And Now, a Conversation Between Two Insane Gum Obsessives

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Photo: Eric Brownstone

How many pieces of gum do you chew a day? Two? Three? Good for you.

We’ve been known to chew a pack at a time, to spend over $5 a day on our habit, to have tried every novelty flavor under the sun. It’s not the worst thing to compulsively engage in, but it’s not, well, great either. But we are fucking out of control and LOVING it! 

And so we sat down to talk about our mutual gum habit, in an attempt to explore our neuroses and learn more about our gum and ourselves. We accomplished neither.


Gabriella: Okay, Jess. I’m glad we’re finally talking about this, because yesterday I ate so much gum that my stomach hurt.

Jessica: I feel very relieved to be in a safe space where chewing a pack of Trident an hour is not considered weird. I actually thought it was something normal people did — like being physically incapable of properly rationing gum the second you get a new pack was a fundamental human flaw — but here I find out that it’s actually weird as fuck!

How much gum do you chew?

Like, roughly.

GP: If I buy a pack, it’s gone within the day for sure. More realistically, within an hour. How about you?

JR: I buy those Trident combo three-packs and chew them all in a day. It hurts my jaw! It hurts my stomach. Why am I still doing this?

GP: So Trident is your preferred brand?

JR: Trident classic is the best gum out there. Keeps its flavor for a while, not too hard, and not too chewy. I feel like non-seasoned gum-chewers always opt for Orbit because their advertising is the most prominent, but it’s an inferior product IMHO. Too soft!

GP: Rude.

JR: Uh-oh …

GP: Orbit is for sure not my favorite — I like something with a crunchy shell, like Dentyne Ice — but whenever I buy Orbit, the entire pack is in my mouth, at once, within 30 minutes.

JR: Right, BECAUSE IT’S TOO SOFT.

Dentyne Ice is dope, but the flavor is really overpowering and you have to chew, like, six pieces at once to get a satisfactory hunk.

I am such a Trident classic fiend that the guy at the bodega in our office knows to reorder it when he runs out, or I will have a tantrum.

GP: That’s called enabling.

JR: He enables because he cares (about me spending $5 a day there on gum).

Also, I feel like seasoned gum-chewers have a specific number of pieces they like to chew at once. My sweet spot is four pieces, no more, no less.

GP: Oh, mine is, like, eight. Oof. So, when did you first realize this was a problem? I can pinpoint my moment exactly: I bought Extra watermelon gum (highly recommended) and chewed the entire pack at my regular rate, then threw the wad in the trash can. My mom was the next person to throw something out and she was, like …what the fuck happened here?

JR: I knew I had a problem when I began feeling visibly irritated whenever anybody asked me for a piece of gum. Like it was personally offensive to me that they expected me to part with even a tiny sliver of my great gum fortune just because they had garlic for lunch.

GP: Okay, duly noted.

JR: NEVER ASK ME FOR GUM.

I have a weird question. Maybe I’m gross but, do you have … receipts … with wadded-up pieces of gum in them … on the bottom of your purse …

GP: I’ve ruined so many tote bags that way, and you know … it was worth it.

JR: I’m so glad I’m not alone.

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Post-gum wadding

JR: That is adorkable! I do chew gum emotionally, yes, and also to stave off the inevitable post-lunch, pre-dinner hunger.

GP: What do you think of people who only take one piece of gum at a time? I think that’s the real fucked-up behavior.

JR: I don’t trust them. Never trust a person who chews one piece of gum at a time. Like, what kind of self-control is that? What are these people hiding?

GP: Serial killers, all of them.

JR: I think that’s part of the reason I get so offended when people ask me for gum. Because it’s ruder to give someone only a single piece of gum than it is to say, “Sorry, I don’t have any more!”

Anyway: jaw problems! You got ‘em?

GP: So bad. But I keep chewing!

JR: I pretty much have a headache every day from chewing so much gum! Why can’t I stop!! This is a cry for help.

GP: Honestly, I don’t want to change. Gum is my favorite food.

JR: Same.