The great big chew.
Years ago at my catholic elementary school, I remember a fellow student that would get in trouble daily.
He had the last name of a famous candy company which seemed ironic.
Chris would somehow not be in accordance with the present state of attire which was the norm at our school.
He would forget his tie often, wear the wrong shoes, and have a visible stain on his white shirt just after lunch.
A renegade pig- pen kind of kid.
Sometimes he would be caught chewing gum.
This was back in the 80s and a complete no-no to the Sisters who were teaching us.
Chewing gum was seen as repulsive and trashy.
One day Sister Anne caught him chewing and decided to somehow discipline him through embarrassment.
She told him to take the gum in his mouth and stick it on his forehead.
So that is just what Chris did.
I’ll never forget that …and whats funnier is he seemingly forgot it was even there all throughout that day.
Gum back then came in a packet and the pieces were long thin rectangular sticks wrapped in a silver foil.
There was big red gum which was flavored strong cinnamon..almost like the red hot candies.
The flavor lasted quite a bit.
Juicy fruit was another gum sold in a yellow packet.
It was a sweet distinctive flavor that didn’t last.
Then there was hubba bubba.
These came in fat little squares and were sickening sweet.
It was a huge amount of gum and surely had advantages of making the largest blowing bubbles ever.
The thought of gum being a forbidden candy of sorts made everyone want it more back then.
There was even gossip that if you happened to swallow gum, it remained in your intestines for like 17 years..
The gum packs today look a lot more like packaging for cigarettes.
They are small and fancy..slim packets with bright colors and cool designs.
There is clear wrapping that seals in the freshness of the gum.
Now each piece is wrapped in paper not foil.
Names like Orbit and Extra.
Flavors such as sweet mint and mixes of strange eclectic flavors.
You still have your standard peppermint and such but there are many to choose from and all at the exit of your grocery shopping adventure right at eye level.
Another recent thing about gum is instead of it being thought of as a bad habit or trashy thing, it’s a mental floss of sorts.
Kids at school are now told to bring in gum during testing as it helps with their cognitive abilities.
The image of the movie Elf where Buddy glides his hands gently under the rail to find a used piece of gum and places it in his mouth is cringeworthy and honest.
Maybe he was problem-solving?
We all knew a kid like that in childhood didn’t we?
I don’t imagine that my former schoolmate even blinks an eye at the gum on his forehead of the past.
The stigma of chewing gum is no longer.
Chew and chew and chew and solve your problems of tomorrow.
It is no longer forbidden and can actually make ideas happen.