Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blow Then Pop

She licked the Blow Pop for so long the stem splintered. I wanted to meet her tongue.

I followed her down the street. Would she suck on another?

She dug into her purse. Another pop came out. She unraveled the wrapper and let it float to the sidewalk. I stepped on the wrapper and saw that it said "root beer."

So she liked beer.

She also liked roots.

I swallowed.

I watched her lick it. There was a slight bobbing as she sucked. That's all I needed to see.

"Pardon me, ma'am," I said, stepping in front of her.

She stopped. Her lips parted in surprise; I saw how they formed around the stick.

"Whaw?" she said.

"Pardon me," I repeated. "I saw you sucking that thing and knew I had to re-introduce myself. John Byrd, Tootsie Pop account executive. We met before at the Confectionery Convention. You won 'Best Face' during the Sour Apple Eating competition."

There was total non-recognition on her part. But I knew those lips, and especially that tongue.

"I don't recall meeting you there," she said. She had stopped licking and was now in the process of chewing.

"It's fine if you don't remember me," I said. I too was chewing.

"Fingernail chewing is why I switched to Blow Pops in the first place," she said, studying me. I stopped chewing.

"I needed a new habit," I protested, hiding my hands. "I was getting fat eating our product."

"Shame on you," she said.

"I paid for them all!" I lied.

"You forget I worked for Blow Pop, your main competitor, and we had spies everywhere, and we knew about your pilfering. We also know you are the one responsible for introducing 'Olive' flavor to the world, not to mention the Tootsie Roll Laxative."


"Now get out of my face and let me chew in peace."


Later that night I plotted my revenge (no one blows me off like that).

She would open her front door and be met by a huge bubble, made of gum, that I would pop in her face. She wouldn't know what hit her.

I did an internet search for the best bubble gum and found Ollie's, which promised huge bubbles, and had it shipped in. Ollie's tasted like regular gum and chewed like regular gum, but the bubble itself was fantastic, about the size of a basketball, and retained its shape for a good 30 seconds. When it popped, it popped outward, making a great mess.

I got binoculars and watched her door and took note of how long it took for her to answer her doorbell. She averaged 25 seconds per ring, so I knew I could ring it, then form a bubble, and would have a 5 second window of opportunity, plus-or-minus her motivation to get to the door.

Halfway to her door, though, I stepped on a jelly candy baking into her driveway and my plan was thwarted when my sneakers made an awful squeaking noise and her dog in the garage began to bark. I quickly got out of there and soaked my shoes in mineral spirits and plotted my next move.

Then my phone rang, and it was her on the line.

"I heard you at my place today," she said. "I recognized your pace. From the time you were following me."

"You heard me squeaking?"

"Yes. It was you."

"It was me. I came offering taffy."

"I only do toffee."

"What about root beer?" I inquired.

"My sweet spot," she confided. "Mmm."

"I have frothy one right now," I lied. "With clean ice cubes."

"A straw?"

"Made of candy, just the way you like it."

"I'll be right over," she said.

I took four sticks of gum and folded them in half and placed them in my mouth, then added four more, and made a bubble the size of a medicine ball. Then I kept adding gum until it became the size of a bean bag sofa.

I unlatched the door and turned off the lights.

I heard someone's hand on the knob.

The door opened.

The stick in her mouth caused a big explosion.
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