Gum-Eaters Anonymous

I used to eat gum. All the time. Whenever there was gum, I would eat it. Despite the constant cautionary tales my mother would tell me, I would still swallow the delicious sugary goop with delight.

“You know, when you swallow gum, it stays in your stomach for seven years.”


I knew this was false even as a 6 year-old. Every ridiculous childhood fable included something terrible happening to you for seven years. “Break a mirror, 7 years bad luck” “Spill the salt, 7 years of bland food” “Kill a hobo, 7 years of weird tasting soup”.

My family knew not to leave their gum lying around. They created hiding places and would yell every time I would find some. It was easy. Though I was a small child, I could still outsmart my parents as well as my sister.


One day, my sister, who was about thirteen at the time, was practicing piano in the living room. She had a pack of gum lying next to her on the bench; the kind that was my favorite; the big pink cube kind.


I wanted that gum. To eat. I wanted to eat that gum.

I stared for a while before taking off my shoes and tip-toeing towards sweet chewy salvation.


It was right there. I could already feel it’s pink globby glory going down my throat.

But at the very last moment, as I was reaching for the gum of my life, my sister saw me.



I swiped the gum before she could grab it and ran for my life. I locked myself in my room and inhaled the entire pack.

I almost choked and died but it was totally worth it.




My sister ran crying to my parents that I had eaten her precious gum and my mom reacted like she always did. “He’s just a little boy. You can’t get too angry with him, sweetie.”



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