the burst bubble

cow-gum1I can understand that some people might enjoy a stick of gum now and then, but do they have to share the sound and appearance of that mushy little clump with the rest of us? Gum chewing is offensive, distasteful, insolent and meaningless. As a non-chewer, I am subjected to the popping, slurping, and chomping noises coming from offenders everywhere – in the office, the train or at the movies. If you pass gas or belch, it’s quickly over, but put a bit of gum in your mouth and the offensive noises go on for hours.

If the clamor weren’t bad enough, we’re also forced to watch the horrible gnawing. Why is it considered improper to eat open mouthed, but its common practice to let the world see the pink gob bouncing around in there? If these folks dined like they chewed their Trident, they’d be considered cretins. Really, if I wanted to see the insides of people’s mouths, I’d have become a dentist.

For some reason gum chewing has become so tolerated that we don’t see it as disrespectful. People grind the gooey wads everywhere from job interviews to funerals, and think little of it. Say nothing of the discarded mess they leave behind that is ultimately stuck on the bottom of my shoe.You often see business executives in their dress-for-success best thinking nothing about what gum chewing is doing to their appearance, and graduates from Ivy League schools accepting their hard-earned diplomas chewing like herds of cattle (I grew up on a farm, seriously, I would know).

The easiest way to improve your appearance is to smile. The quickest way to look ugly and automatically lose 20 points off your IQ is to chew gum. Don’t believe it? I can wait while you stand in front of a mirror for a minute or two and chew. Is that attractive or smart? I don’t think so. There’s a man on the subway in the morning who I’ve dubbed THE gum chewer. This otherwise-attractive guy has been reduced to my unspoken derision just for his constant masticating technique. Maybe he wants fresh breath. I’ve got one word for him: Altoids.

I’ve read statistics saying gum chewers are less stressed than those who don’t indulge. Isn’t that what they said about smoking in the 50’s? And look what happened to the Marlboro man.

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