Chewing gum has been an obsession of mine since my days of youth. Give me a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy mystery along with a Wrigley’s 12-pack of peppermint gum, and I would disappear for hours on end book in hand and gum within reach. One at a time or sometimes two or three, I would chew each piece until the flavor had dissipated. A 12-pack never lasted long with me.
Not much has changed over the years although I have flirted with other brands and entertained brief affairs with Bazooka, Chiclets, Blow Pops, and even the squirt in your mouth Freshen Up. Nevertheless, my gum of choice for both its ease of chewing, flavor consistency, and sweetness longevity is Freedent.
Freedent was not what I was chewing when disaster struck. The fluorescent green sugar free confection Spearmint Extra had caught my fancy. It lured me away from my chew of choice and came to play a key role in one of life’s “Uh Oh” moments. Who’s to say whether the damage that ensued could have been prevented with the “won’t stick to your dental work” brand. Since no dental work was involved in the incident, I seriously doubt it.
I have many quirks, most for which I make no apology. I like the edges of chocolate chip cookies but not the middle. I like the flavor of cherry pie but not the cherries. Moreover, I rarely turn the bathroom light on when entering for a brief “This will only take a second.” interlude. Why bother? It seems like such a wasted motion.
And so it is that, under the cover of darkness, disaster struck. Now before I continue let me say that I know one should not flush gum down the toilet. The careless and hapless act carried out while I was seated has not been repeated since. Not because I am convinced that it “gums up the works,” but because of what happened next.
I failed to notice that the wad of gum had hit the rim of the toilet seat. It bounced not into the toilet or onto the floor. No, in a feat of masterful flight, it landed on the inner crotch of my slacks where it would remain for the better part of the next two hours.
So imagine my shock and horror when, undressing for bed that evening, I notice a long fluorescent string of gum securely joined to my undergarment and inner thighs and stretching unbroken to the floor where my slacks rested around my ankles.
I’m not quite sure how to spell the sound that emanated from my lips. It was a cross between a yelp and a scream and continued well throughout the extrication process. I’ve since ended my brief affair with Extra Sugar Free Gum but I cannot spy a pack without recalling the rim shot that ended badly.