Sticky Business

A member of our editorial board was shocked, shocked, by what he saw on the way to work the other morning. As a child he was a bubble-gum abuser, desperately trying not to inhale when the bubble exploded over his nostrils. Now he saw a Norman Rockwell family - two children walking with Mom, another in the stroller being pushed by Dad. And Dad was the one blowing the baseball-size bubble.

When did this uncontrolled substance outgrow the juvenile aura of phrases like bubble-gum music? Our observer now realized he had happened upon several grown-ups behind bubbles in offices, subways, or, as Bob Dole says, whatever.

No wonder that, according to The Wall Street Journal, researchers on future gum analyze "bubbleability" and use calipers to be precise. Bubble gum is not child's play.

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