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Kunama 1959


Chewing Gum


Among the many habits that are considered ill-bred and vulgar, chewing gum is one of the most common. Many people think of cows chewing their cud whenever they see a person chewing gum. Teachers especially are opposed to the practice. To them it's an unpardonable sin. Most teachers delight in catching a pupil just after he has replenished his motor with a fresh wad. At least a package of perfectly good gum is wasted in every class. If employers were as strict as teachers, they would soon run out of stenographers.

I get a great deal of pleasure out of chewing gum. Like others who have mastered the art, I have acquired a perfect rhythm that is soothing to weary nerves and an overworked brain. The rubbery texture of the gum is an added pleasure. It recalls to my mind the happy days of going barefoot when I was smaller. After a heavy rain it was my delight to go into the road and mix up the mud with my feet. The squashy sounds that it made, and the feel of the mud oozing up between my toes were a great thrill. I have much the same sensation in feeling the gum oozing among my teeth. I am truly sorry for those who do not chew. For they cannot realise what they are missing.

Chewing gum is an old art. Our ancestors did not get their gum, however, from the factories and stores, but from nature. In the Spring of the year the sap comes out of Spruce trees and forms into a soft, rubbery substance that was considered excellent gum. Nothing could make our gum-chewing ancestors happier than to sit around an open fire, chewing a piece of slippery elm and forgetting the troubles of the day.

Expert gum-chewers are seldom seen chewing. They have perfected the art to such a degree that they can chew unobserved. The gum is held in a certain spot where it cannot be noticed and will not interfere with the chewer's speech. This method does not attract attention and for this reason it gives the chewer a certain satisfaction in fooling the teacher.

'When the earth's last picture is painted," I suppose gum-chewers will dwell in a field all of their own where they can chew a divine sort of lotus to the music of the spheres.

JOE BOONE, 3A


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