Would you care for some gum?

I was on the plane yesterday.  The lady next to me was kind enough to offer me a piece of gum from her hermetically sealed packet.  Ya know, the one that is a box surrounding the foiled, plastic packaging, enclosing the holy grail of good breath shaped like a white pillow in a hard case.

Okay, first of all, gum sure has changed.

There were long, thin sticks, covered in foil, and wrapped in plastic, when we used to have to walk barefoot in the snow to school.

Then there were chiclets in a bag.  And mini-chiclets!

Then they were shorter, fatter sticks, wrapped in paper, and in plastic.

Now they are presented like platinum pillows coated in mint, with a crunchy surface.

Oh, and let’s not forget the kind that squirts in your mouth.  My least favorite for many reasons I will not get in to.

Gum balls of all flavors, including “meatballs and spaghetti”?  Even more conservative flavors, like fruit, are not appetizing, as far as I am concerned.  Gum should stick to the mint family.

Back to the plane…

So, I got paranoid that she was offering me gum.  Was it just to be neighborly?  Or did my breath smell?

I turned and cupped my hand to my mouth, did a quick “huh”, as I breathed out, and sniffed in for a check.

Seemed okay.  I did have Mexican the day before…what is the grace period on onions?

Naturally, I asked her, “Ooh, I had Mexican yesterday, is my breath bad?”

Of course, asking this question to a virtually complete stranger, (a stranger that we mutually shared our life stories within the 4 hour flight, of whom I will most likely never see again), is a bit awkward.

What is she going to say?

“Yes, your breath smells like ass on a taco?”

She politely said, “No, I was just offering”.

What would I do in that same situation?

For sure, if I had gum, and the passenger next to me had yucky breath, I certainly would offer.  But then again, if I whipped out a piece of gum, and I had enough, I certainly would offer one to the passenger next to me.  Even if I was in the middle!

I guess you are kind of screwed in the middle, because you have to offer both sides.  And you can’t really tear the new gum in half, to split.

At least at the window, you really aren’t obligated to communicate with the aisle seat.

And hopefully, that person 2 seats away has breath that you cannot smell from that distance!

I have had that situation before!  With no gum to offer!

Ah, especially morning flights!  Those are the worst.  Oh, I take that back, any flight from Europe is worse.

Which of course reminds me of b.o!  We Americans have our faults, but hygiene is usually not one of them.

Overseas flights can be a challenge for the nostrils.  I wonder if I could stick a piece of gum up my nose so I can’t smell them?  Holding your breath for 7 hours is usually not an option.

Maybe that’s why they invented the new shapes!

It all makes sense to me now as I breathe clean air on my couch, in my sweats on this lazy Wednesday afternoon.

Uh oh!  So lazy, I didn’t even brush my teeth yet!  Off to the electric toothbrush!

What did we ever do without them?  I am so in love with my electric toothbrush.  So superior to the old fashioned ones in the day when we used to walk over the river and through the woods.

Happy Turkey Breath Day!


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Linda Chorney

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November 2011
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