Trina Machacek: Chew on this
I like to chew gum. I don’t chew obnoxiously. I don’t think I do, anyway. I haven’t had anyone look at me as I chew and say, “MOO!” like I was chewing on my cud. I like to think of myself as a considerate chewer. I do wish, however, that I could snap the gum I chew. I have known a few girls that could do it. I have tried, but that turns me into the aforementioned cud chewer so it isn’t worth a few pops and snaps to become known as a cud chewer that showers those around me with gum spit.
The coolest question I usually get asked is where these ideas come from for my do-dah columns. Well, this one came from this Trina happening. I was shopping in one of those big pharmacy stores. You know, dash in and get stuff like a greeting card, new wall clock, oil for my car, light bulbs, bag of chips, bottle of water — all things pharmaceutical! As I was standing at the counter, digging out my loyalty card so I would be sure to save that 67 cents, I noticed the candy counter. And the gum.
Now, just to let you know, I chew peppermint gum. Always have chewed peppermint. I have no idea why there is any other flavor than peppermint gum. Well, OK, full disclosure: I have tried a few others like cinnamon and some sort of tutti-fruity. I find others a bit too, well — this is going to sound strange — I find flavors other than straight peppermint a little too sticky. Like sugary sticky, not gum sticky. Anyway, as I was standing in line, not picking up any prescriptions at the pharmacy store-ha-ha, I counted no less than 47 — yes, 47 different kinds and flavors of gum. I consider myself a fun gal, but I just can’t see me chewing something like kiwi watermelon, fruit adventure or jalapeño surprise. I’d flip a coin to see if I would go sky diving but! Yes, chew on this “but.” But I wouldn’t put something in my mouth called egg nog bubble gum or get this one — man smell gum! Ewe!
Let’s back up and discuss the desired but unattainable talent to master the popping and snapping of gum. I have started to just pop bubbles with my gum. Of course, not the usual way. Where would the fun be in that? I pop bubbles by drawing the gum inside my mouth. Bubbles are not big, but this way I can pop like six times on just one flattening of the gum. You have to try this. But please don’t suck so hard that you swallow and nearly suffocate yourself. Why, I have asked myself, have I started to do this? I have come up with the fact that there are memories I have of big bubbles popping leaving gum on my face, in my hair, eyebrows and yes eye lashes. Memories of peanut butter smeared in my hair to get the gum out. Note to self — that does not work. Just makes you smell like a warm, late afternoon lunch room. Not all that attractive to the opposite sex!
You can only chew a piece of gum for so long. Then it becomes a rubber glob that tires your mouth so much that even talking is an effort. NO! I will never chew that long. I will always be able to talk. Much to the angst of someone somewhere I am sure. Ha, ha. But at the end of the life of a piece of gum comes the disposal dilemma. Not too many people keep the little paper the gum comes in to use as a thingy to wrap used gum up in and throw it away responsibly. I don’t. I used to keep them until I found like 22 little papers stuffed in the bottom of my purse. Such another reason I have given up carrying a purse. But that is another story.
Is it considered littering if you throw gum out while you are driving on a highway? Probably. I was once told that throwing gum out the window onto the highway was like adding to the life of the asphalt. Can you just imagine thousands of people throwing gum out onto the highways and byways across the USA? Making the roads all different colors and leaving the air fragrant with various mint flavors, watermelon, fruits of all kinds and that oh so elusive man smell gum? Oh, I think this is the perfect place to “stick” an ending. Happy chewing.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nev. Follow her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Really!