38. Find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop…or…Backstreet Boys & Blueberry Lollipops

38. Find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop
(Backstreet Boys & Blueberry Lillipops)

lolli 1

Last night, in the parking lot of Jones Beach, while listening to a soundtrack of ’90s music (BBMack anyone?) and impatiently waiting for DJ Paulie D & Jesse McCartney to get the eff off the stage, my friend Amanda and I set out to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop, #38.  More importantly, this marked the official start of “The Birthday Bucketlist Challenge”. Yay!

I quickly learned that there is no exact science to figuring this out (while this logical, for me that was extremely disappointing), but we tried to create parameters to make our results as scientifically accurate as possible.

Here are the rules/definitions we used:

Center was defined as the point where the Tootsie roll starts aka “as soon as you taste chocolate, you’re done”

A Lick pretty much measured the length of our respective tongues (no we didn’t measure, be serious, this isn’t Bio class)

And Amanda very intelligently suggested we approach it from one side only. I’m the idiot who would have licked around the whole lollipop, even though that answers a whole different question….Anyway…

The Results:

Amanda: 200 (I think, i forgot to take a pic of the tally marks)

Esme: 355

For an average of 277.5 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie pop, (but I know we got something .6 on another calculator so the 200 might be wrong, I’ll change it when I know)

Conclusion: It is pretty much impossible to determine how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop. Factors such as composition of the lollipop and the length of one’s tongue will always cause results to vary. But it was fun trying. And Blueberry Tootsie pops are delicious (and new!). And we were in our seats  in time to hear Jesse sing “Beautiful Soul” which, I admit, is a guilty pleasure song for me.


Normal people would end the blog here. But I can’t help but think it’s significant that I started this endeavor on the night of my first real BSB concert in years (thanks to Amanda’s impeccable timing) so I’m going to allow myself a Backstreet Rant. You’ve been warned….


Photo by: Tyler Shields

My boys were AMAZING last night. I have to admit, these past few years, I have simply loved them from afar. I mean, after the mess that was This Is Us (there are notable tracks on this desperate hip-hopish experiment, but I really never need to hear the words “hands all over your booty” (PDA) in a song performed by anyone over 20) and whatever the NKOTBSB tour was (fun, but disappointing at the same time)…I didn’t know what to think.

But then Kevin came back. And they were AMAZING (Not that Unbreakable isn’t amazing….because I think it’s my favorite BSB record, even though Kevin’s not on it…I wish I saw that tour…)!!!! And last night I started thinking about just how much they’ve meant to me through my life…While other people were crying over boys not asking them to middle school dances, I was crying because Brian got engaged…Brian got married (I’ve since met his wife, she’s lovely)..AJ was in rehab…I defended their honor when everyone said they’d break up (fun fact: Despite Kevin leaving & coming back, AJ/Nick rehab visits, Leslie Carter’s death, and whatever their definition of a “comeback” might be, the Backstreet Boys have never broken up)

When I was 15, I met Kevin.  The fact that I was pretty much utterly speechless even though he was (at the time) only my 4th fave BSB proved to me that no matter how cool I thought I was, I got (and will probably always get) starstruck. I’ve made friends via message boards who I’m still in contact with today, and probably started dabbling in fiction because of a lovely genre called fanfiction.

I could go on and on about all the things I know about the  Backstreet Boys and how they’ve affected my life. It’s all come back to me in weird flashes these past 24 hrs…

Throughout writing this list (it’s years in the making, and will always be) there’s one thing I’ve purposefully left off. I’d always be like “Well, what does it really mean to me anymore?” “I don’t need to do that anymore, I’m so old”…

But after last night, I realize that #201, one of the most important items on my list has to be…

Meet each Backstreet Boy, hug him, and audibly speak the words “Thank you”

And with that, here are some underrated BSB tracks I suggest you listen to: the entire Unbreakable record, “Poster Girl”, “Weird World” “Crawling Back to You”,  “10, 000 Promises”, “That’s What She Said” (Brian Littrell song, written way before the joke was even a thought in anyone’s mind) ,”Do I Have to Cry for You?” (Nick Carter),  “Madeline”

The end.

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