Friday, June 19, 2009
When your Bubble is Burst
When I was nine or ten years old, a delicious innovation in bubble gum was introduced—Bubble Yum. It was a child’s chewing sensation. Thick, soft rectangular chunks of sugar-laden heaven—it had only five pieces to a pack, but it was so worth it.
Having lived a life of occasional Wrigley’s chewing gum (that wouldn’t create blowable bubbles), and Dubble Bubble (often hard enough to crack a tooth or jaw), the miracle of Bubble Yum was greeted with gusto by my mouth.
There was one downside—the yummy, gummy glob lost its flavor far too soon.
I spent my Saturdays flopped on my bed, reading every book I could get my hands on, and this particular Saturday was even better than usual because my sister and I each had our very own pack of Bubble Yum.
My gum quickly lost its flavor, but no matter—I spit it out and popped in a new piece and continued my reading marathon. The second piece followed the first, and the third piece found its way into my mouth. Life was good.
My bubble was burst, so to speak, when my older sister came in and took her gum down from her shelf. She slowly opened it, unwrapped the first plump piece, and popped it into her mouth. She stared at me as she savored the sensation of the soft sugary morsel. “How many pieces do you have left?” she asked her seemingly innocent question.
I counted the two remaining pieces in my package. “I’m on my third.”
Her gloating nature revealed itself. “I’m only on my first.” She smiled like the gloater she was, put her pack of gum back on the shelf and left the room.
I tried to ignore her, but couldn’t. I had always been a piggy when it came to sweets. In those days, a quarter could buy a bagful of candy. When we were fortunate enough to each get a quarter, we would spend it all on candy. Mine would be gobbled up in one day, but my sister could make hers last for a week—and she always made sure I knew it.
I tried to make my third piece last—I really did—but it was beyond my capacity. Soon piece number four was in my mouth. Perhaps thirty minutes had passed and my mind left the plot of the book and fixated on my final piece of Bubble Yum. I craved it. I wanted it. I seized it. I chewed it.
I concentrated again on my book, enjoying the texture, taste, and elasticity of my fifth and final piece of Bubble Yum. Truly my life was complete at that moment.
The moment came to an end a few minutes later when my sister wandered in and grabbed her gum. She took her second piece, popped it in her mouth and smugly said. “I’m on my second piece. How many do you have left?”
As she gloated at me again, it didn’t occur to me to lie. I felt a little embarrassed and annoyed as I confessed, “This is my last piece.” She smirked at me, put her pack of gum on the shelf, and left the room.
After she left I reflected on how mean she was to gloat at me about her miserly ways, and I burned to find a way to get even with her. Now I never considered myself to be a thief, but when my final chunk of gum lost its flavor, I was drawn to her pack, just setting there on the shelf. She needed to be taught a lesson.
I put down my book, climbed on her bed, and took her gum down from the shelf. I unwrapped her third chunk of gum, removed it from the wrapper, then took my ABC gum out of my mouth, formed it into a nice rectangle, placed it into the wrapper, wrapped it up, and carefully put it back in the pack. I put the pack back on the shelf, and stretched out on my own bed, book in hand, nose in book. I savored the gum and my revenge.
I didn’t have long to wait. She came in a little while later, gave me a condescending smile as she retrieved her gum. “Is yours all gone?” she asked. I didn’t answer, keeping my nose buried in the book so I wouldn’t give myself away.
I stole a peek at her as she unwrapped her gum. She was still looking at me, not the gum. I stifled a giggle. She popped it in her mouth as she stared at me. I was shaking with laughter. She looked confused as she chomped on the gum. She realized something was wrong. As the texture and taste registered in her brain she shrieked, “Eeewww! You already chewed this!”
I couldn’t hold back. I rolled on the bed with laughter. She spit out the gum, leapt on me and beat the snot out of me. Such is life in the revenge lane—sweet, but quick to lose its savor.