I stopped chewing gum for the same reasons: I cannot stand to hear other people chewing gum and watching someone chew gum is just as intolerable to me.
Anecdote: A while back I went to see Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the local university. I love me some Mozart opera. Don Giovanni is a long one, about four hours.
I’m all excited. The lights dim. The orchestra begins to play… and I realize the woman sitting next to me is happily chomping on her gum. All I can think is, Oh. My. God. Is she going to chomp on that thing for the next four hours? I have to listen to Don Giovanni against the soundtrack of this woman’s GUM? Filled with grr.
I didn’t want to be as rude as I’d typically be, because I had to sit next to her for the next four hours. And I didn’t want to humiliate my friends by making a big scene. I racked my brain trying to think of a clever, funny, subtle way to say something.
I went for passive aggressive.
I stuck my hand in front of her mouth, palm up, like your kindergarten teacher would, and said, “Can I take your gum for you?”
She went all :eek: and fussed around in her bag for a scrap of paper and spit it out, apologizing profusely to me. I smiled and proceeded to happily ignore her for the duration of the show, which was wonderful without the gum chomping.