It wasn’t allowed in school, yet the underside of every desk contained some! What’s that? Gum! What’s your earliest recollection of the sticky, chewy, wonderful stuff? Here are mine: First, every Sunday, on our way to church, my sisters and I would beg my mom for some gum. (Note: Dad never entered into these negotiations. Maybe because his go-to choice of “chew” involved tobacco!) In any case, Mom would hold us off until we were dutifully seated in the church pew. Then she carefully broke two pieces of stick gum in half and distributed one half piece to each of us. It wasn’t much to chew, but it kept us mostly quiet throughout the service.
My second gum memory involves Chiclets. Do you remember those little pieces of candy-coated gum bits? Again, as the family’s official “Gum Gestapo,” Mom was in charge. The Chiclets package of chewy delights always resided inside Mom’s purse. When she deigned to give in to our begging for it, we received one piece. Just one Chiclet. I remember envying a friend whose mom gave him three pieces at a time. Three! But lest you think my mom was anything less than loving, one time on the way home from a doctor visit she gave me two whole Chiclets. (I think it was because I kept crying over getting a shot, but I could be wrong.)
Gum from Mexico – a special treat!
Finally, my third gum memory: My uncle and aunt returned from a trip to Mexico. MEXICO!(NOBODY I knew from my small Iowa community traveled farther than Nebraska!) Anyway, my uncle brought back a “little something” for my sisters and me. Mexican gum! While my sisters tore into their packages, I waited, savoring the moment. A whole package of gum (from MEXICO!) was mine. I couldn’t wait to try it. I was sure it would taste exotic and amazing. But I decided to save it instead. I tucked it in my sock drawer, way in the back so my sisters wouldn’t find and swipe it. Every now and then I’d take the gum (from MEXICO) out, just to smell it. It was wonderful. Until one day it wasn’t. My child-brain told me that I’d probably sniffed all the good smells completely out and should really try a piece. What a letdown! It was like chewing cardboard. (Mexican cardboard, but still…) I ended up throwing it away, though not before attempting to trade the package for my little sister’s Chiclet. (She refused.)
It’s National Chewing Gum Day!
Today, September 30th, is National Chewing Gum Day. Really! To celebrate, let’s take a look at how you can use recycled bubble gum (or, as my uncle used to call it: ABC gum – Already Been Chewed.) These uses may be unusual (and possibly border on “eww”), but remember that they are recommended for emergency use and not intended as permanent solutions to your sticky problems.
How to use chewing gum around the RV
• A piece of chewing gum can temporarily fill in a small crack or missing piece of RV caulking. (Keyword: temporarily!)
• Use chewing gum to fix your eyeglasses. That plastic lens that continually pops out can be held in place with a small piece of gum. The gum should hold things together until you can get a permanent fix.
• Don’t risk spilling dirt or water in your RV. Let chewing gum come to your rescue! Chewing gum will fill a crack in a ceramic or terracotta flowerpot. As it dries, the gum will harden and form an effective, temporary fix.
• You may not believe this (and I’d have to try it to believe it myself), but many people who fish for crab and/or catfish claim that if you chew gum just enough to make it soft, you can use it for bait! Evidently, these creatures are drawn by the smell.
• You can use chewing gum to retrieve something that has dropped down your RV sink drain, too. Grab a skewer from the BBQ drawer and stick a fresh piece of ABC gum on one end. Poke the device down the sink so that the gum sticks to the dropped item, and carefully pull it back up.
So … in honor of National Chewing Gum Day, tell us your favorite chewing gum of all time. Don’t forget those by-gone flavors: Black Jack, Chu-Bops, Big Buddy, Beeman’s, Black Cat, Teaberry, Clove, and more! And do you have any good chewing gum stories? Tell us about them.
Get some nostalgic chewing gum on Amazon.