Giving Gum a Chance

October 01, 2008

I would like to defend my gum stance. (Or my stance on gum. Whichever one makes more sense.) I think I may be turning into my father. He hated gum. He would never let us chew it. It was forbidden because he knew it would end up in our hair, in the carpet, stuck under the table or to the bottom of his shoe. Kids really are horrible at chewing gum. So any gum chewing I did I had to do in secret, but yes, I still chewed it. I really don’t know when I switched from secretly rebelling against my dad's Nazi Gum Regime to finally seeing gum for the diabolical substance that it is; all I know is that at some point my eyes were opened.

This reminds me of Marion’s gum story. Can I tell your gum story Marion? I would just ask you to tell it, but there is no knowing how soon you will even see this request, and the masses will not wait. So I am going to tell it. Feel free to correct me if needed. Everyone knows my memory is lousy, and I will probably screw it up.

Marion lived under the same strict gum rules that I did. Gum was so taboo that she thought it was truly a sin to chew it. But gum is a strong temptation for any little kid and when somehow she became the owner of a pack of Bubblicious, she had every intention of chewing it. She kept the package a secret, snuck outside, went and sat at the end of the driveway - making sure that her gum pack was never in view of the house - and right then and there chewed the whole pack. It was wrong, but it was so delicious. Or maybe, so totally gross. Those big colorful squares of fruity gum are super disgusting.

I don’t know how this story ends. Was she filled with guilt and eventually confessed? Did she became some kind of Bubblicios addict and chew gum behind the gym after school? Did she completely overcome her temptations and never chew gum again? I don’t have a clue. So I just can’t tell you.

I should somehow wrap this all up now, but I’m not gonna. Cuz I just remembered that I tried to steal some gum once. I’m pretty sure it was gum. It might have been a candy bar, but that wouldn’t really tie in with this post, so let’s assume that it was gum.

I was at a store with my mom and older sister Arlene. I was probably about 4 or 5. I wanted some gum so bad, and my mom wouldn’t buy it for me. So when they weren't looking I stuck it in my pocket, my mom checked out, and we went out to the car. I thought I was in the clear. But Arlene knew. They kept asking me what was in my pocket. And though I tried to deny it, it didn’t do any good because they KNEW, and then they made me take it back inside and give it to the cashier. I tell you what, I learned right then that crime doesn’t pay, and I never stole anything again.

For years after that, I always wondered how they knew. Some sixth sense tuned them in to the crime being committed under their noses? I was baffled, but I think I have figured it out. I was 5. With all my 5-year-old Stealth, how could they NOT have noticed? I thought I was being so nonchalant, when in reality I must have been SO WILDLY OBVIOUS that I may as well have broken their knees and run off with my prize, and it wouldn’t have been any clearer. (Though certainly more violent. Wow, where did that come from?)

Ok. I have rambled enough. Let’s just say that the devil in the gum made me steal it, and only thanks to my highly intuitive sister and mother was I saved from the life of gum related crime that the Hubba Bubba had planned for me.

The End.

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  1. So you really never chew gum? How do you keep your mouth minty fresh after a garlicky meal or freshen up before a big kiss? Maybe mints? I have to defend gum because I like how you can chew the same piece for 4 or 5 hours. It is very economical. Mints on the other hand you have to pop a new one in every 5 minutes. Or I guess you could just carry you toothbrush and paste around in your back pocket. Too much hassle for me. I like to pay $.98 for a pack and have it last me a week, unless the kids sneak into it.

  2. Hmm, wish I remembered that gum stealing incident in more detail. I think it was the new bulge in your pocket that gave you away.

    I'm with you on the gum stance, especially for my kids.

  3. I don't like chewing gum either. I'm pretty sure I used to like chewing gum, and would buy packs of Big League Chew and that other brand with the splashing gush of juice in the middle... And my mom always had a pack in her purse and during church she'd give us each half a stick of Doublemint to get us to shut up during Sacrament meeting. Oh, those were the days.
    But then one day, I just stopped chewing gum. Just like in the movies where one day something normal just ceases completely and life is totally different, except in this case, it wasn't a meteor hitting the earth or dead people stopping being dead, it was me not chewing gum anymore, and nobody got their brains eaten.
    And so, when I eventually did try chewing gum again, the first minute or so was fun and chewy, but as the flavor subsided, it was like I was chewing a rubbery slobber ball.
    And that is not delicious.

    Little Amy, though, loves gum. She'll chew it wherever she finds it, and regularly checks the underside of benches and chairs and tables looking for it.

    And it's amazing how much she finds under the benches at church.

  4. Oh gum isn't that bad. It helps ex-smokers stay ex-smokers. If it is that helpful how can it be so awful?

  5. I stole a pack of gum when I was about the same age. My friend's mom made me take it back. When I returned it they gave me a slushee for my honesty. Almost turned me to a life of crime.

  6. Just so you know...I'm chewing gum right now.

  7. Oh, this brings the gremlins, or some could say the skeletons out of the closet.
    I remember when i was about 6 or so, my neighbour was a pretty bad influence, and one day when we were playing under the sprinkler (yes i was 6 and wore a speedo). Well we decided to go up to the shops, i had no money and was persuaded to steal a box of lollies (candy for you amercican folk) Well the only place i had to stash my loot of stolen goodies was in my afore mentioned speedo. Needless to say i was caught, and the store owner thought it best to teach me a lesson, and made me stand there in the store for an hour, then go home and write out lines "I will not steal again". I was so embarrassed everytime i went back to that store. I don't know what i was thinking trying to steal from the store we always go to... Smarts of a kid huh...

  8. Your post made me laugh! We weren't allowed gum either! It was a serious crime to chew it and the few times we got away with it we never wanted to spit it out so mom usually spent the next morning cutting wads of gum out of our hair. Yes, I also stole gum. I always drooled over those "hotdog gums" at the store. Remember those? I stole one and I remember standing in my backyard chewing the gum when my siblings asked where I'd gotten gum from. I had overlooked the fact that somebody may notice me chewing it. whoops. I don't remember how it ended. I probably tossed the gum over the fence to avoid prosecution.
    I also don't enjoy gum much as an adult. What's the point of gum when it loses it's flavor after 10 seconds?

  9. So I also was addicted to gum. I also chewed my fingernails so by the time I got to college I stopped chewing my nails by chewing gum ALL THE TIME! (sugarless of course)
    The problem of gum chewing all started when my German teacher refused to let me chew gum in his class, but I always forgot and he always caught me and would make me spit it out with everyone looking at me while making jokes in German about putting it behind my ear. Then he would lecture us on the evils of chewing gum and how horrible it looks when people are talking to you while chewing and how you will never get a job better then a grocery store worker because you won't get hired at better jobs if you chew gum at an interview. Then to top it off...I got 100% on the final and was top o the class but he gave me a B in the class. When I went in to ask him about it later he said he marked me down because I disrupted his class with my gum chewing. I was so steaming mad for a long time but now see his point in how disgusting it looks when you are trying to talk to someone what they are chewing gum. AND my jaw is totally out of whack and clicks, I think it was from all the gum chewing in my college days. DARN GUM! My poor kids never get to chew it and have to secretly find ABC gum, I wonder if they hate me.