Chewing gum – January 1929 style

I do not deny that there was a time that I enjoyed immensely a piece of gum. I remember the delight I took in pulling and loudly “cracking” a stick of my favorite “Black Jack” or “Grape,” while the teacher’s back was turned. This habit of chewing gum continued for several years until I chanced, one day, to make a fortunate discovery.

By a student in 1929

Setonian Staff Writer

I do not deny that there was a time that I enjoyed immensely a piece of gum. I remember the delight I took in pulling and loudly “cracking” a stick of my favorite “Black Jack” or “Grape,” while the teacher’s back was turned. This habit of chewing gum continued for several years until I chanced, one day, to make a fortunate discovery.

I was riding on a street car, gazing abstractedly out of the window when, as the car stopped, I saw confronting me in the glass my own reflection. I could hardly believe that the stupid-looking creature with the animated jaws was myself. After this incident, noting as I did the idiotic expression that chewing gum gave me, I became self-conscious when trying to enjoy a stick of my favorite brand. Not even Black Jack could supply the satisfaction that I had formerly experienced. I often stood before the mirror trying various ways of chewing, now fast, now slow, with the gum in one corner of my mouth and then in the other, hoping to find some manner of chewing gum with grace.

Obtaining no favorable results from studying myself I began to watch others chew, only to have all my hopes dispelled. After this intensive research there was no doubt in my mind that had this universal habit of chewing gum been as popular in 1871 as it is now, Darwin would had had less difficulty in trying to prove his theory of the evolution of man, for the similarity of activity simply points a resemblance that is often very strong indeed.

After much reflection upon the subject, I took to chewing gum in private. But due perhaps to long years of perpetual motion, and, because of the fact that now the time of mu enjoyment was brief, I chewed more vigorously; my jaws began to ache and at times seemed to be entirely dislocated. There was also a change in my taste, only sweet gum satisfied me. Yet despite the constantly increasing ache and the irritability caused by the taste of the gum I was powerless to discard the offensive piece. It had a peculiar mystic power over me and I was forced to take just one more chew until in desperation I had to remove the gum forcibly from my mouth, a procedure which usually caused me some annoyance, but after which I would definitely dispose of the temptation.

What finally placed chewing gum in my category of pet prejudices was the fact that I had always had a dislike for bugs. One day as I was looking in “The Book Of Knowledge” for some information on guncotton I came across an article on “How Chewing Gum Is Made.” I read it and found that the gum used comes from trees and is rarely pure.

Manufacturers have not succeeded in finding a method of removing all the bugs and flying insects that the sticky sap catches while it is being gathered. After the sap containing all these impurities hardens it is chopped, cooked, sweetened, and then sold in the small sticks that had at one time so enjoyed. This account ended any doubts that I may have had upon the advisability of chewing gum, and since that time, that which had once been one of my greatest delights has become my pet prejudice.