May 24, 2004

Strangely, I have become fascinated with the nearly infinite variety of ways to freshen my breath. Not just toothpaste and mouths, but the cavalcade of mints and gums now available. While driving yesterday, my wife tried a piece of the gum in my car. It is, I believe, something along the lines of “cherry ice”. This is part of a whole line of flavored mint gum. Well, it tastes like a cough drop and the wife spit it out quickly. She said “who wants to chew on a Robitussin?” Indeed.

Things were once simple, she remarked, with Doublemint gum or Lifesavers. Then we added Tic Tacs to the mix. The obsession with stronger mints, and by extension “cleaner” breath had not begun. I am not actually sure when it began, but now it is in full force.

I have somewhere in my possession the following: green tea and lemon mints; citrus “hydrating” mints; cinnamon after coffee mints; mint “hydrating” mints; lemon ice gum; and the aforementioned cherry ice mint. There may be others lurking in a briefcase, pocket, or drawer.

So, are our breaths that rancid? Likely not. Are our social egos that fragile? Seemingly. But, now it only costs about $2 (remember when mints and gum were cheap as well?) to boost our self-esteem and be able to open our mouths to others. Unfortunately, the same drivel emerges when we do.

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