Terry’s Favorite Things
I love gum. Or I used to. Back before they ruined them all. Or so I thought they did.
Except for those 25 cent gum balls that you can find in the malls and shops – you know, the ones that loose their flavor in under 60 seconds or second rate Double Bubble that is popular around Halloween, or bubble gums with unpalatable and bizarre new flavors, I’m left with nothing to chew that won’t poison my body and rot my brain.
Yes, I read labels dammit. And one by one, all the major gums have switched to the DARK SIDE and put that fucking nutra sweet aspartame shit into their bits of inedible chewing wax.
As a kid I remember looking forward to getting a piece of Bazooka bubble gum when my dad would take us kids for a haircut at the local barbershop. Sure, that Bazooka gum was hard as rocks and the cartoon on the wrappers was lame, but nevertheless, we looked forward to our reward for a job well done – that being managing to sit still while getting our hair chopped.
Then there was the time when I was visiting my grandparents on Long Island as a kid where there was still an old Woolworth’s five and dime that was within walking distance from their house. I remember buying this bubble gum that was like a foot long for just a quarter. I imagined I was going to get into the Guiness Book Of World Records for World’s biggest bubble blown and this gum was going to be my vehicle to success.
Oh sure, Hubba Bubba, Bubblicious and Bubble Yum were fun to chew back in the days when I didn’t have to shave and the taste buds in the back of my mouth [inside the cheeks] hadn’t worn away yet, but now it seems like they are my only option today if I want to chew some gum without getting sick. But the urge to blow a bubble is too great and I don’t want to deal with the issues of getting it off my face.
In high school I moved onto more mature chewing pleasure in the form of chain chewing Dentyne cinnamon flavored gum. I preferred it over Wrigley’s Big Red as tasting more natural, also I thought it kept my breath fresh. Plus the rush of the cinnamon burn was an unrealized precursor to my love affair with hot sauces and wasabi.
Later I would move to Wrigley’s gums [minus Big Red] until one day I noticed they had made the switch to the Dark Side as well.
WTF? Can’t ONE company keep making it the old, simple way with just sugar? I figured it was either an aspartame infiltration conspiracy or maybe it was just plain cheaper than using sugar.
Just like the majority of major chocolate makers are using more and more crap in their ingredients. At least with chocolate, there’s plenty of available natural and organic options. And boy do they taste great! But I digress…
One gum that I hadn’t seen in years and figured it was a casualty of the gum wars, was a gum called Fresh-en Up gum. Fresh-en Up came in a square pack of 6 or 7 pieces in a variety of flavors like bubble gum, spearmint, cinnamon and peppermint. But what made this gum really fun was it’s liquid center ‘bursting with flavor’ goo. Chew time wasn’t the best, but it was a softer chew than most and it was different – it had style for a gum and gave you a broader experience … like Pop Rocks do for candy.
Chicklets was another fun sounding gum. Though even as a kid, I never really cared for the microscopic pieces in those little bags. A better gum in my opinion was Beechies. Beechies came in spearmint and peppermint gum that came 2 pieces to a box.
Well, after a quick search on Google, I come to find out that both Beechies and Fresh-en Up live on to this day and can be had for a reasonable price… so long as you are willing to buy in bulk. Hey, no problem. Gum keeps for a really LONG time. Most important, they still make their gums with the ingredients they always have. NO artificial sweeteners to melt my brain.
You can buy Beechies Gum here.