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I have officially reached curmudgeon status. Until now I think I've been a curmudgeon apprentice. But, after all these years of practice and training, I may have finally arrived.

The latest thing I found disturbing that is universally enjoyed in America is gum. In New York gum often ends up on the sidewalk. Sidewalks around schools in particular are marred by the black smears left by spit-out gum.

I'm not sure people who chew gum would do so if they knew what it does to their appearance.

Just this morning, on Fifth Avenue I saw a most attractive woman walking down the street. As she approached though it was clear she was chewing gum with her mouth open. The formerly attractive woman was now much less so.

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Gum chewing has its rightful place - the ball field. But, really nowhere else. Maybe we could pass a law: have gum packages come with rules and warnings, to be chewed only in private - unless you're playing baseball.

By Harry Smith

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