Boy in the bubble
David Vetter and Ted DeVita are the inspiration behind the “boy in the bubble” image that has provided slight influence into popular culture. The image has even influenced some works of art, as a representation of the artificiality of modern life. The image came about prevalently during the time when TV dinners increased in popularity as well as the spreading use of antibiotics and the recognition of the importance of germ-free living. While most people do not remember the names Vetter or DeVita, they do recognize the phrase “boy in the bubble.”
At least two movies resulted from the stories of Vetter and DeVita. One, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, was a 1976 made-for-TV film starring Pulp Fiction star John Travolta as Tod Lubitch, a teen boy, normal aside from the fact that he lived in a sealed room and went to school only while wearing a special NASA designed suit. The plot became quite interesting when the character left his bubble to be with his girlfriend. The two rode a horse into the sunset, knowing that Lubitch fced certain death. David Vetter saw the movie and laughed at the idea of leaving the bubble with the suit.