Raise your hands if you thought this entry was going to be about Cubs fans. Well, it isn’t, even though that would be very appropriate given that the Major League Baseball regular season ended only a few hours ago. Instead, I thought I’d write a few words about lollipops.
I was recently enjoying one of the new Tootsie-Pop flavors when I noticed that my wrapper had the complete image of an Anglo kid dressed up like an Indian aiming his bow and arrow at a nearby star. That reminded me of the rural myth I often heard when I was a kid that if you got a sucker with the entire “Indian and star” image on it, you could take it up to the Sunoco gas station where friendly Mr. Burcham would give you a free sucker. Another theory that passed around was that the image really meant that you would have good luck. Personally, I couldn’t imagine much better luck than someone handing me a FREE sucker.
I did some Googling and was unsurprised by the wealth of related data hitching it’s way along the information highway. Snopes.com has a decent article about the rumor. Interestingly enough, they also report that the rumors began spreading almost immediately after Tootsie-Pops first hit the markets in 1931.
My favorite place to secure a FREE sucker was to pluck it myself from the sucker tree in the lobby of the State Bank of Toulon. Of course that was back in the days of plenty before they began stocking the tree with smaller and more economical Dum-Dums. Although Dum-Dums were much smaller, and obviously lacked the chewy Tootsie-Roll center, they did offer more varieties. They have continued to add to their catalog over the years. In fact, today can even vote online for the next Dum-Dums flavor to be manufactured. (I'm beggin' ya- PLEASE do not vote for coconut. Instead, follow my lead and write in "macNcheese.") They also will sell you your favorite flavors in bulk, so you don’t have to suffer through anymore of those awful pineapple flavored suckers.
I guess I was surprised to learn that Tootsie-Pops are now available in the Dum-Dums size. So this is progress? Sigh…
I wonder how many years will have to pass before I fail to remember the classic commercial where the kid asks Mr. Owl how many licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie-Pop.