I hate pink Starburst. If pink Starburst was a person I would wish it got Chlamydia and Shingles and a toothache all at the same time.

Red Starburst are good. Orange are better. But yellow…yellow is like a drop of heaven that you can enjoy. At work, at home, in the car, walking around, at the theater, at the drive-in…delicious.

But pink are fucking disgusting. I detest them.

***

I hate most gums. If it isn’t the issues caused by feeling the enamel melt off my teeth while chewing the sugar out of a stick of gum, it’s the revolting flavors. How do they come up with these combinations? I think I know:

“OK, everyone, this is what we’re gonna do. We’ll pretend a banana, a kiwi, and an orange all get together and have some nasty hate-sex and the resulting flavor combination will be our new gum. We’ll call it Tropical Twist. The kids will love it.”

Ugh.

***

I attended a funeral this past weekend. While sitting in the pew I got a case of dry mouth. I wasn’t going to get up and get a drink so I reached for the new pack of Starburst gum I bought a few weeks ago. They started selling red Starburst flavored gum last summer and I found it enjoyable.

I reached in my vest pocket, pulled it out, grabbed a stick, put the package back in my vest, unwrapped the stick, put the gum in my mouth, started to chew, and IMMEDIATELY WANTED TO PUKE OUT MY SOUL.

It was so bad. So bad. “Jeebus, can gum go bad?” I wondered. It was so miserable you could have written a goat-roping country song about it.

But I was at a funeral. So I kept it together. I pulled the wrapper out of my pocket, spit the gum in it, folded it up, and stuck it back in my pocket. Then I reached for the package. I got it and turned it over and it was PINK STARBURST FLAVOR. I didn’t even know they made that flavor gum.

So now I’m sitting there and this awful, horrid flavor is coating my mouth and tongue like Pepto Bismol’s evil cousin. I had to do something so I began to quietly search my vest. It has a dozen pockets so it took a minute to go through them all, my mouth tasting like strawberry diarrhea the entire time.

And then I found it. An old pack of red flavored Starburst gum. That delicious cherry red.

I opened it up. Three sticks left.

I grabbed one and put the package away. I started to unwrap it and ran into a problem. The gum was sticking to the wrapper. The very wrapper that is designed to not stick to the gum.

I didn’t care. I needed to get that pink Starburst shit out of my mouth. I pulled on the gum and the wrapper, doing my best to keep quiet while separating them. I ended up leaving about 25% of the stick on the wrapper, but I didn’t care. I just wanted that strawberry shit juice out of my mouth.

Now you must understand that this gum, my cherry savior, was not only old, it had ridden along with me in every kind of weather on my Harley. A trip to eastern Iowa in low temps with 40 mph winds. An awesome, but humid week of touring Arkansas this past summer. During the 2 weeks not that long ago where our heat index was above 100 degrees everyday. Rain or shine, cold or blistering hot, that gum sat in my vest through all of it for 10,000 miles.

I stuck it in my mouth. I began to chew and it was FUCKING AWFUL. What I stuck in my mouth vaguely resembled gum, but it tasted like the devil’s sweaty ballsack. I got the wrapper and quietly spit that shit out, all the while reflecting on who I had wronged so bad that I must suffer these consequences.

This entire thing only took about 3 minutes, but now I sat there with no other options than to pay attention and wait for this awful taste to go away. And it did, after the longest 15 minutes in recorded history.

After the service, we did the luncheon. I ate a ham sandwich and a turkey sandwich, and some chips. I had some coffee and lemonade. It was delightful. On each table was a tray of deserts. I chose a nice chocolate brownie with chocolate chips, nuts, and chocolate frosting.

I got the serving fork under my brownie and carefully transferred it to my plate. I picked up my fork, cut off a nice corner, put it my mouth, and began to chew.

The frosting was very sugary, but good. The brownie was moist and delicious. I chewed a second time and that is when I found out the chocolate chips were GODDAMN RAISINS.

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