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Posts tagged ‘ket’


Logo of Warheads candy as found on

Logo of Warheads candy as found on

When I think about Warheads candy, I recall the days of elementary school throughout the 1990s and the sacred time after lunch: recess. My classmates and I would dare each other to put multiple Warheads in our mouths and see who could bear it the longest. Accepting the dare was customary and our faces would contort until they were relieved by the sweet flavor underneath the sour layer of the Warheads. Afterwards, we would be overcome by laughter and describe how it felt to have multiples of these candies in our mouths, as if they were actual war stories. Our parents never quite understood the appeal of these delightful and daring candies, but often conceded to buying them on occasion at the grocery store.

Warheads emerged in the U.S. in the early 1980s and are manufactured by Impact Confections. According to descriptions of ket from our class discussion, Warheads are a prime example of ket. The way Warheads are marketed is supposed to elicit the thought and feeling of a nuclear warhead going off in one’s head during consumption of the candy. This very real object (a nuclear warhead) is clearly not to be eaten; because the Warhead candy is eaten and enjoyed by children, it gains ket-like qualities. Warheads come in fruit flavors like apple, black cherry, and watermelon, but unlike fruits the candies have unnatural colors and textures. These candies are without nutrition and are extremely childish. Never have I met an adult who would even touch a Warhead without spitting it out. The sensational sour taste provides amusement for children while disgusting their parents. As my memory recounts, kids eating Warheads on the playground also provides the social aspects of this ket.

As far as I am concerned, Warheads “[belong] exclusively to the world of children” and are a fond memory of my childhood days (380).

Ket Candy Necklaces


Candy Necklaces, from, $5.99 for 12-ct

Candy Necklaces were invented in 1958, although the inventor and location are unknown. The price now is incredibly cheap, ranging from $0.39 to $17.99 for a 60-ct. I now understand why I always ended up with at least one in goodie bags for birthday parties or in my Halloween candy bucket (ahem-cheap parents).

Candy necklaces were a big part of my childhood, although now I wonder why. They’re sticky and not hygienic in the slightest. The idea of a necklace that you eat, and the parts that you leave for later that stick to your skin, is simply revolting. When I read the piece by Allison James on ket, these were all I could think about.

These brightly colored, stretchy necklaces are prime examples of ket for their cheapness and the fact that an adult wouldn’t eat them under any circumstances other than to appease her child (my mom once did this and I distinctly remember watching the expression on her face and wondering why she didn’t like the gift I was graciously sharing with her).

These edible jewelry treasures are obviously not meant for adults, which is part of the appeal of ket to kids, or so James says (397). I, personally, never really noticed or cared what my parents thought of the types of candy I was consuming, although my brother did. After Halloween, he always knew that if he wanted something, he could bribe my mother with some of his chocolate candy. Never once did he offer her the “lower class” candy of ket. He enjoyed his ket, just like the rest of us, and so when he wanted to trade one of the kinds he didn’t like, he would wait for friends or neighbors’ kids. This agrees with the argument James makes that ket is used as a socialization tool for kids (400). Although, it would be amusing to watch two adults try to trade a gumball for some jelly beans.

I suppose that what James says about ket rings true: adults prefer their chocolate or “sweets,” while ket is left to the world of kids. The two worlds are separate, and while I certainly thought I would never grow tired of the bright, fun candy, I guess I’ve risen to the dark side: chocolate. I think I’m okay with that.