Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dear Santa: All I want is a Fizz-Nik

What’s the dumbest holiday gift you’ve ever received? Mine was a Fizz-nik. And understand, I really WANTED this thing. In my dumb kid-ness I thought this was the coolest invention EVER.

It was a plastic straw with a big bubble in the middle. This was actually two half spheres that twisted together with straws on either end. You put a scoop of ice cream in the bubble and twisted it shut. Then you jammed one end into a bottle of root beer. That was it. Voila! Instant root beer float!

You would take a swig and (in theory) the root beer would mix with the ice cream and by the time it reached your mouth you were in soda fountain heaven. And the best part – no muss nor fuss.

Except for one thing…

It never worked. To mix the two elements you had to hold the bottle at almost a 90 degree angle and crane your neck way back. Not exactly ideal.

And then there was this tiny flaw – there was no way to stop the rushing ice cream float as it hurtled its way to your mouth. What a mess. Within a week my mother had confiscated my beloved Fizz-Nik.

Let’s just say that as a result of the Fizz-nik I have more empathy for hookers.

Hope you get what YOU want this holiday season.

19 comments:

D. McEwan said...

You must have had a defective Fiz-Nik. Mine worked fine, and never opened up and dumped the ice cream and soda on my face. But as Dad pointed out: "Why not just pour your soda into a glass and put in a scoop of ice cream? Why do you need the Fiz-Nik?" Anyway, after maybe a week, the novelty wore off.

I do recall that, since I never liked root beer, I always used mine on bottles of Bubble-Up, a 7-Up type of soda long gone from the market, though not gone as long as Fiz-Niks have been.

Ray Barrington said...

Somewhere, someplace, somebody is reading this and starting to plan the grand return of the Fizz-Nik (R)

Mark Evanier said...

I own one or the Fizz-Niks in your photo. Eat your heart out, Ken.

http://www.newsfromme.com/2001/07/13/the-greatest-invention-of-the-20th-century/

Dave said...

Not only does mine work, it's currently sitting in a kitchen drawer, celebrating half a century of faithful service.

Unknown said...

OMG. I think someone tried to reinvent this on Shark Tank last year!

RCP said...

One pretty dumb gift I can think of was a fake "aquarium" with plastic fish that magnetically "swam" - fun for about 7.5 seconds. All clothing gifts were really dumb.

Now there were some fun gifts that I LIKED: "Voice of the Mummy" and "Shrunken Head Kit" (w/ Vincent Price on the box cover) - you basically peeled an apple, suspended it over a light bulb for 12 hours or so, then painted the shriveled orb and glued on hair and beads for the eyes and teeth - then you could hang it somewhere = cool!

Johnny Walker said...

I know I hail from a land where root beer is rare, and root beer floats even more so, but couldn't the same effect be had by switching the Fizz-Nik for a glass? (Root beer + ice cream + glass = root beer float?)

I only tried root beer for the first time in my 20s, and instantly fell in love, but I don't think I've ever had a "real" root beer float... Only crude homemade approximations. I'm probably doing it wrong.

The Wrath of Chaka Khan said...

You're all liars who lie! Fizz-nik was that phony card game Spock and Kirk played on "Star Trek."

DBA said...

D. McEwan, you can still get Bubble Up, but it's harder to find. I saw some earlier this year.

Marija said...

LOL Ken, I spilled my coffee reading the last couple of lines.

LouOCNY said...

Of course, Fizz Nik is available on eBay

Richard Y said...

Yes,, 2nd to last line had me on the floor

Janice C said...

Thanks for the happy ending, Ken.

Yah Shure said...

Remember Flav-R Straws from the late '50s? They were bendable paper straws with a "magic" flavoring pellet inside. You'd stick one end in a glass of plain ol' moo juice and instantly suck up chocolate or strawberry milk!

Or so said the ads. It took a great deal of suction to get the milk up through the flavoring crammed into the middle of the straw. The paper quickly turned soggy, causing the straw to collapse. You'd end up ripping the thing apart to get what was left of the flavoring pellet and either pop it in your mouth or toss it into the glass of milk to drink in the more typical, magic-free manner.

mooseNsquirrel said...

I also had a Fizz-Nik, and how many times was "nik" used after Sputnik, anyway? The novelty soon wore off, and those Flav-R Straws were even worse. If you liked the flavor of soggy paper with a slight chemically chocolate residue they were terrific. I also remember chocolate and strawberry flavored (actually scented) toothbrushes. Kinda sending a mixed message..

Cap'n Bob said...

I remember the Fiz-Nik commercials but I never had one. My mother put Flav-R-Straws in my lunch box when I was in the third or fourth grade, but not for long. Perhaps I told her they didn't work well. As I recall, they had a strip of flavored paper somewhat like felt running the length of the straw. Damn little flavor was released, and what there was tasted bad. Their claim to fame was the retort, "Eat me raw with a Flav-R-Straw."

D. McEwan said...

I remember Flav-R-Straws, and what I remember is that they tasted foul.

Anonymous said...

We had Voice of the Mummy game! God that was neat. We also had the Dark Shadows game. Julie, Burlington, Iowa

mike said...

No, no, Chaka, Kirk and Spock played Fizz-Bin! And, yes, we tried to play it as carefree youths.