How Many Licks?


On a late Wednesday afternoon after finishing my delicious baked potato, plain of course, I embarked on a journey to the newspaper room where I found Mike Mahoney working away on the newspaper. After several minutes of goofing off, Sophia Morton walked into the room with a bag of tootsie pops and something had to be done. “Whenever I’m sick, my friend Malkah would bring me a bag of tootsie pops so I thought I’d bring them,” said Morton. I wasn’t the only one who jumped up to get a lollipop.

As I ecstatically reached into the bag of treats, I found that my hand was being blocked by none other than Paige Gowan’s hand who also reached for a tootsie pop. “The lollipop was a little rough,” said Gowan, “it cut my tongue a bit.” As I opened the candy, an indescribable feeling of joy flooded my brain as I tasted the cherry flavored ecstasy.

During the initial licks, I was excited to find out the number of licks it would take to get to the tootsie center of the tootsie pop. After I made it to lick #50, I was skeptical as to if I could complete the task. It just tasted so delightful and my arm was getting tired. I was licking that lollipop so hard and right when I thought I couldn’t go any further, I persevered.

Around lick #250, I began to see shavings of tootsie goodness gleaming through the opaque cherry shield. I took a few breaks during my licking endeavor to moisten my otherwise viscid tongue. Through the journey, my flavored spit aided me to have a nice licking experience.

The last stride was a quick one. I busted through those last 64 licks like they were butter and I was a hot, steamy butter knife. As the end of my licking approached, I sensed a disappointing ending. What was to happen once I made it to the center? Was a parade going to explode out of the confines of Mr. Mahoney’s classroom? No, the empty depression of my imagination surrounded me and killed my self-esteem. Nobody cared about my impressive achievement. It didn’t matter.

Once I reached the end, that last 364th lick, it was over. I took a picture. I had made it. You know the ending of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when Frodo and Sam had finally reached the end of their journey and they were just like, “whatever?” That was me. Until one happy coincidence made some people care. According to a study that took place at Purdue University, the average amount of licks to get to the tootsie center of a tootsie pop was 364 licks. “I’m really surprised Jon hit the exact average when it came to licks,” said junior Ted Giberson, “his technique seemed quite above average to me.”

That’s right, I am average. It takes exactly 364 Jon licks to make it to the tootsie center of a tootsie pop. Take that Mr. Owl, the world now knows the unknowable fact. Mike Mahoney disagreed with this experiment citing an unfinished newspaper as a reason to cut the experiment short. The world had to know. Sure, you can google it, but now it is done.