Thursday, November 6, 2014

Don't put that in your mouth...

It's amazing how many times these words are uttered to a toddler. Money is filthy, communal toys are probably disease ridden, and lead based paint is, well, lead based paint. People have the "pay attention to what you are about to chomp on" lesson drilled into them by the time they are children. With this groundwork laid, you would think most humans age ten and older would have an acute awareness of what they should and should not ingest. But sometimes things get tricky....

When I was a kid, my parents took a friend of mine and me to a Mardi Gras parade. It was a truck parade, meaning we watched dozens of 18 wheelers roll by pulling crepe paper covered truck beds filled with people of all ages. Usually families ride in truck parades and there is no central theme or bead so you can catch anything and everything. Literally. Used stuffed animals? Yep. T-shirts for political campaigns that happened four years ago? Yep. Items that Oriental Trading probably discontinued years ago for safety reasons but they somehow made it into Mardi Gras wholesale warehouses. Yep.

Also, for some reason, the drivers of the trucks feel the need to blast their god damn horns all five miles of the route so, as an adult who has usually had enough to drink by Mardi Gras day, truck parades are now the bane of my existence. But my parents were good sports and let us hang to catch a few of the trucks one year.

So my friend and I were out there waving to the riders, getting our insides pulsated by close range truck horns, and catching all sorts of shit. All sorts of it. In the midst of shit catching, my friend snagged a jewel toned hexagonal jelly that was about two inches in diameter and in a plastic bag. Without missing a beat, she pulled it out of the bag and shoved it in her mouth. She immediately regretted her decision. This thing that she just caught was definitely not edible. She spit it out with an emphatic "PLEEECCCCHHHHHHFFFFF" and sought out solace with a coke.

Turns out the jelly was just some goo thing that you could throw at a wall and watch it roll down. They were in the same family of sticky hands that you could launch at a target three feet away that stuck with a distinct "fwap" noise and left a sticky memory as it peeled away. This was the nineties and toys that left grease stains on wall paint and eventually ended up unrecognizable, covered in dirt and hair, and stepped on by an unsuspecting parent in the middle of the night were big.

Between being raised on "toys" like these and Nickelodeon shows with Gak, I'm starting to think that my generation may not be suited to run the world.

So I guess the moral of the story here is look before you ingest. Make sure it's not something that will go "fwap" in your mouth or roll down your insides leaving a slug trail of "fun."

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