Gum & Alarms

Today, I shared the quiet room with a college student who didn't seem like she wanted to be there. She had her books and laptop out, but periodically, she would let out a long sigh of suffering. She spent more time fiddling and twisting her hair than studying. Worse, though, was her gum. Every few minutes, a wet pop and smack. Pop. Popsmack. Pop. Pop. That is the most irritating sound in an otherwise quiet room.

I kept hoping she would choke on it. She would look at me, begging me to save her with her eyes, and I would stand over her and say, "Ha! That's why we don't chew gum!" After I saved her, she would immediately realize her transgressions and swear off gum, become a crusader against it. It would be her super hero origin story, I the nameless figure in the shadows.

Also, a school bus parked right outside had its alarm go off. Since when did school buses have car alarms? It went on for at least 5 minutes because I timed it. That sounds trivial written down, but have you ever had to listen to a car alarm? It's maddening. Who's gonna steal a school bus anyway?

Maybe I would. And drive it over everyone that smacks their gum.

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© 2019 by CARLEN VIGO.

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