So, there were times back when I was in high school, when nothing was happening. This happened every so often. Whoever came up with the phrase, “an idle mind is the devil’s playground,” clearly also suffered from boredom.
Because of the rules of physics and some other science junk, those of us with an abundance of free time would gravitate toward each other. In my school, most people participated in some sort of extracurricular activity. If it wasn’t a sport or a club, then it might be the marching band or chorus or student leadership. I did it all. I played sports. I was a class senator. I was a thespian. I was a cheerleader. I was a Young Republican. I was in the French club. I was a picker. I was a grinner. I played my music in the sun. I even founded my own club. Even so, from time to time one could still get caught in a period between activities. For me, my longest moment in the void occurred during my sophomore year.
My friend, Regis, also found himself in the void during that time. He played football and I think he was out for a while with an injury. Going home and doing homework or getting jobs were not options for us. Often we would find ourselves, with other voiders, hanging near the media center. We would make up card games, elude school security, or even go on the occasional road trip adventure (which would inevitably end up with someone’s car dying and everyone walking home.)
That fateful day started as inauspiciously as most others. It was another boring day at school, soon to be followed by another boring afternoon meandering around the campus, getting into trouble. However, at some point in the day (let’s face it, I’m sure it was during French class) I had an epiphany.
My go-to lollypop, or sucker if you will (and I think you will,) was the Blow Pop. To be sure, I did not fancy lollypops over other treats… but really, who among you could resist bubblegum encased in a flavoured, hard candy shell? On this fateful day, however, we found ourselves Blow Popless. Dejected, we accepted the, less desirable, Tootsie Pop from the awkward, friendly girl who sat behind us.
Maybe it started as a means to further avoid paying attention in class. Who knows? But, Regis and I began reminiscing about the old commercial in which Mr. Owl fails to accurately deduce the number of licks to get to the center of Tootsie Pop. Oh, come-on… You know the one. “Ah-one… two-hoo-hoo… ah-three… CRUNCH!”
And with that, it began. I was determined to discover the secret that somehow managed to elude that poor boy… Mr. Cow, Mr. Fox, Mr. Turtle, and even wise, old Mr. Owl. I was going to find out exactly how many licks it would take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop if it killed me, and/or caused severe blistering to my tongue. This was my challenge.
The rules were simple: Licks only. Sucking was expressly forbidden. Also prohibited was the use of water or any other drink to “wǣtan my whistle.” This test was to be completed under the power of my own saliva. Regis predicted a forth period “CRUNCH!” The gauntlet had been tossed. Away I licked.
Did I know, then, that I would be making history? Could I foresee the world-wide peristaltic ramifications my brazen audacity would induce? Does anybody know what the hell a “midnight toker” is supposed to be?
As I walked home that day, my tongue was held high, with a triumphant glow. The fact that it had swollen to thrice its size, bothered me not. I had preformed a valuable service for God and my country. More than that, I knew that the next day in school, I would be the envy of every man and dream of every woman.
And even if the Fridays on my calendar weren’t suddenly inundated with movie dates, I could always rely on the weekly meeting of the Blow Pop Appreciation Club to quell the mind numbing boredom.