My friend Gary gifted me an old book his ex wife left behind. Gary, his partner Linda and I had discussed the subject of this book several times in a dive bar with some hilarious nostalgia.
I opened the slim hardback New Joys of Jello. Hardback! That alone should have tipped me off to the tome’s delicious historical value I opened the New Joys of Jello and thus opened a slippery portal that transported me to 1979 when Jello was King, Queen, Jester, cool, far out, groovy and…yes, sexy. It was also that brief moment in time when Jello escaped Christian potlucks, funerals and holiday gatherings to get out and strut. Oh yes, what a golden gelatinous era that was—Jello could get you laid! Let me repeat that in all caps: JELLO COULD GET YOU LAID! I might add it was a time when one could eat the equivalent of a ham and egg sandwich in the form of a Jello dish with actual ham and egg suspended inside. Now that dish might not have gotten you laid at a swingers party, but it would have got you somewhere. I might also add that certain Jello dishes might have even made you better pass bowel movements, and in a suave way, too! Nothing like a laxative served in sherbet glasses!
It occurs to me that I am most likely the only writer in the world writing about the halcyon days of Jello.
It also occurs to me that if you are an American of a certain generation, you will have a good or bad Jello story. God do I have one! It involved green Jello and a booze cruise, I think. I was pretty drunk at the time.
I might add that a story about something that happened in connection to consuming Jello shots (a total vulgarity of a phrase) in a bar or party or camp out is not a Jello story that interests me in the least. Those are fraternity and fishermen stories of Fireball-infused Jello that bore me to death. They are not sexy or suave like Jello once was.
So on with the New Joys of Jello Chronicles, which will chronicle my mind meandering through this choice little book to speculate here and there where we once were as a culture and where we are now.
A final note: I haven’t eaten Jello in over 25 years and have never consumed a Jello shot.