’s Freddo

Mrs. Sip and I first learned of Freddo the Frog when she was spending a semester in Australia. Apparently the frog-shaped chocolate bars are also sold in New Zealand, Ireland, the U.K., and Zimbabwe, of all places. Freddo has been featured in two online animated series, expanding his backstory, and was even part of Cadbury’s 2006 recall over a possible salmonella scare. That’s one crazy life for this amphibian.

Drink #295: Tootsie Pop

Tootsie Pop Drink Recipe

  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • Splash of Vodka
  • Splash of Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Splash of Cola
  • Garnish with a Tootsie Pop

It seems like candy mascots got their greatest availability of work from bubble gum products. Remember that the next time you’re trying to scrape the stuff off of the bottom of your shoes or you touch a gob of gum left under a table or seat by some inconsiderate asshole!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail tasted like a Tootsie Pop and I loved eating the suckers I used for garnishing after the drink was done. It heightened the entire experience. Perhaps most enjoyable with the drink was how Chambord and Sweet & Sour Mix work together for a sour raspberry flavour.