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When Candy Was Wax

Wax LipsWax is made from petroleum distillates. In other words, crude oil. But someone once came up with the idea of impregnating flavor and food dye into the foul substance, and molding it into objects like gargantuan lips, containers of sweet liquids, and the ultimate: the Wowee Whistle. And you know what? We kids of the Boomer years just couldn't get enough of them.

I would have loved to have posted a picture of a Wowee Whistle. I must have bought at least a hundred of the familiar plastic-wrapped orange edible (well, let's say chewable) waxen musical instruments. But alas, I couldn't locate a photo anywhere.

Wax candy is one of those things that never completely disappeared, but its popularity has greatly diminished since store candy shelves were packed with them circa 1967. A Canadian candy company called Concord Confections still produces the lips, and supposedly, even the Wowee Whistle.

The lips had a tab that you bit into to hold them in place in your mouth. That tab was handy for notifying you as to when it was time to stop wearing the lips and start chewing them. It did so by being chewed through.

Of course, if you were missing front teeth, as many of us were at around the age of seven, the lips lifespan was greatly enhanced.

The Wowee Whistles were the best, as I mentioned earlier. They were wrapped in cellophane adorned with black cats, bats, and the like. That first whiff of the newly-unwrapped wax was heavenly. Then you proceeded to make a whole bunch of noise blowing into the miniature ocarina (I know, it wasn't REALLY an ocarina, but I can't think of another instrument to compare it to ;-) and try to play a song.

The whistles seemed to be properly tuned so that a musician might play them, but I'm only guessing. All I know is that none of the kids in Miami, Oklahoma could make them do anything but blast out random toots.

Another wax-encased candy was the Nik-L-Nip. I believe it warrants its own article. Look for it.

So never, ever forget, Boomers, when we happily consumed candy creations made from the same substance that produces the fuel for our cars!

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