Sorry for the unexpected hiatus, but the project hit a snag less than 10 items in. And here it is:
Unfortunately this is gum. I just don’t know what to say about gum, even after a week of deliberation. You put it in your mouth, chew until the flavor is gone, and then, from the third minute on, it just hangs around like an unwelcome houseguest, perched on your sofa long after dessert has been eaten, the wine has run out, and the conversation has dwindled to observations about the lateness of the hour. You could eat a mint and then spend an hour gnawing on an eraser for the same effect.
I know some people really like gum. When I was in the Peace Corps, the fellow volunteer I shared a house with an enthusiast. She was also terribly polite, which meant that we had the following exchange more often than any other by an order of magnitude:
Her: Do you want some gum?
Me: No thank you, I’m not a gum chewer.
Her: Suit yourself
Two years of this convinced me that gum-philia and -indifferentia were hardwired at the genetic level, like a widow’s peak or the ability to enjoy Project Runway. I should note that my roommate was also red-haired and left-handed, Devil’s traits all. Why our government allowed this woman to share her masticating ways with the developing world is beyond me. If a small boy in South America attempts to sell you chicle, blame Rose.
Me, I was never a fan, even as a kid. The only fun thing to do with gum, in my opinion, was to carefully refold an empty wrapper, put it halfway back in the pack, and then offer it to a friend as a joke. This was pretty much our only form of entertainment before the Atari 2600. Now gum doesn’t even offer this fleeting pleasure. Offering fake-gum to your boss and bellowing “oh BURRRRRRN!!” when he opens the wrapper gets noted on your performance review, I’ve uh heard.
Rating: Yeah so anyway: it’s gum. 35¢/$1.