Sunday, February 26, 2017

Slime and the Slimers

“There’s no Elmer’s Glue to be found anywhere on Oahu,” my eleven-year-old granddaughter announced dramatically as we got into the car at Honolulu airport last Sunday. Still groggy from the ten-hour flight across so many time zones and with my ears still stopped up, I thought I had misheard her. Asking for some explanation, I got a very rapid paced explanation. Every sixth grader on the island is making slime, a concoction composed of Elmer’s Glue, cornstarch, and some secret ingredients known only to very aware eleven-year-olds and which I’ve already forgotten. The run on glue was so substantial that as soon as word got out of the arrival of a new shipment, someone texted the location to her friends who texted it to their friends and in no time that store, too, found its shelves of glue stripped bare.

Fads like this are nothing new. What makes them spread so quickly and completely is the kids’ use of the Internet. And sure enough, within days of our arrival the Wall Street Journal described the slime phenomenon. There are even enterprising youngsters making money out of sharing instructions for making it and using Instagram to purvey already confected slime.

The situation on Oahu turned out to be less dire than first we heard. No -- a black market in the glue had not yet developed. Some apparently was still being airlifted in, it seems, for in an out-of-the-way convenience store in a neighborhood which must be devoid of eleven-year-old kids we found a squeeze bottle under a trade name “school glue”.

Adult creators of slime don’t need glue. They need credulous readers and viewers too lazy to check libelous statements, especially claims that fit their own preconceptions.

No comments: