Wednesday, March 1, 2017

We Need Sensible Gum Control Measures


My household is highly unregulated with respect to gum, and the time has come for some serious and well-considered reforms beyond just gum-free school zones.

All kinds of gums, from sugar-free Trident Layers, Orbit, and Sour "Splashers" to the most lethal variety—NOT SUGAR FREE grape-flavored Hubba Bubba—have proliferated unchecked in my home and in our vehicles, all of which are already rife with my children’s garbage.

My home and effects can no longer safely absorb masticated or damp, unopened gum of all things for fuck’s sake.

Studies show that parents who routinely allow their children to nag them into buying gum at the local convenience store or in the supermarket checkout line end up with gum all over the goddamned place, no matter how often they scream “GUM BELONGS IN TWO PLACES ONLY: IN YOUR MOUTH OR IN THE GARBAGE OR ELSE THERE WILL BE NO MORE GUM FOREVER AND I WILL WIPE THE FLOOR WITH YOUR ASS.”

Personally, I favor universal background checks prior to gum purchase or chewing, in order to keep gum out of the hands and mouths of irresponsible gum chewers. The powerful gum lobby, spearheaded  minted by Juicy Fruit and Big Red, would love to shut us down, but we demand action and are not going anywhere.

Frankly, all kids should be required to answer a few simple questions about good gum sense before being allowed to buy or chew gum.

Things like: “Do you really want to spend your allowance on that?” “Do you swear it will ONLY be in your mouth or the garbage?” "Do you promise to brush your teeth extra hard tonight?", "What will you do if you swallow it by mistake?," and “Do you realize that if I find gum ANYWHERE besides in your mouth or in the garbage, it will be the last time we ever buy gum?”

(This last question, by the way, reflects the “empty threat” loophole that Congress really needs to address).

I also favor involuntary relinquishment of gums for children who fail to safely store the gum in these two places (mouth or garbage), and it ends up tragically and accidentally discharging onto the bottom of my bare foot or that compartment in the back passenger-side door of our Honda Pilot.

I further favor relinquishment of gums if and when children are seen unsafely handling gum, specifically taking it out of their mouths and stretching it out with their hands as far as they can, or sticking it firmly on the side of their dinner plate while they eat dinner and refuse to throw it away.

Children who violate these regulations should be placed on a "no chew" list. Because again, the #1 rule of gum use and storage is that gum must be in one’s mouth or it goes in the garbage.

Our founding fathers wisely said that “well-regulated oral hygiene, being necessary to the security of the teeth in one’s head and a carpet free of sticky filth, the right of parents to set SERIOUS fucking limits on the purchase and consumption of gum shall not be infringed.”

I know what you’re going to say. If everyone chewed gum, we’d all be better off as a society. We would obviously be yelling less, since we’d be used to seeing gum everywhere, and our mouths would be too full of gum to yell anyway.

Well I respectfully beg to differ.

We are the only industrialized nation in the world where adults routinely capitulate to children’s pleas for gum purchase and chewing, and it’s becoming a public oral hygiene and sanitation hazard.

Gum doesn’t kill people, but watching kids chew gum makes you want to kill them and the gum manufacturers.

Last week, I was literally searching for a place to put a chewed-up piece of gum, dug around in my car, and came up with what you see in the first picture below. 

The time to act is now.

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