|Still healthier than a Twinkie...|
The commercials that ran on the shows I used to watch were criminal. This was the 90's so each product usually had but a single commercial and each show only had a handful of sponsors, so you'd see the same commercials over and over and over again while you watched Tom and Jerry...
Those commercials preyed on the fact kids are attracted noise and bright colors. They bullied us into thinking we we couldn't possibly be the hippest cats around without their help. They lied to us, that happiness was only an Easy Bake Oven away. The biggest offender I can remember was Fruit Stripe Gum.
|Easily the hippest of the hip cats...|
God I wanted Fruit Stripe Gum. I loved chewing gums, I listed it as one of my points of interest on MySpace right between boobs and that lie about reading Plato. But no matter how much I begged my mom she never bought it. She went on and on about the evils of sugar and how I'd lose all my teeth if I ate it. "But Mom! I argued. My teeth are already falling out! And you know what? I keep growing new ones like a frigging shark!" I begged and begged, but all I could do was imagine how much cooler I'd be, how much happier life would feel, how many more paint splattered zebras I'd've hung out with, if only I could get some Fruit Stripe Gum.
I never got to eat Fruit Stripe Gum as a child, but I found some later in life in a gas station in the middle Kansas. I'm pretty sure it was the left over from the 90's which by the look of the place was the last time they had ordered any inventory. There was a stack of National Geographics behind the counter and they some how still stocked TAB and New Coke. I bought it out of nostalgia.
Oh Fruit Stripe Gum, you lying little bitch. There were no gaily painted zebras prancing about. My white shirt didn't change color, my black bow tie wasn't replaced with a red skinny tie... The flavor was an intense, but not really "fruity." While there were many different colored sticks of "fruit" gum you'd need a million extra taste buds to even come close to discerning any differences between the colors. It was like chewing on a fist full of Skittles, except Skittles don't lose their flavor seconds after hitting your tongue.
The experience of Fruit Stripe Gum went from a shotgun blast of sugar in my mouth to spitting out something that was so devoid of anything remotely recognisable as taste that it made lima beans smell like gourmet dessert and cow stomach look like hickory smoked bacon.
It kind of made me hate my former self. I was so gullible and easy it was like selling candy to a baby.