(goddamn it)

I have become obsessed with gum. Specifically - too much gum is being produced in the world, and I want it to stop.

At my grocery store, I counted 79 different kinds of gum. 79! Made by only 6 companies with obviously bloated marketing departments who have nothing better to do than think about how to insert jelly into putrid pieces of chemical-glob (do not swallow!). Gum for tooth whitening (does not whiten teeth), gum for kissability, gum for fun, gum with Scope, gum with sparkles, gum in rainbow colours. Spearment, Peppermint, Extra Mint, Cool Mint, Icy Mint, Cinnamon, Apple, Banana, Orange, Strawberry, Cherry, Grape. Plus specialty gum for the connoisseur.

We do not need all this choice in gum. In fact, it's detrimental. Humans do best with a few choices on insignificant decisions. They get easily overwhelmed with a wall of 79 kinds of gum. I have asked at least 100 people why they picked the brand of gum they did. My rough cuts says 75% buy gum because it's the kind on sale. 15% buy because they always buy that gum and never think about it, 5% for reasons of preference such as preferring spearmint to peppermint, and 5% don't know, they just grabbed one. There you go, Gum Executives, throw out your marketing numbers because I have conducted a mighty focus group and they have spoken.

I compared the gum ingredients, looking for the differences. Here's the thing - GUM IS ALL THE SAME!!! The ingredients are pretty much rote. A chemical concoction to blow the mind, with few deviations. 79 kinds of gum and they can't figure out a new way to do it that doesn't involve poisons. This, for all their "gum innovation" - they just squirt in another chemical-lab-created flavour and call it something else.

This is human waste in action. When I think of all the water, gas and electricity involved in supplying, manufacturing, packaging and distributing 79 versions of the exact same gum, it makes my blood boil. When I think of how much human creativity, ideas, thought, love, planning, approvals and stress (because you KNOW the artwork was late!) went into marketing and advertising, I want to spit. Spit that gum right out.

Forget about gum's permanent nature on our landscape - under tables, on the sidewalk, stuck to our shoes, in our hair. Imagine where all that human potential could be applied if it weren't being wasted on GUM!

People, we have reached the critical point with gum. We have innovated gum sufficiently for human use. We do not require 79 versions. Choice? Maybe…4? 12? I'm flexible. But from here on in, when anyone wants to introduce a new gum to the market, they should have to get government approval based on true innovation. A new concoction that doesn't put poison into our bloodstreams. A gum that makes us smarter. Gum that helps us levitate. Something. Otherwise, NO NEW GUM.

Say it with me. NO NEW GUM. NO NEW GUM. NO NEW GUM!