Friday, January 16, 2009


Gum is repulsive. Why you would chew something without the intent of digesting it is completely beyond me. And then when it comes to disposing said gum, people are gross.  The sidewalk at the mall is so splotched with gum wads that the concrete is invisible in some areas. Under the tables of certain establishments are also scary places, and under the desks at schools . . . forget about it. Teens obviously don't care about hygiene. And I can't tell you how many times my brother has left a pack of gum in his pocket, only for it to go through the washing machine and ruin everyone's clothes. I want to find the ingenious soul who decided to market gum to the ignorant masses and shake him by the shoulders. Both the concept and the application of gum is the most disgusting thing I have ever pondered.

Of course, all this ranting makes me a hypocrite, because I actually do chew gum occasionally. I only like one kind - Trident's Splash in Strawberry Lime flavor. Before this brand I didn't chew the stuff at all, but my dad passed on a Wall Street Journal article about the innovation behind the product and so I decided to try it and it was love. But I only buy it once in a while (because as I'm sure I've made clear, I think chewing gum is a horrendous waste of money), usually one individual pack (9 pieces) at a time, and I ration it carefully. 

So I've been thinking lately, isn't it rather rude to ask people for gum? This could be just me, because I'm bad at returning things and therefore have an aversion to borrowing things, and I generally don't like to ask people for things unless I'm desperate. And maybe it's wrong of me to impute this philosophy on others? I don't know. But I can't help be find it presumptuous for people to solicit gum. I've been in many situations where gum has been offered, but I have recently encountered instances where I've been hit up for gum. Exhibit A:

Me: [saying something relevant to the conversation]
Dude: Yeah. Do you have gum?
Me: Um, Bobby might.
Dude: Bobby, do you have gum?
Bobby: Duh. Here.
Dude: Thanks.
Me: [telling myself I'm not a jerk, but knowing I really am]

Then later that afternoon . . . Exhibit B:

Me: [enters room chewing gum]
Dood: Do you have gum?
Me: Yes.
Dood: Can I have some?
Me: I don't think that's a good idea.
Dood: You're weird. Come on, please?
Me: [leaves room and returns with precious pack of Trident Splash Strawberry Lime gum]

I wasn't ticked off or anything at the time, and it doesn't bother me that much now, but on a strictly intellectual level, I'm wondering why people do that? I feel almost as though there's some unwritten rule that if one person in a group is chewing gum, everyone else in the group is entitled to the gum, whether it is offered or not, hence everyone in the group feels no shame in just asking for it. However, as a strong believer in individual rights (being life, liberty, and property) I don't think I'm a fan of this rule!

I'd just much rather offer my precious Trident Splash Strawberry Lime gum than have it solicited from me. And I'd much rather people see Trident Splash Strawberry Lime gum as the precious commodity I see it to be, rather than something they're taking because they're entitled to it. 

It definitely comes down to my selfishness. I'm a hoarder. I'm possessive. I paid good money for that Trident Splash Strawberry Lime gum and I want to enjoy every piece. I'm generally bad at sharing. I've offered this gum to people before, though, and it doesn't sting to see it go. But it hurts my pride for people to ask me for gum and then have to give it to them on social laws rather than out of the free goodness of my heart. 

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