My Strange Addictions: Chewing Gum

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chewing gum by lily

Written by: Big Mike

Art by: Grace Monahan

The year is 2017, and I’m in the Netherlands. Nothing is out of the ordinary and I’m waiting for my flight to come back to the states. I walk through the security scanner and the security officer asks me to step to the side. Confused, I comply and step over. He asks me to open my bag and empty it onto the table. It is your standard carry on stuff, things like a change of clothes, my phone charger, etc., and then as I take out my gum the officer looks at me. He asks me what they are, and points to the twenty-five packs that I had taken out of my bag,

“The remaining packs from the gum I brought,” I answer.

He asks how much I had brought, I tell him around one hundred packs.

In his eyes, I see the doubt that any sane human being would have that much Trident gum. He proceeds to watch me as he takes a piece from every-single-pack and as the minutes tick by I start to get nervous, What if I miss my flight because this guy REALLY likes Trident brand Sugar Free chewing gum? After he’s tested all the packs, done by the tried and true method of just constantly taking just a single piece chewing it for a sec and then spitting it out, he proceeds to let me pack my things and go. As I pick up the packs I look at him and he still looks suspicious. As we walk to the plane, the teacher I had gone on this trip with is just shaking his head. He says, “Mike, you need to stop chewing gum so much.”

I look him in the eye and say “It’s too late for me.”


Help I’m addicted to gum.


Gum addiction, one of the quietest kept problems facing the United States. I, Big Mike, am a victim. On average, my condition manifests itself in a consistently growing need to chew Trident brand Sugar-Free chewing gum. Nicotine, another addiction can lead some people to start smoking a pack a day, but not I. I have found myself to be well past that point, I chew about two packs a day. It has led to me spreading this affliction to others around the Champlain College campus. 

One person who we shall refer to as Rugby Steve, has in the time he has known me, also developed an addiction through my consistent sharing of my chewing gum; albeit not as severe. Whenever he sees me now he looks at me and asks for a piece of gum. This started when I arrived at Champlain, already in the grips of this addiction. Rugby Steve was someone I offered gum to when we met. This interaction is what leads not only to our friends but to the spread of this affliction. The chewing, and chewing, and chewing away at the line until all you can do is chew gum. 

This interaction also has led to the creation of a film about this addiction. Another good friend of mine who we shall refer to as Noble Namenson, fake name of course used here, made a film that in part addressing my gum addiction in the periphery. It really has a unique perspective, for he too has a gum addiction; again not a severe. Yet nonetheless, he chews the gum I provide.

So, the moral of this story is, you can be addicted to almost anything, but the best is Trident, Sugar-Free, chewing gum.

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