Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bubble Gum

Mini Chiclets were so saturated with flavour that one could be forgiven for swallowing them. The desire to completely absorb them was overwhelming to me. Other gums I could chew until any last vestige of flavour was gone. Not so with the Mini Chiclet. They had to be swallowed. In such small instalments so no damage done, right ? Wads of bubble gum clogging up my guts wasn't an issue. It wasn't going to happen.
    I chewed bubble gum like a man possessed, like a boy addicted to sugar and chewing. Strawberry snowballs, RainBlo, Ton-O-Gum, the dusty pink sticks from packs of hockey cards, Happy Days cards, Star Wars cards, Charlie's Angels cards, Creature Feature cards, Wacky Packages. Every pack of cards opened with surgical precision, the wax paper carefully flattened and put aside, the cards joined with fellow cards, ordered numerically, any sticker double stuck to the head board of the bed. There was one set of stickers, name long forgotten, of monster heads. Small shaped stickers, round ones, ovals, trapezoids, odd little things. One stickers had a monster with a gooey eyeball hanging out of its socket. It was stuck on my brothers head board but it freaked me out. I raised hell. It must be gotten rid of, it was too disturbing. It would give me nightmares. Mom was brought in. Brother John would have none of it, it was his bed, besides, the sticker couldn't be removed without tearing it and I was able to see the logic there. One doesn't remove a sticker if one thinks it will tear. That would be madness. We were collectors after all. Finally a solution was found. John would tape a small curtain made of Kleenex over the sticker. I would be spared the offending sight and he could lift up the little drape and enjoy his gross sticker whenever he wanted to. It was probably in my tenth straight year of drawing almost exclusively oozing eyeballs and intestines as a teenager and young adult that I remembered maybe that little sticker should take the credit.
    My gum habit did not continue into adulthood. I had switched to gummy candies. Now I could chew and swallow as much as I liked.