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C a n d y - C o a t e d
R e b e l l i o n

by Adam Finley

illustration/Eachean Edmundson

I TRUST I'M not the only one out there who feels as if he is standing over the abyss of insanity, his mind splitting open and sucking back into itself like lava lamp goo as he watches those painfully surreal Mentos commercials.

I try to laugh at them, but I can't. They seem to have come from some lost decade, as if a wormhole opened in the space/time continuum somewhere between the 1970s and 1980s for the soul purpose of pumping out these televised salutes to socially acceptable rebellion.

I know all about socially-acceptable rebellion. The other day while waiting for a female friend of mine at Planned Parenthood I stole a Fisher-Price Little Person from a toy basket in the waiting room. On the drive home I imagined all of the nurses and receptionists running ragged trying to find out what happened to their circa 1979 Fisher-Price Little Person.

Nurse: Oh for the love of God! Somebody stole Lil Timmy!!
Receptionist: If ever there was an ideal time for a nail bomb going off in my face it would be now.

This is what those damn Mentos commercials are all about: Kids pretending to be mannequins to ditch their moms at the mall, kids crawling through limousines to make it across the street, and guys turning their suits into pinstripes by rolling around on a wet park bench. Afterwards, they pop out their roll of pasty chalk-flavored mints to galvanize the fact that they're safer than a teddy bear dipped in Nonoxynol-9.

I don't enjoying being a Mentos Guy. I don't get satisfaction by stealing grapes from the supermarket or driving down the wrong way in a parking lot so I can swing into an empty space, but at least it's something. The problem is that you get absolutely no bragging rights for these Mentos deeds.

My Friend: Hey, Adam. Last night I stole a cement truck and crashed it into a museum. Then I took the security guards hostage and made them urinate on all the paintings at knife point. What did you do?
Me: Uh ... I bought some Oreos last night but I didn't have enough to pay for them. So to save face I whipped some Mentos off the shelf, popped one into my mouth and held a goofy facial expression for about 2.5 seconds. Then they charged me for the Mentos as well. They made me stock shelves for the rest of the night to pay off my debt and I'm no longer allowed in the Circle K.

If you haven't already guessed, the only obvious way around this dilemma is to lace each Mentos with LSD. This would mean changing the name to something more appropriate like "Why Is The Wallpaper Trying To Eat Me?" How this would serve the population as a whole has yet to be determined, but the commercials would no longer be 30 second salutes to spineless rebellion. More than likely they'd show some guy hugging a fire hydrant and screaming "BOLL WEEVILS COMING OUT OF MY EYES!!"

It may not be a step in the right direction, but at least it's a step away from the thinly-veiled apathy that most people have the gall to call rebellion. •

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