Have you ever stopped to contemplate the existence of rubber barf? It opens up enough philosophical quandaries to make your head spin. Who would ever think of such a thing? Why would he feel the need to manufacture it? Fortunately, Stan and Mardi Timm, the foremost experts on famed novelty company H. Fishlove & Co., have the answers to these vexing questions. The couple even got a personal tour of the factory where “Whoops,” the original fake vomit, is still churned out. Chicago gag kingpin Irving Fishlove, son of the company’s founder, loved nothing more than a good prank—particularly when the prankster gets a laugh at the expense of his unwitting target. So when presented with the first prototype of latex puke in the late 1950s, he howled with laughter and declared that he loved it.
“It is a secret recipe,” Mardi says. “But I think we know what’s in it. It’s got foam pieces cut up, and it’s got latex. But the actual recipe, nobody outside the company knows that.”