Gumming up the Works

I'm a freedom-loving person. I believe that people have rights to do whatever they want so long as their activities do not infringe upon my freedom to enjoy life. Therefore, the argument which follows is not to be taken as something I seriously endorse, but rather a utopian state of society that I believe would result from my proposal.

My proposal is to ban all chewing gum.

Now, obviously, since I am calling for the ban, I do not chew gum myself. I don't like it, except maybe Juicy Fruit, but even that brief explosion of juicy flavor, complete with fantasy of thrilling water sports in the California sun, cannot override the negatives that gum inflicts upon the world.

First off, most gum is bad for you. Sugar rots the teeth and gum in the worse since you don't even swallow the sugar for a while so it's just swishing around in your mouth. Hardly anyone chews sugarless gum, so I won't even listen to that argument. This rotting of the teeth costs society because I for one don't want to be old and see people missing their teeth. It will make my own encroaching senility even more depressing to see people with big gaps or no teeth at all.

Gum chewing is annoying to listen to. I can't stand hearing loud chewers, reveling in their suction and chomping and gurgling of their saliva as it mixes with the sticky substance in their mouth. It's like people being proud of their own farting. They are fascinated with their functioning of their bodies and these gum chewing noises are another thing to admire and make as loud as possible to other can admire it too. People, I have news: Nobody is impressed with the fact that you mouth can make loud clicking noises with spit. Stop. You are disgusting us.

I don't like seeing people blow bubbles. It's sort of disgusting, like seeing someone eating spaghetti suddenly discharge half of the noodles from their mouth and wave them around in your face all proud of their mouth control. I mean, if you are a champion bubble-blower, then I can grant an exception because that is an impressive feat to see giant bubble as big as someone's head. For that, I can suspend my disgust. But for normal blowers, it's downright nasty and those small bubbles are loud, which goes back to the previous paragraph's rant. Plus, I was never able to blow bubbles myself, so it makes me jealous.

I don't like the smell of gum. Maybe this is just me, but I just hate mint smell emitting from other people's mouth, especially Big Red. I hate Big Red with an intensity that I do not have the ability to describe. Maybe it was those stupid commercials that ran in the 80's. Maybe it's the nasty sticky odor of fake cinnamon that combined with the smacking noise makes me lose my appetite for even the best cinnamon roll you can find. Whatever it is, Big Red is my enemy and that will be the first brand targeted should I ever get the job of Chief of Gum Prohibition. I know people chew gum for good breath, but why does it have to be overpowering mint or other offending smell? Why not just a nice neutral no-smell device to cleanse one's breath after a big garlic-filled meal? I seem to recall George Kennedy hawking some tablet on TV.

Of course the biggest reason why gum should be banned is the trauma it causes millions of people a year when thoughtless chewers throw their nasty gobs on the ground and stick them on rocks, under desks, on telephones, etc. Nothing ruins a person's day more than getting gum stuck on their shoes. Even worse is gum on the hand. Just the thought of another person's saliva and that nasty smell and sticky feeling is enough to make me cry. It's this last negative effect of gum that really hits home with me. We all know about the gum in the hair. Nothing will fix that other than a big haircut, usually MUCH shorter than the person wants. Gum in the hair is rare, but just one instance of this has a negative effect equal to the sum of the enjoyment of 1000s of happy chewers. I maintain that to save one person from severe unhappiness, 1000s of people should be made just a tad unhappy.

Now, I understand that some people do get enjoyment from chewing gum. For some, they just need to chew because they are bored and can't think of anything else to do. Maybe they have a lack of imagination or something. Others chew to keep from eating too much or to quit smoking. For these people, lollipops are an answer. Sunflower sees are fun to eat and require some skill that you can impress people with no that your gum blowing skills are not being used. Or maybe just enjoy not moving your mouth for a couple minutes. I mean you're talking and eating much of the day. Why do people insist on having to move their mouth even more than these two essential human activities? Is there so jaw exercise benefit that I am not aware of?

I just want to ask one question: Does gum add or subtract to the total enjoyment in our society? Most people who chew gum, don't think much of it. They like it, but it's no big deal, they just do it because they can't think of anything better to do. However, look at all the ills gum causes, from health problems, to noise pollution, to the black blobs of baked on discarded gum messing up the nice sidewalks in the city, to the emotional hardship to a day ruined from stepping in the sticky shit.

Clearly, gum losses in a cost/benefit analysis. I call on all to demand from their state legislatures an immediate and unconditional ban on gum, except in those medically necessary cases of course. I can guarantee an improvement to the quality of everyday life for all citizens shortly after the ban is in place.

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