Food & Drink
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The 11 new rules of gum etiquette

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Almost All Photos By Anthony Humphreys

For too long, self-styled arbiters of societal mores have looked down disapprovingly on gum, frowning on its use in the situations in which you most want to be chewing gum. Well we’ve had enough! Together with Trident, we’re going to free you from the mouth-shackles of outdated prejudice, and bring on a new Gum Golden Age. Here, then, are our smacking new rules:

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You can chew gum in a business meeting
The common consensus is that if you’re chewing gum, you’re not paying attention. The common consensus is FALSE. Chewing gum is not a complicated process. You put the gum in your mouth, and you chew. If your employees are so inept at multitasking that they can’t handle moving their teeth and watching a PowerPoint presentation at the same time, you need to reexamine your hiring practices, or make your PowerPoints less boring. Try using pictures of cute dogs to illustrate best practices -- works every time!

You can chew gum on a date
Yeah, it’s a first date, but she’s still looking for reassurances that you’ll still have teeth 50 years from now. Chewing Trident helps fight cavities; doing it in front of her lets her know you’re serious about long-term incisor ownership. As for the awesome post-dinner make-out session you’re hoping happens five minutes from now, sure, you can avoid garlic, but let’s face it: even a piece of dry, un-toasted white bread can sabotage breath. So go ahead, Guy On Date, add a little wintergreen to the bouquet of your mouth cologne.

You can chew gum in class (assuming you’re in college or grad school)
If your professor says that your gum is distracting you from his lecture, tell him that scanning this cavernous auditorium for the slightest hint of mastication is distracting him from his lecture.

You can chew gum in a court of law
Some jury members might see a criminal defendant chewing gum and assume he just doesn’t take these proceedings seriously. Well, those jury members should consider how hard it is to get gum in prison! If this goes the wrong way, this could be the last time this guy experiences the joy of spearmint for 5-10 years. By chewing gum, he’s showing how much he values freedom. Find this man innocent!

You can chew gum at the theater
The review of this play did not read: “The actors so thoroughly inhabit the playwright’s world that the audience is given no choice but to be enraptured -- in fact, the only force powerful enough to distract them from this cascade of genius would be if the person sitting next to them was quietly working his jaw muscles so as to enjoy a stick of Trident Wild Blueberry Twist.”

You can chew gum at the dinner table
Everybody at the dinner table is chewing something. What do they care if your something is a flavorful wad of post-meal satisfaction instead of a fourth helping of Chicken à la King?

You can chew gum while running for office
Say you’re chewing gum while you’re shaking hands with one of “the people”. At first, he might think, “I need a candidate who cares about my needs, but this guy is just standing here chewing gum like I don’t exist” -- until you offer him a stick of gum. Boom, vote won.

You can chew gum while accepting a major award
By keeping things casual, you’re showing the world that you’re not going to let success go to your head. If the press doesn’t interpret it that way, you can explain it to them when you invite them to join you in your platinum hot tub for an exclusive interview opportunity.

You can chew gum at your debutante ball
If you’re old enough to debut you’re old enough to decide whether or not to pop in a stick to help combat the effects of sampling three kinds of cake. Your “Texas Dip” curtsey could use some work though. Seriously, you’re better than that.

You can chew gum at your wedding
Do you think your bride wants your first man-and-wife kiss to taste like fear?

You can chew gum… in bed
If a man can eat a sandwich in bed, he can absolutely chew gum there. What? Of course a man can eat a sandwich in bed. What are you, a philistine? So now you know where gum's going. See the nine craziest gum uses in history, and how it could save your life, right here.