I wish I didn’t have to tell you about this. I wish young Americans would just spend more time outside, maybe throwing the ball around, maybe playing Hopscotch or Red Rover. Instead, they’re eating Tide pods, sealing themselves in garbage bags with vacuum cleaners, swallowing plastic wrappers, and – deep breath – licking food items and tongue depressors before placing them back where they came from.
Here’s how this shining new example of American ingenuity started. A teenage girl went to a Texas Walmart, opened a pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream (which does not have a plastic seal), licked the ice cream, then laughed with unfettered glee as she placed the carton back in the freezer. Her proud boyfriend caught the whole thing on video, and naturally it went viral.
You know what also went viral? Anyone who ate that ice cream. Because apparently the young lady had the flu and thought it would be hilarious to spread it to other people.
“Yeah, I really did that,” the girl allegedly wrote in a since deleted Instagram post. “You can call it Flu Bell ice cream now ‘cause I was a little sick last week… Let’s see if we can start an epidemic (literally).”
Take a wild guess what’s happening now. Yep, people all over the country are licking things that none of us want them to lick, then posting the videos on social media in the hopes of achieving the validation that has apparently been eluding them in other areas of life. They’re calling it the #IceCreamChallenge or the “licking challenge,” but no matter what it’s called it’s truly abominable.
“It’s just a plain old version of antisocial behavior,” Susan Whitbourne, professor emerita in the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst tells Parentology. “It is an antisocial act, and it’s outside the bounds of proper social behavior.”
“Added to this rebellious component of the behavior is the anonymity provided by social media and the disinhibition it enables,” Whitbourne went on to say. “Once posted, these displays will generate a certain amount of social reinforcement (i.e. likes and thumbs ups), and so the behavior spreads.”
Oh, and it’s not just ice cream people are licking. This week, a new video popped up online showing a young girl taking a tongue depressor out of a jar in a dentist’s office, licking it, and putting it back in the jar. Her MOTHER, 30-year-old Cori Ward, admitted to recording the video, and now Mommy is facing up to 30 years in prison, cuz tampering with a consumer product is a felony.
“I had just been waiting a long time,” Ward told CNN affiliate WJXT. “I was just being silly with my kids. It’s ruined my life right now. That’s how I feel at least.”
Just don’t drown your sorrow in a tub of ice cream, Mom. You never know whose tongue has been in it.