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A variant of the Parker duofold. The color is officially called "Pompeii Brown," it appears to be orange. In any case, prior to the Big Red's introduction in 1921, fountain pens came in any color you wanted--so long as it was black. Production ceased in the early thirties with the rest of the original Duofold line.

A Big Red was used to sign the Japanese surrender to World War II.

Parker revived the Big Red name in the seventies for a cheap ballpoint pen. Then, in the mid-nineties, a quality fountain pen returned.

A cinnamon flavoured chewing gum.

In gum form, it is something of a rare commodity and a luxury item amongst the student population here in Australia due to the fact that you can't buy it here. Compare to cigarettes in prison. Posession of Big Red leads to a higher position in negotiating who buys the next round of beer, game of pool, etc.

However, its pleasant and unusual flavour is not the only reason for its standing as a bargaining tool.

Like most chewing gum (in America at least), Big Red comes with each piece wrapped in foil-backed paper. This paper can be used as either a form of punishment, or a sort of challenge to prove who is the most macho, depending on the context.

With gum removed and (preferably) mid-chew, take said paper and lick the inside (non-shiny) face. Then, stick said paper onto the forehead of your intended victim (or challenger).

Oh sure, it looks silly. Laugh a little, make jokes about assimilation is complete and the metal plate in my head is picking up radio waves again. But wait a little while.

After a short time - say, about a minute - the paper-ee will begin to feel a strange tingling sensation around the paper stuck to his or her forehead. This sensation will soon spread to the rest of the head, face, and neck. It then amplifies until it seems to move into the very flesh and bones of the paper-wearer, burning and consuming, turning the base constructs of the victim into something that feels like it has been on the wrong end of a fondue stick for far too long. This sensation is highly unpleasant and can spread throughout the body all the way down to the knees.

This practice can be used as a threat - "Buy the next round or you get wrappered for 5 minutes" - or (more commonly) as a challenge, a "whoever takes the paper off first, buys" scenario. Many a paycheck has been lost, and a strange red rectangle on the forehead gained, through this ritual.

I have no idea what causes this phenomenon, but I am quite sure it is not a good thing. One wonders exactly why one cannot buy this stuff in our country.

Big Red Chewing Gum:
Big Red is a Chewing Gum made by Wrigley’s. It’s an artificially flavored cinnamon gum. Wrigley's Big Red Cinnamon Chewing Gum can be bought individually in packs of five or in a small box of 40 packs with five long lasting chewy gum sticks in each pack.

Wrigley's was founded on April 1, 1891, although it didn't begin offering chewing gum until the following year. The Wrigley Company is the world's largest manufacturer of chewing gum and home to some of the best-known brands in the world, including Big Red, Juicy Fruit, Doublemint, and Wrigley’s Spearmint gum. Wrigley gum is a part of everyday life in more than 140 countries around the world. In the U.S., Wrigley sells nearly half of all gum. In Europe, Wrigley accounts for about 50 % of all Chewing Gum profits. In 18 European markets, Wrigley is the absolute market-leader with shares of 80% or higher.

Sources used in the making of this node:

Big Red is an often-overlooked brand of red soda, commonly referred to as "Big Red Soda." This soft drink bears no relation to the gum. The taste is fairly unique though not unlike a nectar soda. If you like overly-sugary sodas, you'll like Big Red. Some people think it tastes like bubble gum.


According to their website, the Big Red Soda company also manufactures other soft drinks: Big Peach, Big Blue, Big Pineapple, Big Orange, Big Honey Lemonade, Big Red Zero, Diet Big Red, Big Red Vanilla Float and Big Red Retro. Aside from the original, I've only ever had the Big Red Vanilla Float. It was gross

Uberbanana says that Big Blue taste "blue".


Big Red Soda began in 1937 in Texas. Despite it's generic name, the company claims that it is one of the top ten sodas in the US market. Currently Big Red products are distributed by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Independent Bottlers, and Pepsi Bottling Group. It may be found in supermarkets and gas stations across the south and midwestern US. Wal-mart and Amazon also carry Big Red products.

Big Red was the preferred soda for the character Joelle van Dyne in the book Infinite Jest.

The ingredients for Big Red Soda are: carbonated water, sugar, natural and artificial flavorings, red 40, citric acid and caffiene. One 12 oz. serving of Big Red Soda contatins 38 mg of caffeine

Throughout the 1980s, Big Red chewing gum's advertising theme was that it provided the chewer with so much fresh breath that they could engage in marathon kissing sessions. If you are under the age of 30, you are saying "what", and if you are over the age of 35, you are either annoyed with me or nostalgic as the song pops into your mind:

So kiss a little longer
Hold tight a little longer
Stay close a little longer
A little longer with Big Red

This jingle was intercut with pictures of kissing couples, whose kisses lasted a ridiculous amount of time. A woman would be kissing her boyfriend while a train pulled away, or a pair of artists models would remain liplocked after a sculptor had completed his sculpture, etc. Despite the possible scandal of showing such long-lasting intimacies on a thirty second television spot, the actors were so incredible peppy and wearing the blandest of 80s fashions, that it just came off as sweet and goofy. Of course, this being the 1980s, anything but a heterosexual, same-race pairing would have been impossible.

I could say that the commercial was ridiculous in its assertion that passionate kissing can only exist when people have chosen the right brand of chewing gum, but the fact that I still remember the jingle, imagery and brand name more than three decades later makes my logical objection to the premise unimportant. This jingle got its message across, very well.

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