People Who Share Gum

I walk around Los Angeles in a huge neoprene bubble, so it’s obvious I’m not a huge fan of people who share already-chewed, soft and stringy GUM.

I always seem to have such luck when I’m walking (or rolling) down the street here in Los Angeles, finding myself behind a couple, arm in arm, walking in unison. There is such love in the air. And what better way to share such love by, oh I don’t know — removing a covered-in-saliva chewy mass from within your warm, oily mouth and giving it to your soulmate to stick in theirs.

You know?

It all starts in the teenage years as boys and girls start to become so comfortable with the sharing of the soda, the chips, the sandwiches… People are taking bites out of other people’s cakes and cookies and pies… Kids are taking “sips” out of others’ juice boxes and milk cartons. And there’s always that moment in a blossoming relationship where the food sharing question emerges and tests the duo and their potential love… Sort of like this:

He is eating a sandwich. She has finished hers.

Her: Can I taste your sandwich?

Him: You want to, uh, take a bite from my sandwich?

Her: Yeah, I love sun-dried tomatoes.

Him: Aren’t you full?

Her: What’s the problem? Don’t you like to share?

Him: Oh, alright…

But deep down, it’s not the sharing concept at all that bothers our male character we have referred to as “HIM”. In fact, it is the horror that this other person, with their own teeth brushing schedules and food caught in their gums hygiene issues…that they are going to bite into his food and give it right back for him to finish.

Maybe it’s just me, but I could never get past it.

Mind you, when you love somebody you’ll do almost anything for them. And letting them slobber all over your meal and then finish it yourself is just another way of telling your soulmate, “I would die for you and ingest your saliva all at the same time. Which means I love you.”

Some people go a little too far with this concept, by actually passing gum back and forth in an attempt to keep both’s mouths fresh and clean. All I can think about is the fact that this sticky gum is acquiring everything from one mouth, compounding it in another, and continuing the process again and again.

Why can’t people just buy enough gum so they never, ever in my lifetime or as long as I am breathing on this planet — have to pass already chewed gum back and forth. WHY!?

I’ll share my sandwich, sure. I’ll let you stick your hand in my box of Junior Mints. But I will not, under any circumstance, let you chew my gum or ever ask to chew yours.

And don’t you forget it.

12 comments on “People Who Share Gum

  1. Michelle - March 30, 2004 at 7:50 am -

    Oh, I have such a problem with letting people take a bite or sip of my food/drink. Maybe germ-a-phobic? I just don’t like other people’s saliva on my food, it grosses me out. My hubby can’t understand it & becomes offended sometimes; he thinks I’m weird. Maybe I am? It’s not that I won’t share my food, (I’ll break/cut off a piece for you) and I’ll share my drink (if you have your own cup). And gum? Yuck, I think not. No ABC(Already Beem Chewed) gum for me thank-you

  2. Freya - March 30, 2004 at 8:14 am -

    Haha…that brought back a funny memory–my former roommate was SO disgusted when my then-boyfriend and I shared one of those red and white dessert mints. I don’t see why it’s such a big deal…it isn’t any worse than kissing the person!

  3. the real janelle - March 30, 2004 at 9:07 am -

    ugh. mostly because the gum’s probably out of flavor by the time the second person gets it…

  4. lori - March 30, 2004 at 2:52 pm -

    But would you let me do my favorite thing in the world, which is my poporn at the movies technique. This delicate maneuver is pulled off by, while walking into the movie theater carrying the large over-flowing bucket (or sack) of popcorn, sticking your tongue out of your mouth and into the popcorn. Then pulling the popcorn that is now stuck to your tongue into your mouth and chewing while smiling happily.

    I love to do that.

  5. Pauly D - March 30, 2004 at 3:04 pm -

    Yes, that is acceptable Lori.

  6. Hans - March 30, 2004 at 4:11 pm -

    People who say they arnt hungry yet insist on just stealing a little bit off your meal. grrrrr!, that really annoys me.

  7. C(h)ristine - March 30, 2004 at 4:22 pm -

    I guess after swapping all manner of body fluid, swapping gum ain’t so bad.
    But still: yuuuuck.

    There needs to be more public safety announcements about the potential spread of Hepatitis!

  8. Lena - March 30, 2004 at 8:36 pm -

    Ok, I believe there is a difference between mint swapping and gum swapping! I feel that the mint would only have a very thin sheet of saliva covering it, which, for some reason I am ok with. However, with gum, I imagine oodles of trapped saliva in there just squishing around while I chew. Now that is disgusting.

  9. Lauren B. - March 30, 2004 at 10:04 pm -

    Isn’t that a teen relationship thing?

    Wouldn’t do it now, but sure did it when I was younger. I guess I thought trading saliva was hot.

    Wait a minute…

  10. Jeff A - March 30, 2004 at 10:47 pm -

    Hey, if she can stick “that” in her mouth I don’t see any harm in a little gum! And by “that” I mean.. well you know…”that”

  11. C(h)ristine - March 31, 2004 at 8:13 am -

    p.s. just wanted to say that at first, i thought that was a bright pink used condom, not a piece of gum!

  12. Kathryn - November 11, 2005 at 1:04 pm -

    The comment by ‘jeff A’ is fair! Although I am still a bit grossed out by the ‘that’. (I’m 12!) I had heard of ‘thating’ before and I guess its a grown-up thing I will totally ge when i’m older! Ewwww!

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