The Show Piece

Gum chewing is a strange thing. It gives us flavor without nourishment, confusing our stomach. It also exercises our mandibles and gives talkative people something to do when there’s no one around to listen, for as the crying infant has the pacifier, the ceaseless speaker has chewing gum.

Modern chewing gum packaging often consists of an outer package which contains all of the graphics and production information and an inner package which holds the gum in neat little compartments – neat little compartments of chaos.

The inner package is visible through a semi-circular cleft in the outer cover. By firmly grasping the revealed section with the thumb and index guy, we can slide the internal package out, gaining access to its luscious innards. Besides granting quick access to the product, the opening in the outer package serves a second, more important function that is often ignored.

If we wanted to know whether the package was empty, we could slide the inner section out and take a look or we could save ourselves seconds of agony and use the opening to view the show piece.

The show piece is the single piece of gum visible through the outside packaging. If we simply eat the show piece last then we must never again endure the disappointment of opening an empty pack.

When you chew your gum, do you eat the show piece last?

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