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Sticky Business

A member of our editorial board was shocked, shocked, by what he saw on the way to work the other morning. As a child he was a bubble-gum abuser, desperately trying not to inhale when the bubble exploded over his nostrils. Now he saw a Norman Rockwell family - two children walking with Mom, another in the stroller being pushed by Dad. And Dad was the one blowing the baseball-size bubble.

When did this uncontrolled substance outgrow the juvenile aura of phrases like bubble-gum music? Our observer now realized he had happened upon several grown-ups behind bubbles in offices, subways, or, as Bob Dole says, whatever.

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No wonder that, according to The Wall Street Journal, researchers on future gum analyze "bubbleability" and use calipers to be precise. Bubble gum is not child's play.

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