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Mr. Bubbles Shattered My Childhood Innocense

Updated on April 13, 2020
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl is a licensed/ordained minister, founder of two outreach ministries, a poet, newspaper columnist, and freelance writer.

Mr. Bubbles
Mr. Bubbles

Childhood anticipation

I grew up in a home in the county that did not have indoor plumbing and we took our baths in a large tub. At that time there were only three houses out of nine or ten that had running water and indoor toilets. I was probably seven or eight when I first saw the various commercials for Mr, Bubbles, bubble bath on TV. The one I enjoyed the most was the cartoon where one little boy was bathing in the tub and another boy is standing by the bathtub. He pulls off his pants and jumps into the bubbly water as well. Mr. Bubbles floats out of the water just a little bit above the boys. He sings and talks to them and then he pops.

I was fascinated and being a naive little country girl, I had no idea that the animated television commercial was just an advertisement. I actually believed that if you poured enough bubble powder into a bathtub that Mr. Bubbles would float up and talk to you. It never occurred to me that Mr. Bubbles could be poured into the tub that my grandma put me in each Saturday night. I took that television advertisement literally and assumed that a real bathtub was needed. This is why I was excited when not long after this I was told I was going to spend the weekend with my Great aunt Gladys. I would finally be able to take a bath in a real tub for the first time in my life. I asked my aunt to please get me a box of Mr. Bubble bubble bath and when I arrived at her home on a Friday evening, I found out she did. I cannot put into words the anticipation I was experiencing, because I thought I was going to actually meet Mr. Bubbles.

Shattered Dream

Somewhere around 7:30 PM, aunt Gladys began running water in the tub, and I was filled with glee. I tried to imagine what I would do when Mr. Bubble rose from the bubbles. I look back now and see that I was just like little Sally in It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I have laughed at Linus and Sally for 50 years, only to realize that I was just like them. They waited to see the Great Pumpkin rise from the pumpkin patch only to be fooled by Snoopy, but I was going to fool myself. As soon as aunt Gladys said the tub was ready I jumped in. The first thing I noticed was that the bubbles did not fill the tub as they had on the television commercial so I got out and added more powder.
As the foam began to rise, I watched and waited for Mr. Bubble to appear. I looked up to make sure he had not floated over top of me, but there was nothing. I finished my bath and began to cry. I did not know what I had done wrong and it never occurred to me to ask an adult, so I suffered in silence. I should have learned a lesson from what happened when I was seven years old.

There was a Sugar Frosted Flakes commercial where children who ate the cereal did everything better. There were several examples which I cannot recall at thsi time, except one little boy hit a home run. There may have been one with a child riding a bike because one day after watching the commercial, I ate a bowl of Sugar Frosted Flakes and took the training wheels off of my bicycle. I was so excited because I trusted Tony the Tiger. I took off on my bike only to fall in the gravels and skin my knee. I tried one more time and scratched the inside of the lower palm of my left hand. I was crying as I limped to the house with my bike and this traumatized me for quite a while. Being a young naive child, it took me a while to put two and two together.

When Mr. Bubble did not show up and I realized Tony the Tiger had fooled me, it mirrored what I would later experience when I was told there was no Easter Bunny and no Santa Claus. It was painful, to have my dreams shattered but now I look back on it all as fond memories and growing pains. Mr. Bubble and Frosted Flakes are still around and so am I. That's something to be thankful for. In this life dreams sometimes are shattered and fantasies do not always become a reality and like Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cheryl E Preston


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