Monday, May 08, 2006

And Then

The Gum Talk

Now that I'm no longer employed, I have the time to think about the important things in life like chewing gum.

I'm a big gum chewer (not sure if 'chewer' is a word; I'll spell check but I refuse to change it if it isn't), and I was excited when I read this article in yesterday's New York Times:

Executives at Cadbury Adams are hoping that no one will make such complaints about Stride, a new sugar-free gum the company spent three years developing. Marketed with a trademarked slogan, "The Ridiculously Long Lasting Gum," Stride has been engineered to remain pleasantly soft and sweet for many, many minutes, regardless of how aggressively it is chewed.

Inredible news for gum aficionados such as myself. The article goes on to talk about the engineering behind this wonder gum, but I won't reproduce that here. Eventually, they say the gum would remain flavourful for about eight minutes, which is quite long.

But, is that enough?

Consider that there are 1440 minutes in day; 10,080 in a week; 525,600 in a year. For me to have a pleasant gum flavour for entire day it would take 180 sticks; for a week, 1260; for a year, 65,700. Then consider there are 14 sticks to a pack: that means I would need more than 12 packs a day; 90 packs a week; more than 4,692 packs a year. Then consider that a pack of gum bought on its own (and not in family four-pack) can cost upwards to $1.50 (taxes included); a premium gum, such as this good-for-eight-minute gum, would definitely straddle the upward part of the scale. Considering all of that, my premium gum habit would cost me thousands of dollars each year. Of course, I have to adjust these numbers because its unlikely I would remain awake for an entire day, week, year. Consider.

So, with all this time, I'm going to go back to the drawing board (actually, I don't have one...I used to have an Etch A Sketch...that was's an online one...where is this going?), and crunch some more numbers, and figure out all of this, and sit here, and wait, and write a bit more about this, because THIS MATTERS.

Yeah, it's easy to sit here and do this.

And what was I talking about? Yes, gum. That's it. Something.



nicole said...

Did you get fired?

Czobit said...

Yeah. It wasn't one specific incident, but a string of "unprofessional behaviour." I've been banned from ever returning to the building, even for a visit. My boss said he was disappointed in me not as an employee, but as a human. In all his years in journalism, he said, he's never had to deal with such "disgusting and vile" behaviour. He told me to leave journalism, and to pursue a dead-end career in retail.

Laura said...

wait, no, so, seriously, wha happened? please don't tell me that YOU got fired, and scott is still gainfully employed.

Czobit said...

Dang, my attempts to make The Michael Czobit Blog 100 per cent fiction will have to be put on hold. I need to make my disclaimer more prominent.

Are you still reading? I understand
if you've stopped, because I can't be trusted to be factual.

I'm actually still employed at the good ol' Canadian Press. For the last two days I had been stuck in a summer replacement orientation, despite already knowing all I need to know for my specific job. This produces the feeling of wishing you were no longer employed.

But I did learn something from this excruciating activity: while I could easily handle being a general assignment reporter for Canadian Press (and therefore any newspaper, because CP's GARs actually do more work than a regular GAR, because they have to do their job for print and broadcast at the same time), I know I will never want to do it for any sustained period of time.

Being a CP GAR means that you move from story to story whether you have any interest in it or not, and then when you're not out on assignment, you copy edit and rewrite press releases as news items--possibly the most unrewarding job I can think of.

Also, after a practice run of what a CP GAR would have to do for an assignment (actually an interesting excercise), I realized that if I ever was one, I'd probably write horrible and boring copy.

So, I have new respect for good CP general assignment reporters. It's something that's not for everyone, and I know I'm in that category.

nicole said...

I like how I get the sarcastic answer full of LIES!!

Czobit said...

What's so sarcastic about my comment?

Last night, after I replied to your comment, I went to my AA meeting. They told me honesty was the best policy. I didn't believe that. But my anger therapist told me the same thing today. So, I thought, that maybe I'll try honesty.

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kaitlyn said...

WHEW! You had me worried too.

Laura, thank you for your excellent use of the phrase "wha' happened?" Keep up the good work.

I am very glad you still have a job.

Czobit said...

Thanks for your concerns. Fiction gone bad, I know.

I'll probably be around CP until next February, unless, I actually commit a fireable offence.