I recently got a call from my daughter’s school informing me that she and a few other girls had gotten into a little bit of trouble on the bus. The infraction: transporting slime.
If you’re not familiar with the latest craze to hit Generation Z, simply go online and search for “slime.” You won’t have a problem finding information. Apparently, kids today not only love to make slime, shove their fingers in it and mix a variety of objects into the sticky goo. They love to watch videos of other kids playing with it too. A couple of months ago, my daughter was invited to a birthday party where the main event was making slime. Every girl there had a blast, and we still possess the slime made there.
I try to keep an open mind. I ask my daughter questions, the most important being “why?” She tells me she likes the stickiness. She likes the sound it makes when you knead the tiny air bubbles out of it. And, she says “it’s so satisfying!”
I have seen a lot of fads in my time. Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards? Just an updated version of baseball cards. Pogs? Just another quasi-gambling game like marbles. Silly bands? O-ring bracelets in 1985. Remember Tamagotchis, those mini-pets on key chains? Just a high-tech version of the 1975’s Pet Rock.
Fashion is cyclical, and kids are kids. Sooner or later, a craze one generation seized with their little hands is bound to come back 20 or 40 years later.
I’ve witnessed an earlier slime incarnation. In the mid ’70s, green slime was literally marketed as a retail version of imitation landfill leachate. They even had a board game where slime dripped from a toxic monster’s mouth. It was disgusting. It was not a craze. It was a reflection of the toxic fears of the day – Love Canal, Three Mile Island, etc.
So, what happened in the last 40 years that kids want to dig into imitation toxicity?
I guess I’ve passed the point of no return in the generation gap. I am officially the old man who can’t relate to kids. It’s just a matter of time before their music gives me headaches and I have to ask someone to explain popular catchphrases.
My nine-year-old, at least as far as the bringing-slime-on-the-bus offense goes, got off with a warning. From now on, she’ll leave the slime at home. She’s a little disappointed about the breakup of the slime social circle, but she’ll be fine. These fads come and go.