Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Spearmint or peppermint? Green or blue? Or maybe you’re more adventurous… moving on to the level of strawberries and sweetmint, or even orange-mango. The soothing feeling of ripping open the ‘open here’-marked plastic that surround its coloured contents, you can already taste the minty freshness in your mouth. I love the way that the temporary seal is not in use when you first open it – it’s a way of liberating the individual, putting you in the driver’s seat and leaving you in control. You open the back flap and see those little green soldiers, little men and women, aligned side by side, ready for action. They are prone to manipulation and are very malleable and with only a short lifespan, they’re ready for action as soon as you are. I tend to admire a full packed for a couple of seconds, taking in the experience and the scents, going meticulously through the process I’ve just outlined like I’ll never have the change to run through it again. You see the Breakfast soldiers, the Lunch women and the men there ready already, for Dinner. There are also Snacks. Their brothers and sisters await in a straight line behind them. They are doing their job and I like to think their inherent qualities prepare them for the life of a gum piece. They do not get attached to their box-relations. They are there, militia-style, priorities set and in tact from day one at the Wrigley’s factory. They are pilled in there, portioned out and carefully stacked and placed in rows to perfection. I commend Wrigley’s on their fine artisan practice. It has been well planned and each soldier is always equal.

I get an uneasy feeling alongside one of pure ecstasy as I pull out the first little man and sense his presence in between my knobbly fingers. I see the slight shift in the other soldiers – it is almost like they are takning a moment to pay their respects to their fallen brother or sister. They shift awkwardly and it is not uncommon for one or two soldiers to wriggle out of their place in line, an act of rebellion, speaking and standing out, for their rights and their liberation.

After sliding the opening tab into its perfect slot (well perfect before the dainty little box gets mauled in amongst my handbag where water bottles, wallets, phones and other worldly possessions tackle it to the ground, the bottom of the bag and leave it disabled and quite literally out of shape), my focus shifts onto the piece lying in my hands. It’s perfect. For me, he’s usually in green camouflage, always Recommended by Dentists and reminding me to dispose of his jacket properly.

Eat Drink Chew Extra

I do.

Little Mr A Lunch’s jacket is unravelled and pulled off of his flexible body. As we engage in a dance of desire, he gets naked while my mouth begins to water. It’s all a bit sexual, but it is child’s play – naive, placid, harmless foreplay.

Then he enters my mouth with the help of two or three of my most dexterous fingers and thumb. And then our relationship takes off to another level. Out of this world. Into my mouth. He rides next to my teeth and I demand he change shape. Showing me his acrobatic skills, he moulds into whatever I command of him, his flexibility incredibly impressive. I stretch him out, turn him in tumbles and pull him across my tongue to attempt blowing a bubble. I never was taught this skill as a child, so really, our duet is a one man show.

We remain together for a period of time, sometimes longer than others. But I am so grateful to each and every little man and woman I’ve had a relationship with as it builds my confidence, my calm and gets me collected and ready for the next stage of my day.

I might be on the train to uni, I might be sitting at home writing a post (very similar to this one). Sometimes one can get frustrated though because gum is notoriously flirtatious. And everyone’s after a little piece of it, all the time. You can’t get your own men out when you’re with friends or you’ll lose them all before you’ve established a proper relationship. You’ve earned for and bought your way with these pieces, you owe it to them and to yourself to engage in something above-par before ratting them off to somewhere or someone external.

Don’t lie. That was not your last piece of gum.

It’s a refrain so common it is like a tweet constantly getting RT (retweeted) by friends and strangers across the globe.

So like others, my soldiers make me selfish. I want them. They are mine, and no one else’s. But once your engagement is out and on the table, you can’t decline without coming across as a completely self-centred bitch. So I keep our relationship pretty closeted at most occasions. We don’t like to sport our love for each other with big chews or obvious bubbles in public places. We like our intimacy. Remember, although these soldiers are always on the sly lookout for potential partners, they adjust well, and once your relationship is confirmed, you know you’re going to be going pretty steady until you decide it’s time to part.

So don’t put a ring on it. But know that once you’re together, you are in for a moment of fresh, minty bliss. And the flavour will last, so you’ve always got the upper hand. You call the shots. And when you do, Please dispose of all litter properly. Honour your fallen soldier. Put it in the bin.

  1. TiCTaC said:

    I would never have known that gum could be such fun, and have so many hidden (and Extra) dimensions! Life as a Tic Tac will be forever dull by comparison, rapidly melting away to nothing after an initial sting.

  2. Quietgirl said:

    You are a lovely person, a brilliant writer and I wish I knew you better.

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