© 2010 Aaron Atkinson

Loathing Licorice

Elton John: Can you feel the love tonight?

No Elton, I could not. All I could feel were the persistent and overwhelming waves of nausea. I was 13 and it was June. The Atkinson family was at the local theatre watching the newly released Disney movie The Lion King. Tim and I shared a bag of Twizzlers and they were not agreeing with me in the least.

The hot, dark theatre was packed and I was sitting in the middle of the aisle. Despite sweaty palms and a quiver in the back of my throat I held fast, not wanting, or not thinking that I could make it to the bathroom without spewing a half bag of chewed, waxy red licorice on my way.

So there I sat. Clenching my jaw when the dizzying spells of pending puke swelled up, and exhaling with puffed, flushed cheeks after I’d thwarted another near miss.

It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when, and with every fiber of my being I sat and willed the sluggish seconds to pass with haste so that I could make it home to the privacy of my own bathroom instead of having to put my face inside the bowl of a questionably sanitary public toilet.

When the longest 89 minutes of my life were finally over, I slowly rose on rubbery legs and gulped a viscous swallow as we made our way out of the crowded theatre. I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel as we made it to the car. When my Dad announced that we were going to run a few errands on the way home he was effectively the straw that broke my back and with a heave born of an hour of resistance, I introduced the parking lot to no less than a dozen Twizzler ropes.

I’ve never eaten a Twizzler again, as even the smell evokes a noticeable gag reflex. It’s kind of strange to think that my last ever taste of Twizzler happened not in the theatre, but in that parking lot.


  1. Posted August 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | #


  2. Fairgoer
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm | #

    You should have tried fried twizzlers on a stick at the fair.

  3. Aaron Atkinson
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm | #

    I think you might be onto something…

  4. Laura
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 4:31 pm | #

    This blog post helps me fully understand your disgust for one of my favorite candies…I will never offer you another twizzler again…unless it is fried & on a stick. 😉

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