Friday Report: Finally! The truth about Mikey |

Friday Report: Finally! The truth about Mikey

Jon DeVos
Staff Photo |

Among the thousands of secret government documents made public in June 2013 by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden lay a damning memo regarding an incredible government-aided cover-up of the explosion of an uncounted number of American youngsters.

Pop Rocks was a carbonated candy developed by General Foods around 1975. After the candy had been on the market for a few short months, executives were shocked by reports trickling up that Pop Rocks and Coca-Cola, ingested in generous quantities, expanded so rapidly as to blow small children to bits. The candy had been tested on adult stomachs with the capacity to handle the rapid expansion. But unknown to General Foods, the public had begun to suspect that Pop Rocks carried a tragically fatal flaw.

Many anecdotes related a similar story: If a child tossed down six or more packets of Pop Rocks followed quickly by six cans of Coke, the resulting gases expanded so rapidly that their petite little tummies burst, blowing them apart. Tiny pieces of children were being strewn across backyards the length and breadth of America. The number of these little victims is unknown but uninformed sources placed it at “more than several but fewer than many.”

Word quickly spread to the White House where Gerald Ford was faced with an imminent catastrophe. If the public knew that General Foods was blowing up preschoolers, it would surely be the end of this essential American company. The shock would be felt throughout the world, inevitably leading to massive worldwide starvation and global economic collapse. General Foods was too big to fail. Ford boldly walked the same path presidents before and after him: He told the NSA to deal with it. And they covered it up.

Of course, this was in the days before Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, so the NSA was able to put a tight lid on things by moving all the victims’ relatives out of the limelight to a secure and extremely remote spot in Uruguay. Black Suburbans, black jets, black night, who knew? Until Snowden.

Snowden’s memo described the one case that got away from NSA. John Gilchrist was the child actor who played the 3-year-old character “Mikey” in General Foods long-running commercial for Life cereal “Let’s See If Mikey Likes It”. Apparently Mikey’s acting career peaked at this point because afterwards he dropped out of sight, only feeding the gossip that he’d been blown to bits mixing Coke and Pop Rocks.

General Foods denied the matter, as you might expect, calling it a silly rumor. They sent out letters of assurance to 50,000 American high school principals along with full page ads all across the nation explaining that Pop Rocks was a safe candy and Mikey had not exploded. They claimed he was doing pablum reviews for a TV station in New York.

Of course, no one believed GF. The sale of Pop Rocks fell like a … well, like a rock, and the product was quietly pulled off the market in the mid-1980s. But now Snowden’s memo tells us the background story. Mikey was never harmed at all. In fact, he was in Paris doing a diaper shoot when the alleged incident occurred. Witnesses who swore to Mikey’s demise were discredited. But there was an ugly twist to come.

The ghastly explosion actually took the life of Mikey’s body-double, Timmy. Timmy was an up-and-coming 2-year-old destined for a big-screen shot under his own name. Tragically his fragments, following his explosive departure from this earth, were literally swept under the rug. Timmy’s parents were so distraught by the incident that they apparently moved to South America and were never heard from again.

A new, milder version of the carbonated candy was released under an updated Pop Rocks logo a few years ago. Kiss your kid and don’t say you weren’t warned.

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