Tuesday, March 3, 2009
He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but he represented so much that is wrong. This morning I sat across from him at a marketing roundtable. A senior executive for Wrigley.
To quote an old colleague of mine, "once we're done with the tobacco companies, we go after the gum companies." Singapore seems to have the right idea on this. It's illegal there.
Note to young readers looking for jobs. LOSE THE GUM. Your mother was right. The smacking and cracking takes a full 20-30 points off of your IQ, to say nothing of labeling you as a classless schmo.
That last comment saddens me, as I have a more-than-passing-acquaintance from college whom I saw on television, on the podium at President Obama's inauguration. He appeared frequently on camera, as he was seated next to an important member of the President's family (I'm trying to be kind by not naming him or his relative). This successful, nationally known Ivy League graduate was...you guessed it...smacking away like Violet Beauregarde. What a way to ruin a great, proud moment. Does Desiree Rogers have to stand at the entrance to every Presidential event with her hand extended admonishing attendees to "spit ... it... out?"
Back to the promoters of this horrifying habit, the now Mars-owned Wrigley Company. It's not bad enough that they promise us exploding flavors and the hope of a threesome with twin women...now they're trying to convince us that being classless is also good for our health...that there are...and I quote..."benefits of chewing?"
Paul Fussell, noted expert on English literature, world wars, and social classes in the US, a Harvard Ph.D. and a professor at the University of Pennsylvania wrote a whole book about practices like this. He called it BAD, or The Dumbing of America. It's bad to put sawdust in the flour. It's BAD to try to convince your customers that by so doing you make it healthier.
The only health benefit that chewing gum carries it the healthy disdain for its users among those with taste.
Oral hygiene certainly has its place. It's in your bathroom. In public, spit... it... out.