Friday, January 27, 2006

Ode to Gum

Today's word is "interval." Use it as often as possible. If you are 8 years old, you will find many opportunities to use "interval." For example: "Do you think there will be an interval between the rain, or will it just rain forever?" or, "I think they will have an interval between the middle school band and the drama production. I will get a cookie then."

Me: Ah, I think that's intermission.
Him: No, it's interval.
M: Really? Did you just hear that word or something?
H: It's on our spelling list this week.

Interval. Use it.

And as a side note, my wife freaked out and asked that I not use her name or my child's name. So from this moment forward, I will refer to her as Sandra Bullock and him as The Jawa. I chose both names carefully.

Sixteen years ago, before I met Sandra Bullock, I had a girlfriend who liked to chew gum. I had a light history with the stuff, but my overriding sense was that chewing on a piece of rubber was kind of freaky. This girlfriend, who was very convincing and seemed to be living a clean, correct life, showed me otherwise. She turned me on to Wrigley's Extra (which, at the time existed only in the light blue flavor). I have not looked back since. I no longer chew the light blue, but have long since stepped up to the crisp, refreshing polar ice flavor. Or flavour, if you're Canadian.

Lets put this in context: to me, gum is cigarettes. I shove a slice in my mouth in the morning, after meals, before bed, when socializing. Though there have been days that I've experienced gum overload, coming home from work with a hollowed-out, minty feeling, the next day I'm right back there, chewing away. A few years ago I wound up at a chiropractor because I'd completely trashed half of my jaw through overchewing. Did I stop? Of course not. What addict would?

Yesterday, I had no gum. It was a very sad time. I took the Jawa to the middle school band and drama performance and felt lifeless. No gum. I had begun my day with gum, but at some point I lost my pack. There had been at least 7 slices left in that pack, which, I'm embarassed to say, is only a two-day supply at best.

This morning, on the way to the gym (unshowered, of course), I stopped at Walgreen's and got a new pack. I looked at it for awhile, enjoying the familiarity of its bold, blue and silver wrapper, silently congratulating the Wrigley company for staying miles ahead of their competitors. The Extra flavor really does last a long time. Other gums, you chew them for awhile, they lose their flavour, you have to crank on your jaw just to work the stuff. Not Extra. It is the champagne of gums.

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me: I have a workout gum routine. I have one piece during my cardio, then return to the lockerroom for a new piece for weights. Yes, this is my life.

As we get older, "they" will take things from us. They will tell us that we can no longer eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's, that a 2-liter of Coke a day is too much. They will tell us that we have to sleep less, work more, and drive boring cars that get good gas mileage. They will tell us all of this, but they will have to pry that last pack of gum out of my cold, lifeless hands.

That sounded like a manifesto from the NGA (National Gum Association).

Interval. Use it as often as you can.


Blogger Chris said...

My friend Lin, having lived in London, believes chewing gum is "common", as in royalty would not stoop to gum. Food for thought. Also, is "they" code for Sandra Bullock? She has been known to lay down the law on such things.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Lefty said...

I am nothing if not the common man.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we get older "they" who take things from us wear white coats and carry stethoscopes. They take most of the good things like all chocolate banana splits and whole, large pizzas. But good gas mileage is not synonomous with boring. Witness Lotus Elise and CRX convertibles.

Also, I just thought that you needed another commentor.

10:11 AM  

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