Graham Putnam, 61, is a real Major Dickens. His life and business are all about tricks, jokes, magic and gag gifts for practical jokers.
"We make fun. We make magic tricks we make joke novelties we make puzzles ... we make some sets. We make things nobody needs but everybody likes to have," said Putnam, owner of Fun Incorporated.
Fun Incorporated makes about 500 products at the West Side plant and has a catalogue of 2000 products sold worldwide. And don't ever play poker with people who buy their playing cards from Fun, Inc. They're also the leading manufacturer of fake vomit.
The 'Whoops' vomit looks like the morning after the night before?and Fun, Inc., makes 25,000 of them every year.
"Secret recipe. We take some latex formulated to our specifications. We mix it with foam rubber, different densities, we blend it. We color it we strain it and bring it all together with love. Love is the secret ingredient," said Putnam.
The mixture is ladled out to set and dry. It's white to begin with before turning into more nauseating colors.
"They're like snowflakes. No two are alike," said Putnam.
On Halloween 'Whoops' will be everywhere. It's a Chicago original.
"It's an art form. Believe me," said Putnam.