10. Freshen Up (bubblegum flavor): because when you bite down on it for the first time, you get a rush of tooth-decaying juice that tastes really good but gives you that "this is bad for me but I can't help it" anxiety. It's like a pleasure/pain thing.
9. Twenty-five cent Wrigley's gums. The world should learn a lesson from the good people at Wrigleys. Think of it: an entire pack of gum that costs only a quarter. Great for impoverished New Yorkers. It's one of the few real pleasures of my day. (NOTE: take a tip from your old pal Ron: mix and match your Wrigley's flavors in one chewing. Here's how: simply bite down on the Juicy Fruit and the Spearmint at once, or the Doublemint and the Juicy Fruit at once. This is better than drugs or alcohol. You'll see. The rush is fabulous. (WARNING: Don't mix Big Red with Juicy Fruit. Don't ask why. Just DON'T do it.).
8. Razzles. Those of you may say it's a candy, but take it from me, it really IS a gum. In fact, exhaustive psychological studies prove that the way you think of Razzles (candy or gum) may be the key to your entire personality. Anyway, Razzles makes the list for sentimental reasons. It was my favorite gum of my 70s youth.
7. Icebreakers. This gum makes the list even though I've never tried it. I've always meant to, but never got around to it. So the gum remains a glorious mystery to me. I hear it's so good that people actually die from chewing it. What a rush! Someday...someday...
6. Hubba Bubba. Because when in 1979 I was a teenaged cashier at Two Guys (Naturally), a welfare queen asked me if "ya'll got Hubba Bubba?" This has become one of my favorite catchphrases of my life. Everybody say it together: "y'all got Hubba Bubba?"
5. Fruit Stripe: my brother and I have always agreed that this is the best tasting gum of all time. So why does it rank a lowly five on my list? Because the flavor lasts only forty-eight seconds. That's why. So screw the Fruit Stripe people.
4. Baseball card gum. This ranks high because, as disgusting as it is, you just HAVE to have it. There is something to be said for this phenomenon, and I'm going to say it. Plus, I like the way you chew it as you're skimming through your new baseball cards, saying, "got it... need it... got it... need it... got it..."
3. Trident. Because of the four out of five dentists thing. There is something very honorable about Trident. However, I still want to know why that fifth dentist had such a bug up his ass. By the way, Trident almost didn't make my list because it was the gum of choice of all those miserable old ladies I had to serve when I was a waiter at the Sheraton. I know the Trident people can't control who buys their gum, but maybe they can market it to another demographic, for crying out loud.
2. Rain Blo. Despite it's suggestive title, this is simply the best bubblegum on the market today. It comes in a long, cigar shaped plastic covering. It has flavors like orange and lime, but watch out for the licorice. This flavor deserves no place in the Rain Blo family -- and its presence has prevented Rain Blo from my #1 position. I think you can only find it in Philadelphia, though. If anyone wants to send me a Tastykake Care Package, maybe you can include a pack of Rainblo as well. Please pick out the licorice beforehand, though. Thank you in advance.
1. Charms Blo-Pop. This is the ultimate gum, because you have to work so hard to get to it. And the best part is just before you get to the actual gum and the last layer of lollipop is left. It's that strange netherworld of candy and/or gum, and you're neither really here nor there. And don't bite down on the gum once you get to it. Instead, savor it. And cherry only, please. Don't talk to me about the sour apple flavor. I don't want to know about it. It's evil.
And that concludes my list. Please do not respond to it. There will be no changes to this list, ever. It's written in stone.