But You Can’t Chew Gum!


Image courtesy of www.oldtimecandy.com
One of the first things people say the minute I tell them I live in Singapore is - but you can’t chew gum! It’s amazing, it happens every single time (like it’s important or something), and then of course, they wax lyrical about how clean it is here – even if they’ve never visited. Singapore is very clean I admit, but it’s not as clean as everyone seems to think – and I should know, I’ve explored all sorts of nooks and crannies in this great City with my little guys.
Getting back to chewing gum. I seem to have inherited a disorder I’d like to call “don’t fucken chew gum within earshot of me because I’ll definitely have to kill you.” It appears I have inherited this gene from my mother, because she used to go nuts when any of us chewed gum within ear shot of her. This disorder’s symptoms include an absolute irritable need to climb a wall whenever you hear anyone smacking away on gum close by.  When facing prolonged exposure, the feeling of irritation gets so strong, you feel like the inside bits of your body need to move onto the outside. It’s bloody awful, and once, when flying from Hong Kong to Rome, I had a woman sitting next to me chew gum the entire flight – my stomach still clenches up at that memory.  I can’t explain it, it is what it is, so to my dear friends be warned – I will rarely make a fuss about it, because it feels rude to do so, but I will definitely do everything I can to get away from you. Essentially if you do feel the need to chew gum and want my company, either spit it out or piss off well out of ear shot.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved having a big wad of cheek bursting Hubba Bubba bubble gum in my mouth as a teenager, and another friend reminded me recently how I used to go through two packs of Extra a day at work in my early 20’s. However, I officially stopped chewing gum when I had to wear a dental plate, because chewing gum and a plate are not a good combination. It takes ages to get the chewing gum off the plate let me assure you. Steve told me, long after we met, that he stopped chewing gum the minute he knew about my “disorder.” Prior to this, he was addicted. Bless his cotton socks – that’s love.
So for me, living in Singapore is living in paradise. I rarely encounter anyone chewing gum, and even though it is legal to get gum on prescription and most people bring it back into the country every chance they get, no, I don’t need to suffer that lip smacking sound on a daily basis. It’s absolute bliss for a person like me, so when people say but you can’t chew gum? I say isn’t that fucken brilliant? Not to mention, you never have to clean gum off your shoes, nor is there any risk my boys will pick up and consume a stray bit of used gum stuck to the pavement. Excellent.

I don’t know why I got this thing, but that saliva smacking sound from another person chewing gum sends me into apoplexy. Anyone else suffer from the “don’t fucken chew gum within earshot of me because I’ll definitely have to kill you” disorder? I’d like to know I’m not alone in this...
Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
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