Monday, October 08, 2007

Paticus' Past: Volume 8: You Got Any Gum ?

In a strange bit of serendipity..or is it synchronicity ? I'm not sure, but either way, in a strange bit of one of those things(I think), Paticus' Past:Volume 8 involves events that occurred whilst Paticus was in(gasp!) 8th grade(cue spooky music) !! No ? Too much ? I kinda thought I was forcing the drama there, sorry about that. I will try to do better.

Anyway, it was 8th grade, and I was a dealer...A GUM dealer. You needed some chewing materials, I was your man. JuicyFruit ? I got you. Bazooka ?I got you. Big Red ?Damn right, I got your Big Red for you. I was living the high life, pockets jingling with every step.

How did it start ? You know, I don't even really know. But I have always felt a kinship to Wesley Snipes in New Jack City...You know what I mean ? I ain't saying there's bodies under the swing set, but I ain't saying there ain't bodies under the swing set, either, you dig ?

I know that I always had gum to chew(just ask my dentist), and my guess would be that someone offered me some coin for a piece of gum(perhaps my last piece ?) and instead of refusing, I took the money, and then I saw some potential in the transaction.

It started out slow, I would buy a big pack(usually a Wrigley's Plen T Pack) of gum(usually JuicyFruit, to begin with anyway) and then I would sell the pieces for 5 cents a piece. But as you all know, it did not stay small forever.

My name spread across the schoolyard. I know, I know, you ain't supposed to deal near schools, but that's where I spent most of my time, and plus, these kids knew what they wanted...They wanted GUM.

Soon, Plen T Packs were not cutting it, I needed to start buying the packages with 10 packs of gum for $1.19. the plus side was I could start offering more variety. I could buy a sleeve of JuicyFruit, 1 of Big Red, one of Spearmint and one of Doublemint. I used to open the large package, and empty the contents into a paper bag that I carried in the inside pocket of my jean jacket.

Here's how the prices broke down

1 piece- 5cents.

1 pack- 25 cents.

I made 2 cents on each piece of gum. And 12 cents on the pack. not too bad. But, I wanted more. Isn't that always the way ?

A short time later, I had a revelation at the grocery store. I was grabbing my Wrigley's off of their little hooks, when my eye was drawn to a red, white, and blue box on the shelf. BAZOOKA bubble gum !!! 50 pieces for .99 cents. BUBBLE GUM !!! THAT'S where the real money was...I decided to give something a try...I bought a box...And I decided to go for the big score, the bubble gum would go for 10 cents a piece !!!!!

As I suspected, I had them hooked, and they bought the bubble gum like it was going out of style. There were still some traditionalists, but most people walked right through that gateway to bubble gum.

I know what you're saying.."How did you sleep at night ?" Well, I will tell you this...I slept like a baby. I wasn't forcing anyone to chew this shit. I was simply allowing people to indulge in their desires, that's all. I didn't make anybody do anything.

Business was booming. Then came the competitors...A duo of young upstarts decided that they could take over the middle school sugar trade by selling Jolly Ranchers...Jolly Ranchers ? Huh ? They just didn't get it...A Jolly Rancher is a short burst of flavor compared to the potentially hours of enjoyment that come from a quality piece of chewing gum. Don't even get me started on the joy that a piece of bubble gum can bring. Trying to supplant gum with Jolly Ranchers is like tryin to replace LSD with nutmeg. Fools.

The Jolly Rancher threat quickly subsided. I was on top of the world again. I was raining nickels and dimes all over that town. Buying sodas and pizza slices for my homies. I even bought myself a vinyl copy of "Let's Get Small" by Steve Martin. We laughed and laughed.

Then came the day I dreaded. I got called down to the Vice-Principal's office. He was cordial at first. asked how my family was, how my classes were going. then he got down to business.

"So, I've gotten some interesting news about you," he said.

"Really ?" I replied."Was I in Highlights magazine again ?"

He grinned at me."No, it wasn't in Highlights magazine.It was someone who seems to think you might be doing some business here on the school grounds."

"Me ?" I replied, acting stunned."I have no business. I'm just getting my grades, doing my thing, you dig ?"

"Cut the dumb act, wiseass. I know you are dealing to those kids, and if it's the last thing I do, I will make you pay for it. I can see it on their faces, the sugar rush. I see their rotting teeth. the sore jaws. And I know that you're to blame for it. You and your foul product."

"Hey man, I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just going to class, eating lunch, making the occasional fart noise with my armpit. I'm just being a middle schooler."

"You smug son of a bitch. You just don't get it, do you ? you want to see what you're doing ? Take a look at this!" and he reached into his mouth, pulled out his full set of dentures and threw them in my lap. I just stared in horror. "That's right," he said to me, as his lips clung to his now exposed gums, " I started out with a piece of gum here and there, but then I couldn't stop, and now look at me."

Then, I made a mistake...I laughed at him. I think I actually heard his brain snap, and he pulled a gun out of the drawer of his desk...

Okay, that's enough of that....My agent told me I needed to spice up the story, but it just isn't working. i did get called to the Vice Principal's office, and he told me that he knew I was selling gum, and he gave me some speech about how that was illegal ,and how it could get both me and the school in trouble, so I shouldn't do it anymore...So,I stopped selling gum. End of story. Sorry it's not very gangsta, but that's Paticus' Past.


c2 said...

Oh man, you got me jonesing for some Grape Bubble Yum.

Avitable said...

I used to soak toothpicks in cinnamon and then sell them. I'm not sure what the appeal was, but they were popular.

Paticus said...

Cinnamon soaked toothpicks...Hmm... can I buy a thousand ?