Chugging Teh Gew
When I was a young warthog I had a brief love affair with a bright pink candy gum called Bubble Chug. Woefully, this gum was discontinued shortly after its release and could never be obtained again. And now, in this moment, I know exactly what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Wait this guy doesn’t know anything; The gum to which he refers was abundant and commonly available for many years.”
Wrong sir! You are in fact wholly and completely wrong. A gum did become available for purchase under the moniker of Bubble “Jug” years later. This gum is packaged identically to my beloved Bubble “Chug” but one crucial change had been made to undermine the integrity of the product. Bubble Jug is powdered bits of gum. I imagine this product had its origins in the cracks and corners of the machine that stamps out sticks of gum. There is a sad sad woman who paces the gum stick factory running a coat hanger through the gutters of the conveyor belt. She fishes out chaff and powder, funneling it into tiny jugs with a creased sheet of notebook paper. Bubble Chug on the other hand, was goo. A wonderful and interesting viscous goo.
There was something about chugging teh gew, or rather NOT chugging it, that was endlessly satisfying. The thick elastic liquid would evolve into something more gum-like as you’d chew it. I would imagine tiny air bubbles being kneaded into the snot rocket of plasma with my teeth. The gum would end up as this silly emulsified bolus of sugar in my cheek. Think Big League Chew.
All that was over the second they rode up Troy’s bucket. The product was re-imagined and re-released completely neutered of fun. I’m sure it had something to do with thousands of children drinking the gum juice. I mean “chug” was written right on the side of the bottle. At any rate the gum was now hard dust chunks and the magic was gone. Why should the new gum crumbles even be in a jug at all? Why not a more appropriate dust/chunk related shape like a grain silo, or a vacuum cleaner, or a friggin’ mine cart? The designed experience of jug chugging was lost.
In my adult life I’ve come to meet several harsh realities head on. Not the harshest of which is the fact that gum makes me feel ill. The loss of gum in my life doesn’t bother me but the death of an experience does. It’s the experience of using centrifugal force to gather the last of the goo into a chuggable meniscus. I’d squeeze the canister and push my tongue against the plastic threads creating suction that was effectively blowing a reverse bubble. There was something primal about sucking a radioactive pink sugarsnail out of Barbie’s gas can that can’t be achieved by huffing a cupped handful of dust. (More information on goo chugging.)
When you get to be an old dog like me, you know there’s no shortage of people trying to pour their gum dust into your hand so you can slap yourself in the face. Don’t fall for it. The value is in the experience and the details matter. Don’t let mediocre stand in awesome’s way. Grab life by the jugs and chug the goo.
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