Mr. Bubble Day

You know things are going great in North Dakota when the governor can proclaim it “Mr. Bubble Day” without fear of humiliation. That’s the way that state rolls in a time when the economy is zipping along and the budget is balanced.

Yesterday, Gov. Ed Schafer Jack Dalrymple declared it so on Mr. Bubble’s 50th anniversary. The product was manufactured by the Gold Seal Company.

“Mr. Bubble bombed. It tanked. It was a flop,” the governor notes. “It didn’t do well enough to even keep it on the shelves.”

And how could it? It was expensive. Fifty-nine cents. So Harold Schafer — did I mention he was the (former) governor’s dad? — dropped the price to a more affordable 39 cents and the product took off.

“Before he died, the last year sitting in Medora, he would sit out on our porch for hours with boxes of Mr. Bubble on the side of his rocker,” his widow said. “He would call the kids in that walked by our house and say, ‘C’mon kids’ and ‘Where are you from?’ and all that. And then he would autograph a box of Mr. Bubble for every one of those kids.”

Mister Bubble is now made by a Minnesota-based company, proof we can take a North Dakota company away from time to time.