Tag: Big League Chew

Day 998: Crossing Abbey Road


This Friday marks the 45th anniversary of what I believe to be the greatest album of all time.

Before you flick lint in my beer or pelt me with wads of Big League Chew for not designating this title to Pink Floyd’s Piper At The Gates of Dawn or Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ Too-Rye-Ay, allow me to point out that there are many albums that are flawless – sometimes in spite of a number of actual flaws. Nary a wayward note blemishes Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key of Life, and Paul Simon’s Graceland is among the few utterly perfect slabs of 1980’s vinyl. For me, “the greatest” combines not only artistic and technical brilliance, but the subjective distinction of having served as the soundtrack to many of the most fantastic moments of my life. Your results may (and probably do) vary.

The story of Abbey Road is one of pure, primal mirth, flecked with auburn specks of encroaching melancholy. It is the last glorious and romantic trip to Maui for an otherwise doomed marriage. It marks the greatest rock band in history (an assertion I’ll stand by as wholly factual) producing one final brushstroke upon their legacy before heading their separate ways.


This is not a happy group.

In January of 1969, the Beatles were moving in four different directions, and had been for over a year. Their plan was to return to the studio, record a back-to-their-roots album, perform their first concert since the summer of 1966 (the Pyramids in Egypt were a proposed locale, as was a barge adrift in the Atlantic), and film it all for posterity. This attempt to reconnect resulted in a cavalcade of arguments, the grandiose concert reduced to a noon-hour gig on the roof, and the temporary quitting of George Harrison. Read more…

Day 642: Whose Broad Stripes And Bright Bars…


With the cold claws of a vicious flu scraping against bone through my unguarded skin, I find that only the visions of the sweet satisfaction of treats long past can de-throb my head and un-ache my sedentary muscles. Though it’s true, my innards are craving only some tea, soup, and maybe a long-overdue nap, I’m more drawn to the happy glow of that gustatorial euphoria of my favorite candy moments. It’s more about that “Wow, this is good” feeling than the actual flavor itself.

But rather than devote today’s kilograph to a thousand-word digression about that particularly exquisite packet of Big League Chew I enjoyed when I was fourteen, I instead opt to approach the task with a sense of fairness.

I spent yesterday’s essay boasting giddily about candy that shuns the Lower 48 and calls Canada (and, let’s face it, England) home. But it would be an act of flagrant deceit not to admit that certain American confections have tickled my buds in past visits. Some of these I have tried, others simply look too intriguing not to be worthy of a hunt next time I find myself in the Land of the Free. These are the yankee candies that won’t wander north.


Without question, the bar that first prompts a hungry lunge of my candy-grubbing arm when I travel down south is the Whatchamacallit. This bar incorporates the holy trinity of candy bar essentials: peanut butter (flavoring the ‘crisp’ things), caramel and chocolate. Sure, peanuts are fine and nougat is nougat, but a blend of these three items is the stuff of rectangular delicacy. Canada has something called Special Crisp which I’m told is identical, but is notoriously hard to find in these parts. So when I dream of peanuty crisps and caramel, the word Whatchamacallit is always on the wrapper. Read more…

Day 564: Have Gum Will Travel


There is something blissfully inelegant about chewing gum. As soon as you pop it in your mouth, you are in possession of a piece of eventual garbage that, if you don’t start out with an exit strategy, may finish its life crammed under a desk or depurifying the bottom of someone’s brand new pair of Nikes. Chewing gum is – for those of us who don’t opt for the sidewalk-disposal solution – a responsibility.

And in an act of deplorable inconsideration, many gum companies have upped the ante of commitment by replacing the easily-unwrapped and fashionable sticks with little candy-covered cubes inside loud plastic bubble-packs. These things obnoxiously announce to everyone within a three-room radius that you are about to partake in some quality chew-time, and they can all shut the hell up and resume their conversations once you have begun your mastication.

I hate those things. Give me an old foil-wrapped stick of Juicy Fruit or a paper pouch of Big League Chew any day.


Way up in the forests (or possibly plains, maybe mountains – I really didn’t pull too hard at this thread) of Yli-li, Finland, archeologists have unearthed evidence of gum from the Neolithic age. A chunk of 5000-year-old bark tar that was chewed and not swallowed, possibly because of its medicinal properties, or maybe because it was never too early in history to look cool. Read more…