I took my son to the Dollar Tree where he bought a 79-cent pack of Hubba Bubba gum for a buck. Moments ago, I enacted the parent tax (see my forthcoming post) and requisitioned my portion of his earnings. For the first time in at least 11 years, I am chewing a piece of Hubba Bubba. Here are my observations:
1. The shape hasn’t changed. That same rectangular cuboid that rolls between your tongue and the roof of your mouth, teeth standing by like a pack of hungry wolves ready to devour their prey. If teeth could drool, mine were a-droolin’, especially as that flavor (mentioned next) spread across my mouth. Poor little cuboid. You’re about to drastically change shape.
2. The flavor hasn’t changed. Hawaiian Punch? It’s there. Oh, it’s there. For about a minute, quickly changing to subtly fruit-flavored plastique.
3. The texture hasn’t changed. The same smooth feel except for one side which has those bumps like you see on the side of the freeway. It gives traction to the little morsel, making it think it can get away until…
4. CHEW. The whole point of gum! It’s been a long time! I stopped chewing sugary gum and even sugarless gum a while ago, due to all the unintended sticking to unintended fillings from unintended cavities. I wasn’t sure what to do at first, but my kinesthetic memory did its thing. Chewing but not eating. LIke this. Remember?
5. Bubbles! I remember you, too! In my elementary school days I would keep the bubble outside of my mouth. Now, in my midlife wisdom, I am more apt to keep the explosion inside of my mouth, like a blast shield at Area 51.
6. Soreness. I remember my jaw getting sore. It’s the same feeling I get after doing 3 sets of 10 at the gym or talking too much back when we were dating. You don’t notice that hinge until you use it so much that you swear you’d internalize WD-40 if you could.
7. Ejection. That’s where you finally get rid of it. I chose the garbage can, though I know that the mall parking lot is a favorite destination for many types of gum. I think that’s how bubble gum spreads its kind, kind of like how dandelion chunks blow freely in the air to eventually lead to more.
8. Epilogue of inspiration: Dandelion-flavored gum. Any takers?
It’s been 11 glorious years. And may it be 11 more.