Quick question: Did Mikey (from Life cereal ads) really die because of a lethal pop rocks/Coca-Cola cocktail?
--J. from the Net
The famous Life commercial aired off and on for about 15 years, beginning in 1971, when John "Mikey" Gilchrist was 3. Today he's perfectly fine, thank you, working as a radio executive in New York. We were so taken by the mental picture of Mikey face-down in his cereal bowl that we ignored the science behind this ugly rumor. There wouldn't be enough CO2 released in the Pop Rocks-Coke combo to do anything. Assuming the entrance and exit of his stomach weren't stuck together with all the gum he'd swallowed, the best he'd generate is a hellacious burp. But the dead-Mikey rumor persisted for so long and so many people believed it that General Foods, Pop Rocks' manufacturer, launched a massive (and ineffective) public-education program about the product's safety but finally had to take the product off the market.