What a bargain. Plop down five cents on the counter, walk out of the store with not one, but TWO prizes. A delicious ooey-gooey chocolate caramel treat, and a whistle for after you were finished eating the sticky globules of delight!
Of course, I’m speaking about Milk Duds, and the slick little whistle the box made when you tore the tabs off of one end.
Milk Duds were a classic candy that closely resembled what you find in the bottom of a rabbit cage. Despite that rather unseemly resemblance, the confection has been a hit since the 1920’s.
I’m not sure who discovered that the box would create a miniature woodwind instrument. All I know is that my earliest memories of Milk Duds involve eating them as fast as possible (and that’s not very fast, with all that chewy caramel), pulling the waxed paper liner out of the box, ripping the flaps off one end, and blowing vigorously into the makeshift clarinet.
The sound would often annoy girls, yet another added bonus.
After a while, the cardboard would absorb enough of your saliva that you would toss your musical creation into the trash. But let’s do a little math:
Cost of the candy: five cents.
Cost of the instrument: no additional charge.
Getting to annoy your cousin Cynthia: priceless.