Biting heads off jelly babies

Ron Clayton is a Wadsley-raised Sheffield historian. � Paul David Drabble'.
Ron Clayton is a Wadsley-raised Sheffield historian. � Paul David Drabble'.
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It wasn’t Breakfast at Tiffanys (question – could you eat a whole ‘Toby Foster at Breakfast’ ?) but at Big Si’s cafe in Malin Bridge.

I caught sight of the sweetie tray and my mind drifted back to Jack Beckworth’s tiny corner shop at the bottom of Ben Lane-Wadsley.

Sherbert fountains, jelly babies, sports mixtures, Spanish gold, sweet tobacco and sweet cigarettes and another generation of sweets that you can still get in Granellis or the Moor Market – Yorkshire mixture, rhubarb and custard, cherry balsalms and pear drops come to mind.

However, listen to the names of some of today’s kids’ sweets – automatic fire blast, radiation balls, brain licker, gum powder, nuclear gum, freaky megadrops, jawbreaker on a stick.

Don’t you find them rather disturbing?

Give me lovehearts or parma violets any day.

Did you bite the heads off jelly babies ?

That’s also disturbing if you ask me.

Something else which comes to mind is chewing gum – which appears like lichen on the cities pavements – yet I never see anyone chewing the damm stuff.

Chewing gum is another unwelcome inport from Uncle Sam like Lady Ga Ga, Brad Pitt, Budweiser, Spam and rap.

Do they still make wrigleys spearmint gum and beechnut chewing gum?

Chewing gum is a incredibly boring activity once the flavour has gone – chewing it for any length of time makes your jaws ache, like eating muesli.

It’s how people dispose of as well – if not on your bedpost overnight , then on pavements, under tables and God help you if you sit on it.

You have to stick your trousers, after taking them off first, in the fridge then chisel it off.

The only arguments for chewing gum are that it gives you an attitude of devil may care and that it’s supposedly good for dental hygiene.

I knew a dental nurse once, I called her dental floss.