Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I chew a lot of gum. Always have. My parents used to actually buy cases of gum at Costco for me, as the packs available at the supermarket were simply not large enough to satisfy my urge to chew. Why do I like gum so much, you might ask? Basically, it boils down to one thing: a gypsy curse.

NOTE: Not much of a curse, I know, but I much prefer it over the one my brother got (vomiting blood whenever a three-syllable word is used). This really sucks as his first name is three-syllables.

Anyway, I bring a lot of gum to work and go through a couple of sticks a day. This, logically, means that I buy a fair amount of gum every couple of weeks. So imagine my surprise when I went to the store this weekend and instead of the usual package I buy, I saw this:

Yes, it says ‘Rain.’ I don’t know if that’s its name, a flavor, an homage to a Madonna song, or what. Further investigation suggested that this gum was spearmint flavored, which is what I wanted. It just seemed a bit pretentious to name a gum after precipitation. Gum is a simple thing. It should have a simple name. This is what I normally buy:

It is obviously gum and tells me immediately what flavor it is. Frankly, if a gum is named ‘Rain,’ it should taste like rain. The funny thing is, of course, that they probably spent millions on focus groups and marketing to come up with a name that has nothing to do with gum.

I can only imagine what names were rejected. For example:

Loomfa – Too scratchy

Elephant – Too large and wrinkly

Marzipan – People might reasonably expect that it would taste like this (which would be bad)

Furor – Too aggressive, but not bad for a sports drink

Heterochromia – Too science-y

Solstice – Gotcha. This is an actual gum name. Its flavor is described as ‘Warm and Cool Winter’ which I’m guessing is marketing-speak for ‘wintergreen.’

Naruto – Would likely result in a lawsuit

Orgasm – I would absolutely buy a gum called ‘orgasm’

@ – Close, but not enough people know what it’s called

Bongos – Too beach-y

I can only imagine that some executive figured that if it worked for cars, then it would work for gum. Unfortunately, no.

Hey Bob, whatcha drivin?

As opposed to:
Hey Bob, whatcha chewin’?
You FREAK! (pummeling ensues).


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