Seasons in the sunset - A seventy (+3) year old looks ahead and back

Seasons in the sunset - A 70 (+5) year old
looks ahead and back

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Gift of Slime

                                 

It is 7:45 AM. I am in my car, headed for my daughter’s home 2.6 miles away.

Each morning I drive grandson Johnny (age 10) to school. It’s my favorite way to start the day.

Today is my birthday. I’m 77.

When I arrive Johnny greets me at the door. “Here’s your birthday present,” he says, handing me a Tupperware container of what looks like Guacamole.

I recognize it immediately as slime.

“Just what I wanted,” I tell a beaming Johnny  -  and it’s true.

If you haven’t heard of slime, you probably don’t hobnob with the pre-teen set and you’re also not employed at a store that sells Elmer’s glue, or Borax*.

Never heard of Borax either? OK, so you’re younger than 77.

What you also may not know is that “slime” is currently a national craze. According to USA Today, “Parents across the country are reporting a shortage of glue in stores and many are naming the simple, do-it-yourself "slime" as the culprit.


During our ride to school Johnny gives me instructions on how to use my slime.

“You can use it for about a minute, then you should put it back for less than a minute, then you can use it again.”

“What, exactly, do you mean when you say, use it?” I ask.
“Just squeeze it in your hand for a while, move it around,” he says.
“Got it,” I say.

Crazes in my day (1950s) were a far cry from those today. No internet hype. I remember two such crazes at my school back in the last century – 1950s: water pistols and yo-yos. Water pistol mania was halted prematurely by the authorities (school principal). As for yo-yos, they likely faded on their own.

The internet obviously helps crazes along. In the case of slime there are myriad broadcasts of new twists and turns such as varied ingredients, new colors and countless videos of nerdy, now world famous, children actually making the stuff.

Trust me, it’s riveting.

Johnny’s slime endeavors began a few weeks ago. He took things a step further when he and friends created a quasi commercial enterprise to manufacture and market slime, called Cameroon Bank. 
The name Cameroon, dreamed up in the halls of Brooklake Elementary School, apparently comes from a fellow executive and 5th grader named Cameron. I’m told that he doesn’t make slime like other officers, but that he authored the Cameroon company song and … well ...

“He’s the king,” John says, “He doesn’t have to make slime.” 

The bank started with six charter members, all 5th graders. Each - excepting Cameron - manufactures DIY slime at home from raw materials purchased by grandpas, parents and the like (no overhead). They market their product, neatly packaged globs of slime, almost exclusively at school. The first day John came home with over $10.

Needless to say, his parents were aghast.

Regardless, production hummed right along. Mornings before school, it was not unusual to see John stuffing varying amounts of folding money, along with containers of newly minted slime into his backpack.

Meanwhile, adults in the family were imploring John to return all profits.

Not sure if that happened. Last I heard he had given it all to charity, but again, details are fuzzy.
Finally I was told that the school principal had banned slime sales. I’m assuming he banned in-school possession as well, but, honestly, you'd never know it from seeing the kitchen table most mornings: various sized containers filled with multi-colored pudding, labeled with description and price. It seems that sales are still brisk - at least on the street. And I wouldn’t bet against on school grounds.

Meanwhile, along with my birthday container of green, beaded slime which, I’m told, retails for $5, I was officially appointed a Vice President of Cameroon Bank (I'm a major investor). I signed a contract, written on the back of my birthday card, and which the six officers of the Bank verified as binding (see below).



Needless to say, I'm honored.


* Borax: I actually bought Borax recently. Finding a store that carried it was a challenge, but I finally located two boxes on a shelf at CVS. The internet told me the Borax would discourage ants from coming in under my front door. Borax was the ant equivalent of a have-a-heart trap for mice. They’d smell it and turn back. I sprinkled the Borax on the floor inside my door and it worked – I think. I say I think because I also laid down a batch of cinnamon so can’t be sure which did the trick.