The Most Fun You Can Have for Five Cents

Photo by Rob Madeo. Gum by Bazooka.I popped into a little store downtown to buy a couple of Advil, but I found something much better: Bazooka Bubble Gum.

Bazooka! Talk about being transported back to your youth.

We used to go out from school during lunch and stop at Sam & Joe’s on Westbury Avenue. This was the kind of place where you could buy comic books and sit at the counter and have a hamburger or grilled cheese with an egg cream. An egg cream! And then you would leave with a pocket full of Bazooka Bubble Gum, which probably cost a penny each.

Now it’s more like a nickel each, but hey, inflation. I unwrapped a piece and popped it into my mouth. It was surprisingly supple and fresh. Then it was time to carefully open the comic. There they are, Bazooka Joe and Mort. Oh, Mort. You were always so hilarious with your turtleneck — what have you been up to all these years?

But what the hell? The type on the comic was unreadable. Squinting, I tried in vain to read the joke in the comic. Couldn’t read the fortune, either. Why is this so small? Are they writing such long jokes that they had to switch to tiny, little font? Or it could be my vision is going to hell?

I’d like to think that Bazooka’s for kids of all ages. Maybe not for their eyes, though.

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