Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The complete and utter horror of... FOO TI FUM!

That crudely-rendered monster is Foo Ti Fum. The city he's terrorizing is Portland, Oregon.

My cousin's favorite gum
When I was growing up in Michigan, my uncle and his family lived right down the street from us, so my cousins were regular visitors to our home, especially during the summers. My uncle's youngest son, Derrick, was practically a brother to me in those days. He was one of those kids who, like the tykes in Family Circus, was always mispronouncing words in a way which grownups found cute. Derrick had a genuine love for Fruit Stripe gum back then, which I could never understand because, even at that age, I knew that Fruit Stripe was a total ripoff. A few seconds of flavor, then nothing.

Well, anyway, Derrick could never manage to say "Fruit Stripe gum" correctly, and it always came out sounding like "Foo Ti Fum." And that particular turn of phrase lodged itself into my mind and stayed there, long after I moved away from Michigan and my relatives. When I learned of a Marvel Comics character called Fin Fang Foom, I began to think of "Foo Ti Fum" as a similar character, a huge, snarling monster with the exact color scheme of the Fruit Stripe gum packaging.

This thought became so deeply rooted in my mind that, in moments of extreme boredom, I would actually Google "Foo Ti Fum" hoping to see pictures of this totally nonexistent character. Of course, nothing came up. Well, I finally decided to fix that. Here is a genuine article about Foo Ti Fum with a picture to go with it. If I ever Google the beast's name again, this will appear. That's good enough for me.