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Etiquette: Chewing gum offences

SUNDAY MAGAZINE
By - | July 14th 2013

By Rozie Juma

While travelling in a matatu recently, I sat next to a lady who was chewing gum. To say that she was disgusting in her chewing, is an understatement.

She chewed the gum so loudly that I could not even concentrate on the book that I had intended to read during the four-hour journey.

What was more annoying is that she kept blowing it up and popping it. Even the annoyed glances I gave her could not stop her.

To cut the long story, I ended up sitting on the makanga’s seat.

Chewing gum is great for keeping our breath fresh. It is also said to strengthen teeth and keep boredom at bay.

But whenever you chew gum, do you consider the comfort of the people around you? There are a few things you ought to ponder over:

It is possible to chew gum without opening your mouth; but there are certain people, like my co-passenger, who insist on chewing with their mouths open, blowing bubbles and even making the gum pop. How disgusting!

Another offence is talking on the phone while chewing gum. Even though the other person cannot see you, they can hear you. When you talk on the phone as you chew, you will, somehow, lisp or sound like you have a speech impediment.

How about chewing gum when talking to someone face to face? This is a huge mistake; don’t chew gum when talking to someone.

Some corporate executives will chew gum before a face-to-face meeting and not bother getting rid of it before they begin talking.

Consequently, the conversation ends up with a lot of nodding of the head, smiling and laughing since they have to manage the gum.

Just like you would not chew with your mouth open while having dinner with clients, you should not talk to clients as you chew gum.

Unless you can keep your mouth closed while chewing gum, do not put it in your mouth when you are talking to someone. If you are trying to keep your breath smelling fresh, try mints.

The objective of this article is not to stop you from chewing gum; it is just to guide on how not to annoy the people around you while at it.

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