Picture of pieces of talking gum from the Bun Karyudo humor blog.

Something to Chew On

A coin! A coin!

 

This was the thought that rushed excitedly through my head as I stood on the street corner waiting for the lights to change. But when I looked down and fixed my gaze on the small, circular shape I’d spotted with my peripheral vision, my dreams of quick financial gain were once again dashed. Instead of a shiny, gleaming and commercially exploitable metal token, all I found was a black patch of congealed gunk.

 

I considered it for a moment with some puzzlement. What was that…? Suddenly, the answer hit me. I was looking at the remains of a long dead piece of gum. Ordinarily, my thoughts on the matter might have ended there, but on this particular day, I was delighted to have something—anything—to take my mind off the impending bank visit my feet were so unenthusiastically dragging me toward.

 

Goodness, so this was the final resting place of what had once been an eager young piece of gum! How incredibly fascinating! Immediately, I threw together a few deeply ponderable questions of the kind likely to distract a jittery mind:

 

  • Did pieces of gum sit hopefully in packets wondering which sidewalks they would eventually become part of?

 

  • In whose particular mouth had this piece of gum served? Had it been in and straight back out again, or was it tumbled slowly around and around like a rubber boot in a washing machine?

 

  • Speaking of which, what was gum’s footwear of choice? In other words, what did the average piece of gum prefer to be trampled by?

 

The lights changed and I began moving forward again, over the road and onward. This was when I realized the splotch I’d left behind was far from a solitary case. In fact, the entire sidewalk around me was strewn with little black stains of flattened gum, as though some delinquent Hansel had staggered drunkenly to and fro, leaving an impossibly chaotic trail for me to follow. I hoped he and Gretel didn’t expect rescuing any time before they were ninety.

 

But this fanciful notion merely begged the question: who was really dropping all this gum everywhere? When I had to wait again at another busy road, I casually and without raising the slightest suspicion gawked directly at the mouth of each pedestrian around me. Yet despite being fairly generous with the time I allocated per set of chompers, I detected no telltale signs of chewing whatsoever. Of course, whether this meant the various jaws around me were entirely free of gum or were just cemented tightly together by it was difficult to say.

 

Hmm… Did office workers even chew gum? I thought for a moment, but I couldn’t remember ever seeing anybody with it at work. I certainly didn’t use it. The thought had never even occurred to me. Besides, I had the strong impression that any such chewing during working hours would be frowned upon by my boss and our customers. Admittedly, this wasn’t something I’d ever asked about. Rather, it seemed to fall into that category of actions not explicitly mentioned in the company rulebook but which were nonetheless unlikely to enhance your promotion prospects, like commuting to work in a tutu or attempting to conduct all meetings in Klingon.

 

On reflection, it seemed office workers might not be the most likely source of the gum carnage at my feet after all. The pleasures of a surreptitious chew seemed slight indeed when set against a career in tatters. A more likely group of culprits might be the students from one or other of the various colleges in the neighborhood. This held particular plausibility for me since in my student years, I had known someone who chewed on gum more or less continuously throughout his waking life. Even now, as I sit here and try to recall his appearance, the part of his face I can picture most clearly is his ever-moving lower jaw, around which I then have to sketch in his other features.

 

Interestingly, when asked why he chewed so much gum, he didn’t always give the same answer. He generally said it was to keep his breath fresh. He did tell me on one occasion, however, that he’d started it years earlier as a way to prevent nail-biting. He found his constant use of gum expensive, he’d said, but at least it was not nearly as painful as chewing fingernails down to the quick. I thought he had a point—particularly if they were his fingernails.

 

Although either or both of these explanations may have been true, I did also hear him mention to a female classmate that chewing was scientifically proven to increase concentration and mental focus, and that whenever he’d been allowed to chomp, chomp, chomp his way through a test, he’d always performed much better than those around him. Whether this was because his score had gone up or theirs had gone down, he hadn’t gone on to say.

 

I vaguely remembered other students chewing gum at college too, although none of them in the same industrial quantities as my friend. Yet I couldn’t recall ever seeing any of them carelessly tossing gum onto the ground. On the contrary, the chewers had shown nothing but the greatest consideration for their fellow students, disposing of their unwanted gum well away from the feet of their classmates. Instead, they’d attached it to the underside of whatever chair or desk they’d happened to be nearest at the time, from which convenient location the cleaners could simply and hygienically remove it at a later date with nothing more than a few quick taps with a mallet and chisel.

 

But this still left a puzzle. If it wasn’t office workers or students who were strewing gum all over the sidewalk, who else could it be? I wondered if it might be children. Perhaps on their way to and from school, they covered the entire neighborhood with their “mouthiwork,” turning innocent-looking walkways into what amounted to fly paper-laced death traps for other pedestrians. It made a certain amount of sense, but given that I was seldom on any stretch of street at the same time as children nowadays, it was difficult to be certain.

 

I tried thinking back to my own childhood. Had I discarded gum on the sidewalk? I was fairly sure I hadn’t, although I had remarkably few memories to base this confidence upon. I’d tended only to buy gum if I could afford nothing else in the store since it’d seemed to involve ten times the work of other confectionary, but with one-tenth the payoff. I remembered it tasting pretty good to begin with, but then my lower jaw being caught in a painful and seemingly endless cycle of chewing something that was soon totally devoid of flavor. For all the joy it brought me, I might as well having been chomping on a bicycle tire.

 

I’d persevered with my chewing through the pain barrier mainly because I’d been told it was easier to blow bubbles successfully when the gum had become tasteless. Unfortunately, bubble blowing—like knuckle cracking, tongue rolling and finger whistling—was just one more thing my young body seemed physically incapable of doing properly. I’d begun the same way as everybody else, flattening the gum against the back of my teeth, slowly opening my mouth, pushing a little of the gum forward with my tongue, and then blowing into the proto-bubble thus created in order to get it to inflate. But no matter how hard I’d blown, the process had always seemed much harder for me than for everybody else, as though I’d been the only one trying to inflate a rubber welcome mat.

 

Occasionally, after what seemed like hours of excruciating effort, I’d managed to create a barely swollen, bright red bubble, which then formed the perfect complement to my massively swollen, bright red face. Far more often, though, I’d succeeded only in sending the gum shooting at high speed toward whatever happened to be directly in front of me at the time—be it a TV screen, a streetlight or the back of the school janitor’s head.

 

Remembering this period of my life, I looked down again at the haphazard scattering of black dots around my feet. It was entertaining to imagine every single one of them representing some earnest eight-year-old’s failed attempt to blow a bubble. I smiled and then I sighed. Ah, here I was yet again treading the grim, familiar path to the bank. However much I preferred to dwell on what had long gone, my thoughts were always eventually dragged back kicking and screaming to what was yet to come.

 

Like so many people around the world these days, I spend much of my time worrying. I have a mortgage I have to meet, a son starting college this year, tax demands and utility bills I can barely pay. Too little money comes in, too much money goes out—and the entire rickety edifice of my finances is built upon a job with no security. What if I get sick? What if I’m made redundant?

 

Perhaps this was why I found myself looking on the black marks scattered here and there across the sidewalk with such wistful nostalgia. I didn’t miss the gum. Not really. What I missed was the carefree nonchalance with which I had once chewed it.

 

© Bun Karyudo and the BunKaryudo Blog (2017)

(All Rights Reserved)

169 replies
  1. Susan Scott
    Susan Scott says:

    Wistful nostalgia indeed Bun. Especially when walking towards the bank. Thanks for the smile. By the way, chewing gum doesn’t make bubbles, bubble gum does. I don’t think you buy bubblegum any more. I remember once upon a time (when Moses was a boy) sticking my bubblegum in my sister’s hair so that my parents wouldn’t see –

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Surprisingly given my track record, the rookie mistake of trying to blow bubbles in chewing gum was one even I avoided making. I bought both chewing gum and bubble gum in childhood depending on what was available, but I generally preferred bubble gum because it tasted sweeter and was softer.

      As for what kids chew or don’t chew nowadays, I must confess I have no idea. By the time I see what’s left, it’s a black patch of gunk on the sidewalk that could really have been anything at one time. That’s why I generally just refer to “gum” in the post and leave the question open.

      Reply
  2. Musings, Rants & Scribbles
    Musings, Rants & Scribbles says:

    Ah, the mysteries of the errant gum. I’d lay odds on late night student partying, but that’s me. I have to confess, I love gum (Trident sugar-less bubble gum), but only do it at my home desk. Too embarrassed to be seen outside chewing away.

    Reply
  3. Diane Holcomb
    Diane Holcomb says:

    That gum stuck beneath chairs served a purpose. Gary, a boy in my high school drama class, always found those neglected globs and played with them, stretching them between his fingers, making them into little balls, entertaining himself, to the disgust of the rest of us who looked on. He might have even rechewed some of them.

    I still chew gum. Go ahead, Bun, buy a pack.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Well, I guess it’s good to recycle. To be honest, I have always thought the little balls of dried up gum might be useful as cut-price plastic bullets for cash-strapped police forces everywhere.

      Reply
  4. James
    James says:

    Is there a difference between bubble-gum and chewing gum? Like you I prefer sweets, which offer more reward for less effort, and I’d take the noble jellybean over gum any day of the week. But there is such a thing as a ‘bubble-gum’ flavoured jellybean. But isn’t bubble-gum or chewing gum meant to have a specific flavour, (like cherry or strawberry or mint)? You don’t get bubble-gum flavoured bubble-gum so how can it be a flavour of a jellybean? Unless bubble-gum and chewing gum are completely different things and bubble-gum does have it’s own distinct flavour. In which case my comment is really only tenuously linked with you post and I’m clearly wasting everyone’s time.
    But I did enjoy the post, if that helps.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      It helps a lot, James! Thank you! By the way, I’m no expert, but I’d say:

      CHEWING GUM
      Comes in sticks. White or gray in color. Tastes of some kind of mint. Texture is hard and a bit grainy.

      BUBBLE GUM
      Comes in a ball or a block. Pink or red in color. Tastes of strawberries. Texture is soft and sticky.

      BUBBLE-GUM FLAVORED JELLY BEAN
      Delicious. Edible.

      Reply
  5. Ally Bean
    Ally Bean says:

    Never got into the habit of chewing gum. Crooked teeth + years of orthodontia kept me from ever being near the stuff, let alone chewing it. Another childhood experience missed, I guess.

    Reply
  6. carine
    carine says:

    My mom wouldn’t entertain the thought of letting her daughters “look like cows chewing cud” so I never got into it. Then when I entertained the thought to do so on my own I realized that having RA in one’s jaw prevented me from not only NOT eating anything thicker than perhaps a waffle but chewing anything that required effort. Ouch. Turns out that’s okay-I’m 59 and don’t have a cavity. brag, brag!

    Reply
  7. mydangblog
    mydangblog says:

    Gosh, if I’d didn’t know better, I’d think you live in downtown Toronto where the sidewalks are also covered in gum patches, despite the ever-present garbage bins. I will never understand how anyone can just spit something onto the sidewalk, but your analysis was excellent and very entertaining!

    Reply
  8. tric
    tric says:

    We had to ban gum from this house when our children were young as we had two dogs and the discarded gum, on occasions, had to be cut from their paws. Here in Ireland there also lives mysterious gum droppers, because amazingly enough, despite intense interrogation, it would appear to be an unknown stranger who happened to come unseen to our house possibly for the sole purpose of spitting out chewing gum.
    Although now you say it, could this person also be responsible for stealing single socks and could they own all the extra toothbrushes in the bathroom. Bun I think we are onto something.

    Hope the bank went okay. They say chewing gum is good for the nerves, you should have tried it.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Funnily enough, we also have one of those mysterious strangers sneaking around our house, Tric. He enjoys attaching empty cardboard tubes to the toilet paper holder in the bathroom.

      Reply
  9. Sharon Bonin-Pratt
    Sharon Bonin-Pratt says:

    It was much fun to consider the history of gum on the ground, but a poignant ending, Bun. All those thoughts of your carefree childhood stuck in the past. Now you try to create a carefree childhood for your sons, and one day they may do the same for theirs.

    Reply
  10. Ellie P.
    Ellie P. says:

    “Proto-bubble” – LOLOLOL! Too funny! But yes, the “nonchalance” of childhood, that’s it. Although… we were not nonchalant ALL the time! Have we forgotten tests? Bullies? Scary neighbourhood dogs? Traffic to dodge? Mean neighbours? Dentists? MATH? Okay, that one is a personal non-nonchalant thing of mine… The dentist had a sadist side, too… (“Nah, we don’t have to freeze it, it’s small, this’ll just take a sec-“)

    Reply
  11. Robert Parker Teel
    Robert Parker Teel says:

    Obi Wan Karyudo – Sometimes, when I’m in the middle of a paperback, a movie, TV show, etc. there’s a sinking feeling and disappointment, when the story line turns out to be predictable – – just some pedestrian schlock, plodding along in a straight line. But your posts never have that problem. I never have the faintest inkling where you’re going, and it’s a very pleasant meandering, enjoying the bits of humor and sideways philosophy, and finally fetching up somewhere unexpected. This was a very nice piece.
    Maybe all that nonchalant gum chewing was preparation for adult life – -I get a lot of this kind of biting advice: Stiff upper lip. Chin up. Grin and bear it. Sail into the teeth of the storm. Be incisive.

    Reply
  12. arlingwoman
    arlingwoman says:

    The life of gum is short and unrewarding. When I was a kid, unsupervised children would sometimes scrape old gum off sidewalks and take it for a spin (yes, chew it again). haven’t thought about that for a long time.

    Reply
  13. YellowCable
    YellowCable says:

    The story sounds like a mystery story and you were a detective building a case from forensic. It also reminds me of my chewing gum days and blowing bubble gum. It was a long time ago. I do not even remember my age. I did not have much problem blowing the bubble. I was tired of chewing and blowing after awhile. The good taste of those gum faded fast and blowing activity last a bit longer. Like you said, those were not good investment of getting sweet taste or fun of blowing efforts. It did not take long for me to drop the gum buying and chewing.

    I can understand those worries. Yes, afraid of being redundant is common these days…

    Reply
  14. Widdershins
    Widdershins says:

    Even worse are the little decaying knobs of it stuck to the nether side of handrails … staircases, elevators, disabled toilets,

    … oh yeah, and childhood memories of them stuck to the undersides of desks. I think I was cured of the desire to chomp on the horrid stuff when I first encountered my first under-desk ‘surprise’ at age six.

    Reply
  15. Daal
    Daal says:

    the ones that mystify me even more are when people stick under desks! one would think that if one were sitting at a desk, one would have a bit of paper to dispose…

    Reply
  16. Binky
    Binky says:

    Those black splotches seem to be everywhere where people congregate in cities. Perhaps they are some sort of invading alien army, quietly watching us as they pretend to be nothing but discarded bubblegum. Not that you should worry about that. But be careful of where you step.

    Reply
  17. Ann Coleman
    Ann Coleman says:

    You’re right, it’s not chewing the gum that we miss, it was the carefree state of mind we had back when we were gum-chewers that we miss! (Although you never know, it might help if you offer the banker a stick of gum just as you are beginning the meeting.) For years, I wished I could find another bottle of Frosty root beer that I used to enjoy so much as a child. My grandmother always kept it in her refrigerator, and the first thing I did when I went to her house was head straight to the kitchen to get a bottle of root beer. Then a few years back, I actually found Frosty root beer at a local grocery store. I couldn’t believe my luck, and was chortling the whole way home, looking forward to drinking it. Then I poured a glass, and….it was just okay. Like any other root beer, and I don’t even like root beer anymore. That’s when I realized what I had been missing all those years wasn’t the actual drink, it was the excitement of going to Grandma’s house and indulging in the special treat she always had for me.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      That’s a nice anecdote, Ann. I think it gets to the heart of things. The root beer itself was probably the least important part of the enjoyable childhood experience you had of drinking root beer.

      Reply
      • Ann Coleman
        Ann Coleman says:

        Exactly! Being an adult is sometimes hard, but I figure it is just our turn to be the responsible ones. And just think about the good memories you are giving your boys… You are one of the good people in this world, Bun. Always remember that.

        Reply
  18. The Indecisive Eejit
    The Indecisive Eejit says:

    I’ve turned into a serial gum chewer since I stopped smoking, but like your friend it’s costing a small fortune and using up all the money I previously spent on the smokes.

    I’d never discard it on footpaths or hedgerows etc though, it can have a bad effect on little birds, in fact big ones too, and no one wants a host of angry birds dropping their displeasure on their head now do they, that would be sh*t, literally lol

    Reply
  19. Annika Perry
    Annika Perry says:

    Oh, I get an icky feeling just thinking of those blobs of chewing gum on the pavement! Although I do use the stuff and yes, I’m sure it helps me think whilst writing away, I always put it away responsibly. This brings to mind the scene in ‘Elf’ when Buddy starts picking off the discarded chewing gum from under the railings and starts to chew away. Yuck! We always squirm at this scene!

    Reply
  20. Paul S
    Paul S says:

    Your student friend may have had a point. According to Travis Bradberry “Chewing gum actually lowers your cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress. But chewing gum doesn’t just reduce stress, it also makes you more alert and improves your performance in memory-oriented tasks. It does so by increasing the blood flow to your brain and alerting your senses.”
    Maybe I should try it.

    Reply
  21. sportsattitudes
    sportsattitudes says:

    Could never learn to blow a bubble with gum. This was not something I spent much time trying to do but when it didn’t come naturally I moved on. Learning to chew gum was much easier but my jaw hurt after extensive bouts and I decided to abandon that habit. Yet I always managed to find a proper way to dispose of gum and don’t take kindly to situations where it has not been dealt with appropriately. I have had one too many instances of gum-under-shoe-over-floor mat-or-carpet. Stuff is not easy to get off things…which leads one to wonder how it gets out of you if you swallow it. I do have one good thing to say about gum…the gum that came with baseball cards smelled so great when you opened the pack. That certainly reminds me of better, younger, less responsible days!

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I’ve been there with the “stepping on gum” situation. There I was trying to, just trying to go about my business, when suddenly the gum starts clinging to me and begging me not to go my not to go, like Scarlett O’Hara with her arms around Rhett Butler’s ankles.

      Reply
  22. dave ply
    dave ply says:

    I too lack the talent to blow bubbles, but also seemed to have the talent for firing off wads as if I was carrying a loaded blowgun between my cheeks. Must have been due to the fact I actually can roll my tongue.

    Reply
  23. Poet Rummager
    Poet Rummager says:

    If you ever want to start a flattened gum collection, just bring a jar of peanut butter with you and a putty knife. The peanut butter loosens the gum from the sidewalk. Well, it does loosen gum from hair, so I’m sure it will from cement, too! Have fun, BunK!! 😀

    Reply
  24. Kristine @ MumRevised
    Kristine @ MumRevised says:

    I can blow bubbles the size of my head. That and tying a cherry stem with my tongue are my two special talents. Neither of which pay anything. Our house is currently undergoing a gum ban. We would all pop a piece in our mouths as soon as we entered the car. I don’t know how it started, but the day I had to take a putty knife to the door pocket was the last day it was allowed.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Some readers may think you are joking about tying a cherry stem with your tongue, Kristine, but I saw you do it on a video once. It was genuinely very impressive. I can’t even get my tongue to pronounce the word “statistics” properly.

      Reply
  25. Sue Slaght
    Sue Slaght says:

    Bun I am thinking some deep breathing and meditation might serve those frayed nerves better than gum chewing. It is too bad when we are children that we don’t store up the joy and carefree lifestyle that we could pull out as adults in times of stress.
    I have to say that I don’t know where you live but if people are throwing gum on the sidewalks in that kind of high density I’m not sure I want to see it. Yikes!
    I used to be able to blow massive bubbles. It took me many major gum mishaps to learn how. The square pieces of bubble gum that came wrapped with a comic inside were the best for blowing bubbles that you might actually be able to stick your head into.

    Reply
  26. Steph McCoy
    Steph McCoy says:

    Only you could write a post on Already Been Chewed gum and make it interesting. Taking us along for the ride as you tested different theories on who the culprits could be was so much fun and I loved the ending.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Thanks very much, Steph. The post was a little longer than it should have been (quite a lot longer, in fact), but the trouble was, I just suspected too many different people! 🙂

      Reply
  27. Miss Gentileschi
    Miss Gentileschi says:

    Now you put the incomparable image of a Klingon wearing a tutu in my head! Imagine Worf entering like that the bridge of the Enterprise… 😉 Though I´m sure he would prefer to kill himself before something like that happened…

    Reply
  28. Anne Mehrling
    Anne Mehrling says:

    My dad was a dentist. I never had a problem with disposing of chewed gum, because none ever crossed my lips. I have an important question, though. Why do you put a rubber boot in the washing machine and watch it tumble? I read every word of over 100 comments to see if anyone else would question that. I realize you wade into problem-solving with both feet, but wouldn’t you have put both boots in the washing machine? How did you decide which one would be washed? How did the unwashed boot feel? Never mind. I’ll go back to thinking about gum disposal — it’s safer than rereading your post and laughing my head off again. Thanks for another great burst of amusement.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Strictly speaking, I’ve only ever washed white sneakers in the washing machine. It does work, though. Rubber boots just sounded more “chewing gummy” to me, but I’m sure it wouldn’t really be such a good idea to wash them in that way. I guess it’s a little artistic license! 🙂

      Reply
  29. yvettecarol
    yvettecarol says:

    Gosh, you’ve given me so much to chew on with this post, Bun! You’ve raised some good questions. I wonder who those mystery gum-chewers were? Your posts remind me of the show, Seinfeld (remember, the ‘show about nothing?’) because you take the ordinary and everyday humdrum, and by some alchemical process, you turn it into something interesting. You make us look again with new eyes. Brilliant, my friend!

    Reply
  30. inesephoto
    inesephoto says:

    You are a genius, Bun. You can write just about anything, and we all are laughing 🙂
    I am an old woman, have seen it all, but I still cannot understand how is it possible that grown up people spit on the pavement and don’t feel disgusted by themselves. I imagine that if they stop doing that, this might start a chain reaction of positive changes in their mentality. In no time the whole civilization will evolve to a higher level, and our financial concerns will become a history 🙂

    Reply
  31. felicityglogan
    felicityglogan says:

    Aaaghhh, you missed the important question: How many miles did each glob travel underneath a shoe before transferring allegiance to the footpath? Did the answer depend on which type of shoe tread? And is there any statistical relationship between the type of gum chewed and the style of shoe tread? Maybe the “tread” issue is unprovable since over the passage of time, everything in life flattens out and detail is lost on what remains. Plus, who cares, when (like me) one is not a gum chewer, unless the issue is either the safety hazard, the loss of pride in one’s downtown, or the emotional toll of realizing that one’s fond hope of pecuniary reward was based on something of such negative value. I sigh for you, as does that bank manager, but at least you were resigned in advance.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Those are all excellent questions, Felicity. Unfortunately, my knowledge of statistics is second to just about everybody. I will say that I feel that gum can contribute to making a hometown look like the kind of place where angels fear to tread (in case they stand on something).

      Reply
  32. Peter Klopp
    Peter Klopp says:

    How wonderful it is to read about your childhood memories! How sweet the carefree years without the problems of adulthood and the responsibilities attached to it! Your post was a cry for the return of a life free from worries where the next pay check is coming from. Take heart, dear Bun. Old age is approaching fast, when we will be content again just to chew gum again and our eye sight will not permit to see the gum on our nation’s sidewalks.

    Reply
  33. patriciaruthsusan
    patriciaruthsusan says:

    Hilarious, Bun. It is a mystery isn’t it? Just be glad it wasn’t freshly spit-out gum. Once you get that on your shoe it’s a mess. Although I was not what you’d call coordinated (it took me three years to type well) I was capable of blowing bubbles. It turned boring fast, though. Funny stuff as always. 😀 — Suzanne

    Reply
  34. In My Cluttered Attic
    In My Cluttered Attic says:

    Bun, this post really takes me back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when I was but a lad of pubescent age. There I’d while away the days (and sometimes nights) littering street corner after street corner with spent wads of Doublemint gum in an attempt to blow bubbles that I might someday attract the Doublemint twins. Two identical twin blond girls to whom I’m now almost certain were designed by some Madison Avenue types only to sell gum and frustrate gum chewing young males. Naturally, my skill for blowing bubbles with Doublemint somehow managed to allude me. My failure with Doublemint was quickly repeated with Blackjack, Chiclets, and Dentyne, too. Oh sure my breath remained fresh but my ability to attract girls and blow bubbles had been badly bungled. My post pubescent age was not much better, and only brought me more misery as my experiments with Juicy Fruit, Trident, and Wrigley’s Spearmint also fell flat. Sidewalk after sidewalk left darkened reminders of the girls and bubbles I’d left behind—the shoes of others bore proof of that. It wasn’t until I discovered the miracle of Bazooka that I really hit my stride. At last, finally I was able to produce more bubbles than even Mr. Bubble himself. The sky was the limit… and so were the sidewalks, but still no twins appeared. Then one day—while I was chewing a whole pack of Bubblicious—a miracle occurred. As I rounded the corner, having just blown the BIGGEST bubble in the world—the Guinness Book of World Records estimated it at approximately 12 miles in circumference—a funny thing happened. I ran into the twins… and they burst my bubble. POP! The sound of the explosion was heard round the world, and the fallout? Well lets just say it’s still a sticky subject.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Twelve miles in circumference? Goodness, that was a big bubble, Paul! Are you sure you were really responsible for popping it, though? I think it might have been a lucky shot from Luke Skywalker’s X-wing starfighter. I’m sure I saw a movie about it somewhere.

      Reply
      • In My Cluttered Attic
        In My Cluttered Attic says:

        You know I think I saw the same movie, but it was such an obscure film I can’t recall its name. However, eyewitness accounts did put Luke in the neighborhood at the time of the popping. Seeing as Luke was quite capable of bullseying womp rats with his T-16—which I hear are not much bigger than 6 feet 6 inches—it’s entirely possible he should get the credit, or the blame, for the twins having so much gum stuck in their hair afterwards. I almost feel exonerated. Hey thanks, Bun! 😀

        Reply
          • In My Cluttered Attic
            In My Cluttered Attic says:

            Darn it Bun, if you’re not right yet again. Luke Skywalker’s intervention has to be the lone rational explanation! Otherwise, my wife says we’re both left with my irrational truth, and she’s filled with impractical doubt that that is even possible, since I’m almost incapable of baseless veracity. The name of the film still escapes me, though. Oh well, maybe someday they’ll make a trilogy of prequels leading to a revisionist recreation of the obscure film in question, resulting in an alpha inception of the original premise, thus giving us… the films title. Or… OR… maybe… the wife says… we COULD Google it on IMDB, the Internet Movie Data Base! Wait a minute… when did she get smart like us? 😀

            Reply
            • BunKaryudo
              BunKaryudo says:

              It would be great if they do make a trilogy of prequels. If so, I really hope they add an entirely CGI character with huge ears and an irritating way of talking. I’m sure his hilarious antics as he falls down stairs, and walks into walls would make a very welcome addition to the series. And while they’re at it, perhaps they could cast Scrappy Doo as Yoda’s plucky but side-splitting nephew. 🙂

              Reply
              • In My Cluttered Attic
                In My Cluttered Attic says:

                Well it’s certainly something to chew on, but I seriously doubt that even the Disney people would allow a CGI version of Goofy to be associated with any kind of obscure film (whose title continues to leave me baffled), because that would likely result in an inferior set of sequels. However, your suggestion that they cast Scrappy Doo as Yoda’s plucky side-splitting nephew has real merit. Particularly when you remember how Yoda despised those overly cute Ewoks so much, that he repeatedly had to be separated from them on the set by his puppeteers and motion capture experts. So I think Yoda would be more than happy to see Scrappy Doo take the Ewoks place, and Scrappy more than happy to find work. My sources tell me Scrappy Doo and his adolescent behavior finally wore out his welcome with the suits over at Hanna Barbera. They say it all started when Scrappy was started demanding a bigger allowance but was unwilling to do his chores. When Scrappy started showing up on the sound stages while chewing gum, they decided to let him leave the nest. Cast members claimed he was leaving droppings all over the set—they started finding ABC gum on the bottom of their shoes—and knew right away who to blame. The studio got sick of having to pick up his droppings, so they gave him a short leash and finally and handed him his walking papers.

                Reply
                • BunKaryudo
                  BunKaryudo says:

                  I was rather proud of my Scrappy-Doo suggestion, but now I’m a little alarmed about your revelations regarding leaving his droppings all over the set. I don’t think anyone would appreciate treading in Scrappy doo.

                  The only other slight concern is whether he would be completely compatible with Yoda in terms of outlook. I’m no expert, but it seems to me “Puppy Power” is almost certainly generated from the dark side of the force.

                  Perhaps Scrappy could play Darth Vader’s plucky nephew instead. This also has the added bonus that we’ll get to see him laser blasted at the end of the movie. (Don’t worry, incidentally. No CGI will be used for this scene and the studio will assure viewers that an animal was hurt and killed in the making of it.)

                  Reply
  35. Kim Gorman
    Kim Gorman says:

    I love the realization you have at the end. It definitely sucks being a grown up sometimes. So much responsibility. Thanks for another humorous post. With all that’s going on in the world, it’s good to laugh and smile.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      Thank you very much, Kim. I’m glad the post made you smile. 🙂

      Actually, I just realized, WordPress allows us to make so-called “sticky” posts! This must surely a great candidate for one!

      Reply
  36. Mabel Kwong
    Mabel Kwong says:

    I too was not able to blow bubbles by chewing a bubble gum. Always failed but luckily none of mine came shooting out the mouth like you. I never understood why people chewed gum. Maybe it is the taste. Something to do to burn nervous energy. To look cool.

    Reply
  37. Samantha
    Samantha says:

    I remember trying to blow bubbles and spitting my gum out… Oops! I got better, though. It’s all a matter of practice. I do have to admit I find people eating gum in an expressive kind of way rather annoying. Especially when they make sounds as they chew and chew and chew…

    Reply
  38. Patty
    Patty says:

    Another great article 🙂

    If I see gum on the street I get frustrated, especially if it’s a ‘new one’…Since, I mostly walk with my dogs outside, it is quite the survival to prevent my dogs stepping into those sticky pieces and you don’t want to be around me, if I end up getting those bubbles of my shoe later on…

    Reply
  39. adsunsri
    adsunsri says:

    Never fell for this taste stimuli and somehow detested people chewing this cohesive stuff! However, the post is an absolute delight and definitely something to chew on for the non chewers!

    Reply
  40. Carl D'Agostino
    Carl D'Agostino says:

    Ah, the old coin on the side walk scam. There is nothing more entertaining than sitting on the bench in the park having epoxy glued a coin to the sidewalk and watch the astonished faces on the people when they can’t pick it up. You have to glue the coin at least an hour before midnight so the epoxy has a good 6 or 7 hours to set up before the first bunch of suckers come through the park at sunrise.

    Gum on the sidewalk? Now let me tell you. I was in Seattle (NW corner of US) and also hopped up for a day in Vancouver, Canada and in both cities there was not s single black glob on the sidewalks of either city. I was astonished. I was also very impressed that the people in both cities speak English as is not the case in Miami, Florida where I lived for 60 years. Via con Dios, me amigo !

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      I would definitely be one of the suckers who saw the money on the sidewalk and took a long time trying to get it, Carl. It would take me hours trying to calculate whether or not the face value of the coin exceeded the cost of hiring a jackhammer for three-eighths of a second.

      Reply
  41. Minuscule Moments
    Minuscule Moments says:

    This was deep and as sticky as life can get sometimes. Im glad Im not the only one who has a mind that notices this sort of stuff. Hope all is well there are no guarantees in life. But I know for a fact your writing is your gift Bun.

    Reply
    • BunKaryudo
      BunKaryudo says:

      That’s such a nice comment! Thank you very much! I do try to notice the little things around me in the world. I must admit, I get some extra help from gum given that it pulls the shoes from my feet. 🙂

      Reply

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