Wham! Food from the Edge of Heaven

By Kelvin Agboh

Kelvin works in biological sciences research and is a student of creative writing. 

Looking at a picture of me as a nine-year-old I am immediately transported to a time before the internet, before religious based terrorist franchises and before marathon became snickers.  This was the early nineties and everything was possible. Communism and the threat of nuclear armageddon was over but the synth music and the shoulder pads remained. 

At the time my favourite sweets were the wham bar and opal fruits.  As a child I would save what pocket money I could finagle from my unsuspecting, tight-fisted (read: frugal) parents and spend them at our local corner-shop.  Opal fruits (now starburst) were small, tightly packaged parcels of wonder.  As my tiny fingers tried to work my way beneath the cumbersome folds the anxious wait would bring forth a Pavlovian salivary response and would continue as I enjoyed the citrus flavour and numerous E numbers.  The wham bar was similarly a tangy-flavoured sweet of dubious origin.  It was rectangular, smooth and tongue-pink in colour.  As kids we would cram a whole wham bar and attempt to carry on a conversation as this incongruous mass mixed with copious amounts of saliva vied for air time. 

The sensory overload led to a group of already fidgety children to a state akin to a crack head’s high and the subsequent crash - a coma victim.