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Bill Kalmar

Quality Insider

Please Leave Your Chewing Gum on the Bedpost

Or face the consequences

Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 10:10


hose of you at a certain age (meaning old) will no doubt remember the song,Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour?It was a single released in 1959 and sung by Lonnie Donegan. It’s an irritating song but not as irritating as the thousands of people who prefer to leave their chewing gum at the doorways of stores, restaurants, and public buildings.

Those dark spots you see on the concrete at the entrances to buildings are, of course, the remnants of some inconsiderate chewer discarding his gum on the sidewalk. Heck, today we were walking into a restaurant, and there must have been more than a hundred splotches at the entranceway. Appetizing.

We’re told by the chewing gum producers and merchants that gum is good for our teeth, gums, and breath, and will “double your pleasure, double your fun.” But how does someone doubling their fun and then leaving a wad of gum at a doorway translate to my having fun when I step in it? Just the other day I stepped into some gum and only realized it when it appeared on the floor mat of our car. My fun was not doubled.

So who are these chewing gum litterbugs who deface doorways and leave gum in inconspicuous places so we can step in it? Maybe the same people who placed gum under school desks when they were growing up.

Don’t you remember seeing (or worse, feeling) gobs of gum under your school desk left by some classmate? And how about all the gum left under restaurant tables? Not that I spend a lot of time looking under tables, but I instinctively know it’s there.

Is there any relief from these chewing gum cretins? What if restaurants, stores, and buildings had a special receptacle at the doorway for chewing gum? They have containers for cigarette butts. And for the chewing gum people, maybe a sign should read: Discard your chewing gum in this container. This area is monitored with cameras, and if we see you dropping it on the ground you won’t be allowed entrance. Will that be the cure? Probably not. Maybe they should be forced to listen to Donegan's song, one hour for every infraction.

But here’s my other thought. Dog owners always carry an excrement bag with them for Farfel. (Remember Farfel? No? I am old.) How about all you gum chewers carrying your own disposal bag? Or better yet, leave it on your bedpost overnight.


About The Author

Bill Kalmar’s picture

Bill Kalmar

William J. Kalmar has extensive business experience, including service with a Fortune 500 bank and the Michigan Quality Council, of which he served as director from 1993 through 2003. He served on the Board of Overseers of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been a Baldrige examiner. He was also named quality professional of the year by the ASQ Detroit chapter. Now semiretired, Kalmar does freelance writing for several publications. He is a member of the USA Today Vacation Panel, a mystery shopper for several companies, and a frequent presenter and lecturer.