Off Campus

09 May 2005

Something about Fluff

There's just something about Marshmallow Fluff. I can't quite put my finger on it.....

Is it the way it jiggles in the jar, when it's been left in the dark too long?

Is it the fact that it doesn' occur by itself in nature, but is the product of cold fusion and the dreams of blind turtles (plus a secret ingredient that's rumored to be moon rocks, but probably isn't)?

Everyone has their own opinion of Fluff, from "I loved it as a kid" to "It makes me sick" to "It's a fine sexual aid", but me, well, I fear the stuff.

That's right. I fear Fluff.

Why, you may ask, would I fear a jolly, fun-filled sandwich spread? Well, this goes back a long way with me. All the way back to Vietnam.

Okay, maybe not that far back, but at least back to my childhood, which could be considered to border on the tail-end of the Vietnam Era. (So there.)

I've always been a lover of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (I refuse to resort to the oft-used abbreviation "PB&J" it makes this iconic staple of the young American lunch sound like a late-sixties folk supergroup), and the first time I ever heard about Fluff was at a friend's house in grade school. I saw a jar of the stuff and asked him what it was, and was quietly horrified to learn that his mother made him sandwiches that contained liquefied marshmallows in them!


I've never been a big fan of marshmallow as a food or as an adhesive for as long as I can remember. Even at that young age (which will remain undocumented for legal reasons), I knew that spreadable, pourable marshmallow was wrong. I view this wrongness in the same way that some would view drinkable meat. I mean, if there were such a thing, I'd think it was pretty gross. Wouldn't even try it.

Beyond the wrongness of the idea, the consistency bothers me. Not quite a thick liquid, but not quite as thick as peanut butter, either. All I can think of when I see it is how everything would stick to your face and fingers after you ate it. Food, bits of napkin, wood shavings, whatever happened to come in contact with the sticky Fluff residue would have to be removed with a combination of horseradish and Pine-Sol. For some reason, as unlikely as it would be to occur, I always feared that if I ate Fluff, it would somehow get in my hair, which would become so sticky and tangled that I'd have to get my head shaved, and the other kids would make Hari Krishna jokes and hit me with rulers until I sang "Mr. Bojangles" for them and whistled through my teeth. Does a kid need this kind of aggravation?

No, by Humphrey!

Some little-know facts about Fluff that I made up to support my point:

- There has never been a documented case of Fluff saving someone's life.

- Four out of five dentists refuse to use Fluff as a "rinse" option.

- When the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man explodes at the end of Ghostbusters, Fluff is seen to be splashing everywhere. Would YOU want your child to eat the same goo that flows through the veins of a giant evil candy monster sent from Hell to destroy all of mankind? I didn't think so.

- You could drown in a vat of Fluff.

- A steady diet of Fluff can lead to uncontrollable chortling fits.

- Hitler liked fluff. A lot.

Well, I hope this little excercise in admission serves to help others who also fear Fluff. My fellow non-Fluffers, hold your head up high the next time you pass that disturbingly white jar in the grocery aisle! Shield your eyes no more! Look that jar in the white of its....jar....and let it know that you are forever free of the shame and uneasiness that it once brought you. You're Fluff-free and proud!

Next up: How that peanut butter/jelly striped thing in a jar leads to Communism.