Park Avenue at 43rd Street in NYCBy Bill Britton
Special to TPN — Constance Masticar, of the International Chewing Gum association, released data that offered hope for the world’s deteriorating infrastructure: “Chewing gum has been building up on the world’s paved surfaces since it was first used 9,000 years ago. Total consumption reached 100,000 tons in 2013, according to Wrigley research.”
The impact on paved surfaces is dramatic. In New York City, for example, the one-inch black splotches seen on the city’s sidewalks are “merging together and protecting the concrete from the ravages of weather and ice-melting compounds, in particular,” said former mayor Michael Bloomberg, now heading up the Department of Sanitation.
The preferred flavor of most masticators, spearmint, is also favored by the city’s residents. “It adds a minty aroma to the city’s streets,” according to Park Avenue shopper Spittle Patel, a recent immigrant from Pakistan. “In Lahore, it’s all odors of arm pits and fish curry. You can’t even watch a Lollywood film without being assaulted by the smells. At least you can shoot the terrorists.”
The $19 billion gum industry is attracting investors the world over. Abel Chompowitz of Zinger Partners sees a definite synergy between chewing gum and high tech: “Chewing and smartphone thumbing are habits in common. Apple has already begun production of iPhones with plastic cases that give off gum scents. The first model names are the iPhone Spearmint and the iPhone Juicy Fruit.”
In related news, the American Chiropractic Association has warned raised concerns about excessive chewing and thumbing, both of which can lead to repetitive injuries. “We’ve had reports of patients with both problems. Therapy includes a liquid diet for the compulsive chewers, and voice communication lessons for the thumbers,” said ACA spokesperson Ossie Articulacion.