If your childhood happened anytime after 1970, you almost certainly have seen the famous commercial for Tootsie Pops in which a small boy quests to learn how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center. He first checks with Mr. Turtle, who refers him to wise old Mr. Owl, who seizes the pop, takes three licks, and bites. The world will never know.
Naturally, some have tried to find the answer. Engineering students at Purdue University developed a licking machine that took an average of 364 licks to reach the center. Unfortunately, students licking the old-fashioned way needed only 252 licks on average, casting doubts that a single answer can ever be reached.
But back to the commercial. In 1970, it wasn’t uncommon for commercials to last a full minute. But those were the waning days for longer commercials, and shortly the 60-second version had been whittled down to 30 seconds. If you see this spot on TV today, it’s likely to be a 15-second version. But the original 60-second version featured two additional characters, long forgotten: Mr. Cow and Mr. Fox.
And with that, Cow and Fox have been restored to their former, deserved glory.