The GUM Ban in the Purdy Household (how my mom might have written it)

Dear Children,

This notice is to announce that gum has been officially banned in the household.  Why?  Well. First off, you look terrible when you chew it – like a cow, like a street worker, like someone who is de-classe and has no manners.  

Secondly, it gives off a terrible odor of artificial junk.  Double Mint Gum is the exception here, but we’ll address the problems with that momentarily.    Bubble Yum, Double Bubble and Bazooka are never even to be mentioned to me.  Their sickly sweet, fake scent is enough to make me tear my dissertation out of the typewriter and gather that steaming saliva ridden ball of crap out of your mouth and throw it all in the garbage.  You don’t want to do that do you?  Did you hear me?  I am writing my dissertation on a typewriter.  That means it isn’t saved and I’d have to write it all over again.  It’s 1978 and no one has computers, not even you, so the fact that I am lording my typewriting  angst over you may not really have an impact, because you will actually be writing several papers on this same typewriter in a few years with no clue that a computer is even possible or that "backspace" is a word, that has nothing to do with the Starship Enterprise commanding space to stay back.

I am digressing here, but I feel pretty strongly about this, so I’m just going with it.

Reason #3.  Wait. did I do #2?  Let me go back and check…. Ah,  yes, the horrendous odor and smell of that pink blob of nothing that I see hiding out between your teeth. 

#3 Someone went to bed chewing their Double Mint gum (that person will remain nameless for now) and we all know how badly that turns out.  Here’s where I get to lambast Wrigley’s Double Mint. While it has a fairly tolerable scent,  Double Mint gum is a lot thinner than Double Bubble or Bubble Yum and therefore has a tendency to stick more readily to surfaces, which, Mary Purdy, is exactly what it did to your pillow cases after you decided to go to bed with it still in your mouth.  Did you honestly think it would stay there for 8 hours, or however long you are sleeping these days?  So while you were doubling your pleasure, I was doubling my workload in the washer.  Have I mentioned I am working on my PhD!?  I don’t have time for extra work like extracting dried gum pieces from linens, I am trying to do something important!

Finally, I’m not sure if you’ve perused the Health Section of the New York Times, but sugary gum causes cavities. Yes, cavities!  (Remember that it is still 1978 and we have not yet realized that sugar also increases the risk of diabetes which will essentially bankrupt our health care economy, but I cannot consider this right now, I have a dissertation to worry about!)   Cavities are little brown holes in your teeth that your father and I have to pay money to have a humorless Dentist with a pronounced butt-chin,  fill up with little tufts of silver mercury.  This is not going to be something that you enjoy, and it certainly isn’t something that we enjoy paying for, so let’s lessen the burden on all of us in the household and keep it as far away from the apartment as possible.  

Please do not attempt to hide that gummy gob under your tongue.   I can tell from your garbled sentences that it is lodged there, and remember that I have the nose of a blood hound.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

-       Your Mom. 


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