The History of Fake Vomit

Lisa von Collectors Weekly schreibt mir zu deren Artikel über Plastikkotze: „Here’s a mystery that’s been vexing us since we were 6 years old. Rubber vomit: 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, and gave us behind-the-scene photos of the secret process.“

H. Fishlove & Co.—and now Fun Inc., which bought the company in the ’80s—has kept a lid on the formula Irving came up with, the same way Coca-Cola guards its recipe and KFC protects its special herbs and spices. “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.”

The Timms have close ties to Fun Inc., who invited them to tour the Chicago factory where the fake upchuck is crafted by hand. “We discovered this room on the upper floor that was filled with what looked like a bunch of chocolate-chip cookies,” Mardi says, “But it wasn’t cookies. It was just tray after tray after tray of this fake vomit.”

These “cookies” were 500 pieces of fake barf, spread out as far as the Timms’ eyes could see, “curing” under the skylights in the Chicago summer sun. The secret formula is mixed up in a big bucket, and the workers ladle it out, “like you make pancakes,” Stan says. “Each one comes out a little different, of course, but that’s okay.”

The Inside Scoop on the Fake Barf Industry