If you’re a fan of slime, then Sunday is your big chance to see some of your favorite social media slimers squishing and squeezing their creations in person.
If you have no idea what you just read, then go on your computer right now and do a search for slime.
Thousands of videos will pop up: Close-ups of hands poking, slapping, stretching and kneading mounds of slime, eliciting sounds that are more soothing than the satisfying pop of bubble wrap.
You might find yourself mesmerized, or bored, perhaps even irritated. Or you might be lucky enough to get an autonomous sensory meridian response. And then you will be hooked.
In layman’s terms, an ASMR is a relaxing tingle, often starting in your scalp and traveling south, that is triggered by a soft, repetitive sound. As pretty as some slimes can be, it’s really all about the sound they make when they are manipulated, whether that sound be a crackling, popping, crunching or slurping. Young and old alike have sworn by the therapeutic value of slime videos since they took the internet by storm about a year ago.
The basic slime recipe, in case you’re inclined to try it yourself, requires Elmers Glue (a slime-induced Elmers shortage last year made headlines), Borax and water.
But that’s just the beginning. When people speak of slime today they are not talking about the snotty green globs you remember from the ’80s. Today’s slime has been elevated to art, or at least performance art.
There is slime that looks like water and makes a splashy sound when you play with it. Slime that smells and feels like bread dough. Slime that is fluffed up with shaving cream or runny like liquid gold or jiggly like Jell-0. Slimes can be swirly, sparkly, shiny or shimmery, depending on your ingredients.
“It’s really limited to your imagination,” says Eliana Korisky, a 16-year-old Irvine girl with 18,000 followers on her Instagram account @sslimegirls
Eliana and Ryan Neutel, both juniors at Tarbut V’Torah Community Day School, are the ones who cooked up the SoCal Slime Bonanza, which will take place at the District at Tustin Legacy on Sunday.
The teens booked 30 social media slimers, including celebrity Tori Spelling’s daughter Stella, who has the Instagram @stylishslimebystella, and super slime fan Mackenzie Hancsicsak, who plays young Kate on the hit TV show “This is Us.”
If you’re a slimer though, you will probably be more excited to hear that the teen who runs the Instagram account @itsslimetyme will be there. He has over 195,000 followers. Ada Wu, who turns her slimes into anime characters before squishing them on her Instagram @wuhooslime will also be there. She has 156,000 followers.
A handful of smaller local slimers will be there too.
“We try not to discriminate,” Eliana says.
So far 220 tickets have been sold from $15 to $35 for a VIP pass with a goodie bag. There will be demos, a Q&A session and slime for sale. It turns out there are kids getting rich off of slime.
According to the New York Times, former Riverside waitress Karina Garcia, a.k.a “The Slime Queen,” has advertising partnerships worth up to $200,000 — a month. She has gotten more than 25 million views on a single video of herself making a 100-pound slime ball.
Eliana has sold over 300 slimes, shipping them as far as New Zealand and Korea — in deli containers. The going rate is about a dollar an ounce.
Ryan guesses he’s made nearly 3,000 slimes since he started his Instagram @squishintime last December, earning enough money on sales to fund ingredients for his hobby.
It’s something parents can get behind.
“In the beginning they were afraid of the Borax,” he says, “but they’ve been so supportive throughout this journey.”
Ryan likes slime for its therapeutic benefits. He carries a little container with him so that he can take it out and play with it on the go if he’s feeling stressed.
Eliana says she usually waits until she gets home from school to indulge.
“I play with it for 20 minutes or so and then I go on with life,” she said.
She’s currently crushing on the slime genre called Thick and Glossy.
“I just find that it’s very easy to hold,” she says. “If I’m on the couch watching TV, I don’t have to worry about it getting all over me. It’s also pretty, and satisfying, as well.”
Ryan’s favorite is his original cloud slime, to which he adds instant snow.
“It changes texture from a putty to a silk, and it drizzles down like snow, but looks like a cloud when you fluff it up,” he says.
Lori Basheda is a contributor to Times Community News.