Monday, December 28, 2009

Gum is Life...celebrate the moments with sugarless!

December 28, 2009

Gum Is Life
The French say that “bread is life.” I have my own spin on that. “Gum is Life.” It can be a metaphor as it will be with this story. It is basically the same concept, with a few minor adjustments. I have many hobbies; cleaning the shower quarterly, staying limber enough to pull clothes out of the dryer and chewing gum as though I‘m going for some sort of land speed record.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my gum chewing and chomp so loudly that I get on my own nerves, but I do love that gum so I forgive myself because I know how many happy hours it has provided me. I’m never without gum and I don‘t waste the many opportunities I have to engage in the chewing of it. It’s more essential than, well, bread. If I’m not carrying my purse I’ve got the essentials in my pocket; lipstick, gum, plastic surgeon’s phone number.
I visited a fine desert city recently -- hang with me here, I’m going to tie this all together – and so I was privy to the full-fledged body search with the wand. I always beep as I go through airport terminals and, while it amuses me to see business people of all types reaching for their cell phones, thinking they’re ringing, I know it’s my jewelry. This time around it wasn’t my jewelry, so they had to call in an expert. Paul the Wand Boy. I swear I saw three people flipping for the task and if I’m not mistaken Paul called heads. Once upon a time, I would have thought this was due to my stunning looks, but as I’ve entered the, “Gee, you look good for your age” years, I assumed it was because it was just going to be hysterically funny to torment me.
Anyway, after a harrowing twenty minutes of being escorted to the baggage check-in because I had fold-up scissors I wasn’t willing to relinquish for obvious reasons (my bangs often grown unevenly overnight), I looked around. I watched two people in wheelchairs who had been randomly selected for a body search, as though life hadn’t dealt them enough of a random blow, saw the cleaning crew’s shift change and witnessed a couple – no lie – shipping a multitude of comforters in an ice chest. I believe there was some offer that I could ride with the scissors in the belly of the plane, but I declined. I believe I’ve seen that offer on a James Bond movie and it means something else. In the end, I was relieved of my scissors and I fairly well ran up the escalator joyous at my release.
Back through the checkpoint went I. All I needed to do now was to get some coffee. I’d been dreaming about coffee since three a.m. No dice though because where I had only suffered through my “one beep” experience, I was now beeping as though my entire wardrobe was made up of boxcutters and scissors. It sounded like a Geiger counter with an electronic chip glitch. I was beeping like a discount microwave. People were clutching their chests, thinking their heart monitors were malfunctioning.
As I stepped over to the right with my new best friend, Paul, and my peeps – the folks in wheelchairs, the executive standing in his stocking feet and the little old lady with an oxygen tank, I assumed a position not unlike that of our lord during tough times, minus that nasty cross business.
I was given instructions which made me feel as though I was playing twister. “Lift up your right foot and put it here. Now your left. Hold it. Balance.” I asked Paul if my underwire bra might be the problem. Nope. That wasn’t it. I won’t even go into how we determined that. Let’s just say phone numbers were exchanged and I’m not proud, but it’s over. I became the floor show of the moment, literally, as I got down on the floor and attempted to clear the wand’s beep zone by limboing, twisting, dropping, and rolling. It became a new stand-up routine as I belted out, “I usually don’t do this on a first flight” and “Call my lawyer, heck, forget it, call my agent. This publicity is priceless. Tell him to bring a camera.”
I was standing barefoot, stripped down naked – which for me means that I had absolutely no jewelry on. Finally, we got down to the stylish little tank top and what was in my jeans pocket. You know what had set off all of that beeping? One thin stick of sugarless gum in its silvery sheath. I unwrapped it and began chewing as I sat down to put my shoes on. Gum is life.

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