I have become oddly addicted to bubble gum.
I haven’t had bubble gum since I was a child, and the taste instantly transports me to standing outside in the garden with my friends, chewing earnestly and competing to see who could blow the biggest bubble. I was always the one who ended up with a burst bubble smeared stringily all over my face. You can’t really say you’re surprised, can you?
Anyway, when I was kidnapped on a Cheer Up Hails mission the other day by Elly, she kept presenting me with random Happy Gifts, including coffee, cigarettes, muffins, and – somewhat inexplicably – a three or four foot long tube labelled “World’s Longest Bubble Gum”.
Of all the characteristics I might reasonably have expected to hear applied to bubble gum (chewy, gummy, bubbly, etc.), “long” has just never featured in the list. But there’s no denying it. It is long. “It’s the longest bubble gum in the world!” I cried in delight as she presented it to me on leaving a shop.
Of course, I do not know if this is true. They could be making it up; it’s not like anyone’s going to challenge them. I have done some research online and can only come to the conclusion that most bubble gum manufacturers don’t care about the length of their bubble gum. There are no references whatsoever to bubble gum being “long”. I have, however, discovered lots of useful tips about how to blow good bubble gum bubbles (peanut butter is apparently a useful anti-burst aid) , and also that the current Guiness Record for World’s Largest Bubble Gum Bubble is held by Susan Montgomery Williams, who blew a bubble that was “23 inches big”.
I am not sure what one is meant to do with the World’s Longest Bubble Gum. But I didn’t think it wise to attempt chewing it all at once, so I have instead been returning to the tube every few hours like a schoolboy’s finger to a nostril, and guilty breaking off another piece. It is like returning to the innocence of the long, sunny days of childhood every time I taste the sickly sweet flavour and accidentally send the gum shooting across the room in an overly-enthusiastic attempt to blow a bubble.
My mother seems to be despairing slightly. I have caught her talking to the cat about me.
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