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Bazooka Joe and the X-ray glasses

Updated: May 17, 2021


When I was a child one of my favourite sweet treats was the simple chewing gum. Long before Hubba Bubba solved the problem of the blown bubble popping and sticking to your face, the favourite was the incredibly named Bazooka Joe.

Now if you are too young to remember them, they came in sizeable chunks and individually wrapped and they nearly broke your teeth before you could chaw enough to soften them up a bit!

And as a young person there were two really exciting features of the product that really attracted me to it – like a Wonka Golden Ticket you had to be careful when opening the wrapper because surrounding the gum was a little cartoon strip featuring Bazooka Joe and his Gang!

I mean his name was what soldiers used to cause explosions, he was American and he had a gang how cooler could he be?

Well let me tell you!

At the end of each comic was a little advert for the most amazing set of must have items.

An ID bracelet, a camera, a pen knife, a necklace, a boys signet ring with your initial on it, baseball card holders and pennants – I didn’t even really know what baseball was – certainly never played it!

Anyway you get the idea and any one of these items could be yours for the princely sum of about 400 comic strip tokens!

There literally was never going to be any chance that you would collect that many, any time I got to between 15 and 20 the stash would be too big to hide and my mum would end up dumping it in the bin!

Above all the kitsch items, the one that held the most valuable space on my wishlist was the X-Ray specs – they were (apparently) glasses that could let you see through walls. Holey-moley, next to being able to fly what would a young boy need more than the ability to have x-ray vision??

A career in the health service or superhero style crime detection was not however what I wanted this technological wonder for – it was simply the ability to see what girls looked like without their clothes on!

Yes, and whilst it seems pathetically immature now, that was the superficial attraction that made me keep buying Bazooka Joes and building up my cartoon collection to secure them.

Luckily for me in hindsight it never happened and I grew up. I do not feel that not seeing my female classmates or women in the street without their clothes on is something that has been detrimental to my sense of wellbeing.

It has recently been revealed that modern technology can effectively do the same thing through sophisticated algorithms that I had hoped my X-ray vision would give me.

Seemingly you merely upload a photograph and the app will do the rest and provide you with a nude image. 

And it seems to have been a niche but sizeable cult success with many people, and I presume that means mostly, if not exclusively, men and boys availing of it.

It’s an example of an unfortunate phenomena in the modern world – there are things that we can do that we really just shouldn’t!

Yes when I was an immature little boy I would have loved the idea of it, but being denied it has done me no harm and allowed me the time to see that it’s a fairly pathetic desire to have.

And I feel sure that the users of this app would similarly not be disadvantaged by its non-existence.

There needs to be the proverbial ‘adults in the room’ that stop detrimental schemes from being fully formed and actioned when all they will do is lower our personal standards and harm innocent third-parties. 

Despite what you sometimes hear said – there can be such a thing as a bad idea!




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