Of Gumballs and Men

It’s an undeniable fact that Fergalicious defined the 2000s – in 2006 it solidified a decade that was obsessed with indulgence (I refer to Fergie’s other decadent bop Glamorous).

There are two lines, however, in Fergalicious that I would like to discuss with you, wonderful reader. The Duchess claims that she “got reasons why I tease ‘em / Boys just come and go like seasons” and then confirms that, yes, she is indeed Fergalicious.

I apologise if it is now stuck in your head, but that was kind of my point.

But let’s unpack and deconstruct, if you will, what those lyrics entail. Essentially, Fergie proclaims that boys (important to note, not yet men) are temporary and replaceable (thank you, Beyoncé). For her, they fade in and out similar to seasons changing – slowly and then all at once? (Sorry John Green).

Basically what Fergie-ferg means is that her romantic relationships don’t last that long because she is simply too “tasty” and irresistible to be tied down to any particular boy for longer than a few months. I respect that.

The point I’m desperately clutching at is that my experience with boys differs slightly from the pop bop kween discussed above. How, you ask? Let’s compare them to gumballs, shall we?

Those candies you only ever find in grimy machines outside either an empty Blockbusters or some shady Pakistani corner store. They’re usually about R2 for one (total ripoff), and they lose their flavour by the time you put away your spare change.

Am I saying that I lose interest in guys at an extremely fast pace? You bet your sweet ass I do. Maybe not as consistently as Fergie, but fast just the same.

Explain I shall. It’s an exciting rush near the beginning – the promise of something fun and delicious. Most times, you do receive that delectable rush of crushing into sugary heaven. It’s pure, unadulterated bliss.

Then it stops. At first you don’t notice the slow fade of flavour, but it soon becomes obvious and you’re left with a tasteless wad of indifference, and searching for any opportunity to get rid of it.

“But that’s an unhealthy and problematic mindset!” Maybe so, but isn’t it better to have tasted the tutti frutti flavour and lost it than to have never tasted it at all?

Gumball_machines_Dallas_2008
The dirty culprits. (Photo: Andreas Praefcke)
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