Every week, Today in Nostalgia looks at the trends we once clung to, defended, and were ultimately betrayed by. Memberships to the Beanie Babies Official Club accepted; BYO Adidas Tearaways. Let’s do this.
Era of cool: 1993-1997
Describe, please: Imagine, if you will, a ball of candy. And inside that candy is more candy. And more candy. And more candy. And then, even more candy. It’s big, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s huge. Honestly, it’s so huge you can’t even fit all of it in your mouth. And you try, but we both know this everlasting snowball of sucrose will threaten the livelihood of you, your jaw, your teeth, and everyone you’ve ever met if you try to consume it like an actual edible piece of food. So you won’t. Because this one? It’s special. This one lasts forever.
So you must lick it. For hours. For days. Until your tongue bleeds, and even then, when you don’t think you can continue for another day, you put your candy back in a bag or dirty piece of saran wrap so you can continue on your life’s work tomorrow. Then, when you’re so close you know this, THIS will be the day your giant candy ball is finally finished, your Mom finds it in the kitchen and throws it away.
Why they were cool: Because instead of portion control, we had control of self. Everlasting Jawbreakers were our first endurance test. Couldn’t keep up? Too weirded out? Well, then I guess you didn’t deserve one; I guess you might as well help yourself to a box of Everlasting Gobstoppers, just like the little kids at Halloween. You see, Jawbreakers separated the real men and women from the children: on one side, you had people who were grossed out at the idea of eating the same piece of candy for days at a time. And on the other, you had my grade three class, where we looked determinedly at each other during silent reading, convinced this was the day we’d conquer our own personal Everests.
Odds of a comeback: Never. I know Justin Bieber says never to say it, but never will we ever welcome or entertain an adult human removing an old candy from his or her mouth, placing it in a bag, and saving it for later because they can’t finish it that day. We’re grown-ups. You cut that shit with a knife. You break it into edible pieces. Can you imagine a lawyer taking a Jawbreaker break in court? A doctor pausing mid-diagnosis for a tasty lick? A firefighter standing far enough away from a blaze so that the candy and bag aren’t melted? Of course you can. Those mental pictures were very vivid. But more importantly, they were wrong. Goodbye, disgusting Jawbreakers of our youths, and good riddance.