Do you remember visiting your local toy shop and looking at one of those rotating display stands that was brimming with tricks and jokes? From whoopee cushions to nails through fingers the stand was loaded with little toys at pocket money prices. You don’t seem to see these as often as you did, but they are still around if you look hard enough.
One of the toy jokes I distinctly remember was the Snappy Chewing Gum. This consisted of a piece of cardboard decorated to look like an ordinary stick of chewing gum when it was inserted into a standard packet of gum. The difference was that it had a sprung loaded piece of wire with a loop on one end stuck to it, something along the lines of the dangerous part of a mouse trap.
Approaching your victim you would nonchalantly ask if they wanted a stick of chewing gum. When they attempted to take the gum out of the packet the trap would be triggered, with the metal wire snapping forward onto their finger with a surprisingly loud whacking sound. If you got it just right then it could actually be quite painful.
This joke could only be spoiled in two ways. First, your victim refused the gum in the first place, but that wasn’t so bad because you could just seek out another person to surprise. The real spoiler was when the person took the stick of gun by using two fingers either side of the stick of gum, rather than one on top and one underneath.
This and a range of other chewing gum related pranks are still available today from SillyJokes.