In the 90s, our taste for sweets went sour
Can you remember the first time you tried a Cry Baby?
Unwrapping the tiny cellophane package, you popped the bubble gum ball into your mouth. The taste was sweet for just a moment.
Your tastebuds started to tingle, and the encrustred crystals began their slow torture. You beat your fist against the floor.
You glanced at the wrapper for words of encouragement: "You'll only cry for 40 seconds," it read, "so stay with it!" You tossed it away, cringing.
5 seconds...10 seconds...
20 seconds...30 seconds...
Swiftly maneuvering your tongue, you shifted the bubblegum ball from the center of your mouth and into your cheek.
Gnawing at the tiny orb, you stripped the candy of its powers in a matter of seconds. All that remained was a wad of bland bubblegum.
Trying a Tear Jerker usually yielded the same results. They were just like Cry Babies from what you could tell.
If you were anything like me, the first time you tried either of these it was tough. But you sort of built up a tolerance over time.
After a while, me and my buddy got to where we'd stuff about six Cry Babies in each cheek and have a staring contest to see who could keep from making the face.
That was about the time an obsession with all things sour
crossed the line, and I found myself utterly addicted to the glorious oral pain.
Cry Babies and Tear Jerkers, they were the real deal of course. Sometimes, though, I'd buy other types of candies to stave me over between the gumball binges.
These were good if you were at the movie theater. You could buy a bag of these, and you'd be in good shape for the film's duration.
And before any of these mouth-puckering cousins came to be in the 90s, ancestral candies like this sat on dusty shelves.
They had a mean bite to them, but nothing like our generation's Trio of Terror.
That's right...I forgot to mention the third leg of the stool. The only other type of candy that could stand up to the waves of pain brought to you by TJs and CBs.
These were not made of gum, and they didn't have that rough surface either, like the other two.
White powder coated the outside of the shiny lozenge. To look at it without the wrapper, you'd never know...
Bailing out after eating a Warhead was just as easy, except you didn't get stuck with a wad of bubble gum. It just crunched up, like regular hard candy.
Thing about all three of these candies, no matter which ones you favored...it you overdid it, it got to be too much a good thing.
You didn't know how far you'd sunk until you sat down at breakfast one morning...the previous night spent binging on tart delights.
Biting into your toast, you grabbed your jaw. Something about those sour candies, they had a way of stripping the enamel clean off your teeth.
The tooth sensitivity sort of went with the territory though. You couldn't go back to the sugary sweet if you tried.
It was tough to enjoy, say, a simple stick of bubble gum once you'd chased the dragon into territory uncharted by Starburst and Mr. Goodbar.
These days, you may still find yourself perusing the candy shelves at your local 7-11. Try as you might, you can never go back to the way things were before SOUR.
Once you got a hold of the hard stuff, it was all over with. You became a slave to the pain.