I say again: if you chew gum, just fucking kill yourself.

God, you people are disgusting. The incessant chewing makes you look like a mouth-breathing retard, and all of you -- just like the smokers who consider the entire world their ashtray -- seem to think that once it leaves your mouth, the gum or cigarette butt just magically vaporizes. At least boogers don't stay sticky for long. Maybe you should take up chewing tobacco instead, that's dead sexy.

I hate you.

Street Science: The Gum We Step In

Pretty much everything gets chewed out of gum and swallowed except the "gum base." That's unless the gum chewer swallows the gum, in which case the gum base passes through unchanged and moves on to waste-water treatment. Or so the gum companies and FDA tell us. Hence, gum base is not a food, and companies are free to keep us in the dark on its actual components. In fact, gum base is proprietary. Gum makers originally used natural rubbery substances like chicle to make the base, but now they employ any number and proportion of natural or synthetic latexes and rubbers. [...]

More than a ton of gum is stuck to the ground in the Mission District. Millions of pieces of chewing gum. Or more.

That's actual pieces, not the shadowy stains left behind after someone steams them off. And it's a low estimate. [...] I made this estimate by counting the gum blobs in each square of sidewalk I stepped on, measuring every 20 steps. If someone's done a more scientific calculation, let us know.

So on an average block of Harrison, which has little foot traffic compared to the rest of the Mission, I estimate 5,277 pieces of gum (not gum stains) per block, on the sidewalks of both sides of the street. Along 24th Street, where many of the sidewalk squares host more than 20 pieces of gum, the numbers are gonna be much higher. [...] Let's say 53,000 pieces per mile of street. 53,000 pieces/mile x 37 miles of street = 1.96 million pieces. [...] Let's say one quarter of the weight is gum base [...] That's 3,300 pounds of gum base on the ground - more than a ton.

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15 Responses:

  1. 4hour_ramona says:

    let me introduce you to the wall of gum:
    wall of gum

  2. Screw off, some of us know how to throw our gum in the trash. Don't hate the game, hate the player that sucks.

    • jwz says:

      Your compatriots have spoiled it for everybody. And you still look like a ruminant.

    • flikx says:

      The game is disgusting, and therefor, anyone who plays it. I went to Singapore last year, and there were still a million little spots on the sidewalks from steamed off gum. In a place where people get fined $500 and even go to jail for chewing gum!

      Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, gum, any other oral fixation ... gross. Seriously, go find a cock to suck to satiate the urges, and keep the litter off our streets.

  3. dr_memory says:

    At last estimate, the New York City subway system is comprised of 30% dried chewing gum by volume.

    • luserspaz says:

      Clearly we need to figure out a process for turning gum into a more solid concrete-like substance, so we can just work towards the inevitable 100%.

  4. prock says:

    Yep, gum and tattoos, two of the most disgusting things in the world.

  5. chuck_lw says:

    I'm envisioning some slowly developing end-of-civilization scenario. (I might call it Ballardian, but I haven't read enough J.G. Ballard to be sure.)

  6. spike says:

    Idiot #1: two weeks ago, spits out chewed gum wad into the men's room urinal, which has a slotted metal drain. Wad of chewed gum sits there for two weeks. News flash: it doesn't dissolve or magically disappear.

    Idiot #2, which may or may not be the same person as Idiot #1: this week, spits out a new wad of chewed gum into the same urinal, where it sits next to chewed wad #1.

    There is a moment of almost zen-like stupidity here: If idiot #2 is the same person as idiot #1, they appear to think that gum wad #2 will somehow magically disappear despite the fact that gum wad #1 did not. On the other hand, if idiot #2 is a different person from idiot #1, aren't they even dumber?