Designer Chewing Gum - Don't Get Me Started
Designer Chewing Gum, No Really - Don't Get Me Started!
On the whole I don't know that I could really classify myself as a gum chewer (as I don't chew daily) but I do always have a pack in my car (makes a great air freshener if the pack is new and really pepperminty) and in my briefcase just in case I need some mouth freshness in a hurry. So as the gum pieces got smaller and sugar-free I went along with them never really thinking about the price. That is until I bought my most expensive gum ever the other day, 5 the new gum from Wrigley. Designer chewing gum, no really - Don't Get Me Started!
I have very fond memories of getting in my Dad's 1966 Cadillac and him always having a stick of gum to offer me and my brother. Most of the time Dad gave us a classic gum, Wrigley's DoubleMint but sometimes, just sometimes, it was the sugary rush of Juicy Fruit. I can still see that yellow package and remember that when you used to put the stick of gum in your mouth the sugar would sort of crystallize on your tongue as you began chewing it. The flavor didn't last all that long but who really cared? You were so sugared up you were happy.
Over the years I have to admit that whatever was the coolest packaging was what I went for while waiting to checkout at the supermarket. I am a packaging whore. I am a marketing guy's wet dream because if something looks good to me then I'm buying it and it doesn't really even matter what the product is, if it does its job or if eventually it will give me cancer. This goes for hair products all the way down to gum. And it also explains my various "product graveyards" in my home for everything from hair products to gum. In the case of hair products, I always think that I spent too much money on them so I shouldn't throw them away and that someday I just may want to try using one of the products again (something incidentally, that never happens). Throwing a pack of gum away is an easier task for me. And please don't think that I'm some hoarder of all things as I am a big "heave hoer" from way back when it comes to things being too cluttered but we all have our gray areas, don't we?
Without realizing it, I guess I just got used to the whole short, stubby pieces of gum that look like Chicklets on steroids that you push out of the plastic molded Snow White clear plastic coffins they live in or in a pack that folds over (you know like Orbit or Stride gum, which has a package that folds over twice and though the gum is good, once again, it's all about the package for me). As long as it was sugar-free, tasted okay and looked sensational when I went to offer a pal some gum, it was good for me. So when I saw the packaging for 5 gum, it had me at the matte black sleek envelope case with some sort of "insert tab A into slot B closure" before I even cared if they had a flavor I was interested in. Incidentally, I don't get who names gum anymore but I want to sign up for that job. The best example is this new 5 Gum which comes in Rain, Cobalt and Flare. Anyone want to try and guess what the hell Cobalt tastes like or Flare or even Rain? Or do you want to guess why it didn't even matter to me? (Ah, once again, the marketing people know what they're doing) The point here is that when I opened the package to reveal these shiny alien blue wrappers, I was dazzled. What's even more is that when I took out the first piece I was sort of dumbfounded as it was a "stick" and not a piece. That's right; these are sticks like you remember sticks of gum in shape and size. I guess everything is truly new again. I don't know if I was more surprised by the shape or the fact that I had to remind myself that this is the way gum used to come all the time. I felt really stupid (which like so many things, immediately goes into my blog) staring at the "odd" shape as I unwrapped it. And I felt equally stupid that I didn't even look at the price for being dazzled by the packaging. This gum is about $1.50 but come on, in the gum world this is like having to take out a second mortgage, give up your first male born and one of your testicles to buy it. (Of course you see that it didn't stop me from purchasing it and yes, I still have both testicles.)
I don't know if it's that I think the gum is too expensive, that we really don't need designer gum or if the main thing is that I wish I was six again in my Dad's car getting my gum from him but it does seem to me that as I grow older I ask myself questions about all the gazillion product choices that are out there that I'm not sure we need. I remember gum as being something like most products that was associated with a character too and so I have to ask, "Do we need this many different brands and flavors of gum? What ever happened to Bazooka? Or more importantly, Bazooka Joe? With the awful cartoons we laughed at anyway? Is the Fruit Stripe zebra dead? He doesn't call or write anymore. What is the character associated with 5 Gum? A big number 5? Hardly the Fruit Stripe zebra with his wacky stripes or even Bazooka Joe." Even Tony the Tiger seems to be an extra on the box of Frosted Flakes (or whatever they're calling them now) instead of the star he once was at my breakfast table. Makes me feel not so G-R-R-R-E-A-T! Designer chewing gum, no really - Don't Get Me Started!
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- Some Like It Scott!
An acquired taste, like Tab cola, Some Like It Scott is one gay man's experiences with love, life and things that make him crazy, all done to a musical theatre soundtrack.
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