Oftentimes when I walk down the street, beautiful women will gawk at me. I’m pretty sure that they’re not looking at the salsa stain on my shirt from my lunch burrito that decided to explode on me (the mark of a sub-par burrito assembler!). No, they’re looking at my muscular jowls. My taut jawline. The expert way in which I chew.
You see, I am an advanced chewer. If my TMJ is any indication, I’ve taken my chewing to the next level. Now, for you chewbs, I’m talking about gum chewing here. None of this chewing tobacco, or “eating” if that’s what you want to call it. A real chewer focuses on that sweet nectar of the gods that is gum.
“Well this is just a bunch of baloney!” you may say. But I assure you, deli meats this is not. This is real. I warm up. I subscribe to Chewing Magazine. I can walk and chew gum at the same time.
You think you know? But chew have no idea. That’s not just a joke among the chewing community (we love wordplay), it’s the truth, and you’re about to be educated.
I’m not going to bore you with the history of chewing gum. Mostly ‘cause I don’t know the history of chewing gum. Besides, there’s probably some Wikipedia article somewhere that explains the history (synopsis – people have been chewing shit for a long-ass time). The knowledge I’m going to impart on you is one to give a casual chewer the most pleasurable chewing experience.
The first thing to consider is flavor. There are three official flavor categories I definitely didn’t just make up: Fruity, Cinnamony, Minty. These flavor categories are admittedly broad, but help with narrowing down the type of gum you’re going for. Exceptions to this category are Wrigley’s Dessert Delights, ‘cause quite frankly if you want apple pie you shouldn’t chew shitty gum, you should just buy (or bake) an apple pie and be done with it (or get the handheld version at McDonald’s).
Personally I tend towards the Minty. A key advantage to chewing gum is that it freshens your breath, and while Bubblicious’ Lightning Lemonade is a treat (pretty much the only thing Lebron and I will agree on), I’d rather people catch a whiff of my minty fresh breath and not my lemonadey or even cinnamony one. Just seems weird to me.
Once you’ve selected a flavor, you’re ready to make the big decision, which is chewing time. Chewing time is a much more vital determining factor than flavor when you’re figuring out what kind of chewsperience you want to have (not all the wordplay is great). As a level 8 advanced chewer, I can go for hours on end. I’m not quite at the level of chewing the same piece for days (that’s a level 10, you have to study at the Chewer’s Institute to be awarded such an honor), but I like to get my money’s worth when it comes to gum. This immediately excludes a lot of gums for two reasons – flavor duration and structural integrity.
Flavor duration is self-explanatory. You want your gum to have a taste for the entirety that you’ll be chewing. In the community, when the flavor’s gone we say that the piece has “Nickelbacked” (‘cause it’s now tasteless). But the only thing worse than a gum’s flavor petering out is when it completely loses its elasticity or, even worse, just becomes brittle. That’s structural integrity. A gum that toughens too soon will tire you out prematurely (though great if you’re trying to give your cheek muscles a good workout). A gum that becomes brittle, well, I’ve seen people swear off chewing from a poor experience like that.
Structural integrity goes beyond the end of the gum’s life, though. It includes the initial chew (or IC). When you first pop that piece in your mouth, you want a gum that doesn’t take long to become pliable (lookin at you, Bazooka Joe), but also isn’t mush right away (Bubble Tape, you’re the worst).
So if you’re just trying to get a quick chew in before you meet up with someone, you can go with a gum that packs a high-flavor punch, but may not have a long duration or good structural integrity. Something like Dentyne Ice (just don’t drink cold liquids right after, you’ve been warned). If you’re playing a sport or are a child, you can go with something conducive to bubbles like the aforementioned Bubblicious. But for me, dawg, I like to go for something that’s a nice balance. A traditional peppermint flavor to freshen the breath. A gum with good duration, excellent structural integrity, and a cute spokesperson (not that hussy Sarah Silverman, the British gal). That’s right, my friends, I am officially endorsing Orbit. Let the endorsement dollars flow.