I’m a pretty lucky guy. Among the multitude of reasons I have for saying that is the fact that I work in the kind of office environment that doesn’t stand too much on formality. When the doors are closed, when it’s just my department, we have a lot of laughs. Admittedly, many of those laughs tend to come at the expense of each other, but in my experience that’s how you can tell if you the people around you are really family.
Yes, family = mocking. It’s one of my rules. Right that one down.
The people who do the managing aren’t immune to being the butt of the occasional joke. Well, within reason, of course. You know, there’s a line and everything. Surprisingly, the department head, too, often finds himself the subject of a little good-natured ribbing. And as long as he’s in a good mood, he even has a standard response:
I would trade each and every one of you for a box of used chewing gum
We usually all have a good chuckle at that point and then get back to work.
Of course, since I’m a nerd with little capacity for controlling my own thoughts, sooner or later I can’t help but wonder, what kind of chewing gum?
Bubble Gum, maybe? I mean, who doesn’t have fond memories of chewing bright pink, powder-covered, diamond-hard pieces of bubble gum when they were kids? The names Bazooka, Dubble Bubble, Bubblicious, Bubble Yum, and Hubba Bubba all bring back fond memories. Unfortunately, those memories are more about being young in the middle of an idle summer than they are of how great the gum was. In fact, sadly, what of I recall about having a piece of said bubble gum is defined by the sequence of events immediately after popping a piece into your mouth:
- The minimum 45 seconds of jaw-busting effort required to soften a piece enough to be able to either taste it or just continue chewing
- 15 seconds of mind-numbingly (in a good way) sweet “flavor”
- Two minutes of disappointing flavor loss
- 10 minutes of parent-annoying bubble–blowing
Personally, I’m a much bigger fan of “adult” gum these days, which seems to always have some varying flavor of mint. But even then, there are options? Do you prefer the long, skinny, standard stick that’s been around since, I dunno, your ex-wife’s mother was young and fairy tales were still a “new” thing? Or are you a fan of the shorter, stockier pieces that, if memory serves, somehow don’t promote tooth decay? Maybe you despise both and lean towards the more modern chiclet-form, which, while perhaps smaller overall, carries an impressive (if equally short-lived) punch of flavor in a form factor that’s safe from either the sweltering heat of mid-summer and the bone-chilling cold of deep winter?
Myself, I’m a chiclet man, and the more reminiscent of toothpaste, the better. But what about you?
Chewing Gum: Grown-up, minty sticks or sweet, boxy, flavor bombs designed for bubble-blowing?
Here’s your weekly poll. Careful, though, this one might be sticky!