Thursday, April 30, 2009

Life-span of Gum

I guess that most people develop an internal clock.  When I was working and took those two 15-minute breaks a day that the job so graciously gave me, I came to know exactly when time was up no matter how engrossed I was. These clocks were going off all day long. When driving my internal clock knows when I’ve gone too far. It knows how long a particular task should take before it rings. Every morning I wake up two minutes before my alarm clock rings.

Pop a piece of gum in my mouth and I know for a fact that I‘ll be spitting that puppy out in just a few minutes.

While cruising through Wal-Mart with Beloved and Queen Maker, Beloved, being very modern and hip 21 year old, gave me a piece of “new” gum, something to do with a number.  It was very flavorful. A few minutes later my internal clock struck. Time is up. Cool, there's still a lot of great flavor.  Since the gum was going strong, I continued to chew and hit the snooze alarm on my internal clock.

A few moments later my internal clock rang again.  My brain was confused; my jaw was in distress. Something is not right.  What is up with this gum? I say aloud to Beloved and Queen Maker, “Wow, this gum really lasts a long time. It’s still really flavorful and elastic-y, but it’s beginning to bug me.” I try to hit the snooze again, but my brain was having none of that. An internal debate ensues.  

I need to get rid of this gum, time’s up.

It’s still tastes fresh, like new, I shouldn’t toss it out. Wow. It’s still really elastic too.

No jaw should have to go through this much work. 

Gum is a good way help clean your teeth after lunch.  Imagine all the little particles that this gum has already worked out of my gums and teeth.

My God, who makes this stuff?

I say aloud to Beloved and Queen Maker, “I need to spit out this gum. I’ve never had gum last this long.”  Queen Maker says, “Get rid of it, no one says you have to keep chewing it.” Looking around, I say, “Where are the trash bins?  Doesn’t this store have any trash bins? WHY isn’t there any trash bins?”

Really, how many particles of food and germs have now worked themselves into this gum and I’m still chewing it. How sanitary can this be? This gum is no longer just gum but gum with crap in it.

Why is this gum making me feel so bad?

I’m feeling agitated and showing it. Oh. My. God. A gum is actually giving me an anxiety attack.  (Think Ikea. Help let me out! Some of you know what I mean.)

I say aloud, “Where is a garbage can? I need to get this thing out of my mouth. I need to spit it out NOW. Right NOW.  NOW I say!”   Beloved and Queen Maker look at me with concern, a look I get often. 

Son of a B! What chemicals am I chewing?  What can they possibly put in this gum that keeps it going and going when everything else I know to be true about gum is so opposite to this new reality? Why isn’t it getting tough? Am I chewing poison? The chemicals in this can’t be good for you. Who can possibly enjoy this experience?  It’s utter hell.

Help, I need to throw out this gum. My jaws are hurting. I can’t spit it on the ground. That would be littering. Paper, why don’t I have a piece of paper?

Finally I spy a garbage can and rush over to spit the demon gum out in my mouth. I feel as through I had been through some horrific accident.  Shaking his head and wearing a slight smirk, Queen Maker says he has never seen anyone react so adversely to a piece of gum before. 

All I know is that my universe was turned upside down by a measly piece of gum. This is so wrong. After years of gum chewing experience and conditioning, something so mundane, so small a thing, could send me into a spiral. I became confused, disoriented and anxiety filled. No gum should live that long. Be warned.

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