Gumbubble boy GiselaFotografie , White House Pexels, collage AleXander Hirka

In Support Of Gum Control

Billy had fallen asleep with a wad of Bazooka chewing gum in his mouth. In the morning, before diving into a bowl of Grape Nuts, he stuck it on the front page of the newspaper, right on the photo of the president who, in the photo, actually did have a wad of gum on his forehead

That photo of the Leader of the Free World with gum on his forehead managed to bounce around the front page of the New York Times every single day since it was taken. With the election weeks away, the editors were spinning opinion pieces with titles like “Now We Gum Him”.

The photo was taken during a press conference after one reporter, implying collusion, pointed out that both he and the Russian president chewed gum.
In response, the president arrogantly took the wad of gum and stuck it to his forehead. “Is that better? Now please report that I am making America the greatest bubble ever.”

While his approval rating have gone up and down over the years, his loyal followers always stuck to his heels.

When he talked the Ukrainian government to flip their nation’s flags colors upside down, with the slogan “When the Gold goes up, our Blues go down”, his flock was mesmerized.

When he built a golf course on Maui and called it Wan-a-Lei, the usual protesters erupted only to be shouted down by his supporters who accused them of being “politically correct.”

His sale of nuclear weapons to the Vatican raised a few eyebrows, but Congress swifly approved it.

Days before the election the opposition party was very excited that this latest irrational act would be the one to seal his fate.

Months earlier, in the primaries, they had selected a known somnamulist as their candidate, with the claim the he would “watch over foreign policy even while he slept.”
Standing under his party’s banner, which read Business As Usual, the opposition candidate yesterday proclaimed his new slogan “I don’t chew gum!”

Two weeks later , on election night, Billy was sitting with his parents watching the returns coming in on television. They still referred to it as The Idiot Box and it was a very rare event for them all to be gathered in front of it.

Being that he could vote in a few years, this was the first election Billy was really paying attention to. He quickly understood his parents cynicism about the obviously rigged structure of the entire process. He even forgave them, with a smile, for their write-in vote of Pete Seeger.

Epilogue:
Video from polling places all around the country was coming in and it all showed vast swaths of people, as if in some surreal version of Ash Wednesday, coming to vote with a piece of gum stuck to their foreheads.

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© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Gumhead — Douglas Coupland

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc

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