Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm A Two-Gum Kinda Guy

There once was a time when chewing gum either came in a stick, a ball, or a mouth-filling brick. Back then, I was definitely a one-gum guy. Nowadays, however, almost every brand of gum comes in a little blister pack of "Chiclet"-style pieces. As such, I am now a two-gum kinda guy.

(As a side note... How old am I that I feel the need to use the words "back then" and "nowadays"??? Sheesh!)

The fundamental problem with being a two-gum kinda guy is that an even number of pieces per pack is required to achieve a consistently acceptable gum-chewing experience. I have yet to come across a brand of gum that doesn't provide an even number of pieces per pack, so you'd think there wouldn't be a problem.

But you'd be wrong.

Gum is the universal share-treat... Anyone can ask you for a piece of gum and you won't even hesitate before handing it over. It's just a given that gum is to be shared. Period. Because of this phenomenon, the equal distribution of gum by two's is never totally under the control of the two-gum kinda guy... At anytime, a one-gum person could ask for a piece, completely disrupting the balance of the pack.

If this happens early enough in the pack, the two-gum kinda guy has a good chance of encountering another one-gum guy and restoring order. But, if the single piece is removed when the pack is down to its final four, the two-gum kinda guy finds himself smack-dab in the middle of a dilemma in which he really only has 3 options:
  1. He can offer a single piece to whoever wants it, running the risk of looking like a cheap-skate if he encounters another two-gum kinda guy.
  2. He can stuff all three remaining pieces into his mouth and spend the next hour or so looking like a cow chewing its cud.
  3. He can throw the odd piece away and suffer the nagging regret of good money wasted.
No matter how you look at it, it's a toughie!

I suppose the only real way to get around this problem would be to carry two packs of gum... One for yourself and the other two-gum kinda guys, and a back-up pack to be used only in a one-gum emergency. In fact, you could take it a step further and make sure the back-up pack is one of the truly horrible flavors, thereby ensuring that the one-gum guys will eventually come to know you as "the guy with horrible gum" and stop asking you for a piece. This is definitely a long-range plan that will require focus and determination, but I think it just might work...

Now, try to imagine all this and walking at the same time!
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