(March, 2000)

For those of you too young to recall, or you Canadians or Brits or others who may not have had this product, FIZZIES were tablets one dropped in water to make a sort of instant soda. They dissolved and fizzed and foamed to produce an artificially-flavored beverage--not unlike Alka Seltzer, but sweet and non-medicinal. Real crappy soda, at that. But fun. Even more fun to place a whole tablet in the mouth and sip cold water thru Russians drinking tea past a lump of sugar.

O.K.: Submitted for your approval, old hippies: Think back to those old T.V. commercials for FIZZIES.....

THE COMMERCIAL: Animation = It's dark, and the only thing visible are numerous sets of blinking eyes. We hear children's voices, whispering and giggling. We hear liquid noises, fizzing noises, laughter. Suddenly the lights come on, as we hear an older voice shout "WHAT'S GOING ON IN HERE?" and we see the kids sitting in a circle on the kitchen floor. A dumpy, mustachioed, older man (someone's dad? we never really find out) has burst into the kitchen, dressed in his pajamas. The kids are passing colorful tablets around the circle and dropping them into glasses of water. They shout back "WE'RE HAVING A FIZZIES PARTY!" and proceed to give the old man a tablet and a glass of his own. His pissed-off demeanor evaporates. He's ecstatic to receive a colored tablet and be asked to join the fun! He joins them, and everyone is beaming away, drinking FIZZIES as the announcer advises us that FIZZIES come in several flavors....

Forget Rock 'n Roll, violent video games, gangster rap, MTV, or the breakdown of the family unit and the subsequent loss of the moral fabric of America. All our current problems can be traced directly to this product and specifically to this commercial.... IT WAS THE BIRTH OF THE COUNTER CULTURE, KIDDOS! Think about it: A bunch of kids sitting in a circle in the dark, passing tablets from hand to hand, making a secret party out of the act of surreptitiously consuming this radically cool substance; the sudden arrival of the authority figure, who's baffled by their behavior and their defiance of societal norms (Sitting on the kitchen floor... in the dark? Everyone else is in bed, and the neighborhood kids gather in one guy's house to surreptitiously sip fizzing sugar water after hours? How wasted were they?)

The Man confronts them, and threatens to break up their groovy scene-- only to be co-opted into the ritual by peer pressure! They turn old daddy-o on to a tablet, and he suddenly gets down and becomes one of them! Hoo-hooo! These commercials aired in the early 60's. It wouldn't be long until hoards of kids all over the world were sitting in the dark, in circles, passing all manner of things from hand to hand, waiting for The Man to show up so they could turn him on...

I rest my case. Why do I think of things like this? It's simple: One too many Fizzies parties. Or something.

Keeper of the Sacred Tablets; here--have a tablet.

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