"Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable."
- Mr. Knightly, in Emma, by Jane Austin
I got gum.
It was "Mystery Flavored."
I feel the best way I can describe the following story is via a pictoral dramatization.
Do not attempt this at home.
Or, if you do, post pictures of it step by step like me and send the link to me.
It started off fine at first--like most diabolical happenings in the world, you're unaware when you're hit with the evil.
And then, something funny kind of happened.
And by funny I mean painful.
"Mystery Flavored" apparently translates to "So Sour The Factory Couldn't Get Away With Shelving This Product As Regular Gum So We Put the Label 'Mystery' On It To Get Rid Of It."
I eventually gave up trying to eat it.
When I finally released it from my mouth I could see that it had doubled in both size and sourness.
Maybe they were trying out a new "Just Add Saliva!" campaign for mouth-expanding painful gum.
I don't know.
Lesson No. 578 I Have Learned:
If a package says "New Mystery Flavor!" on it and it's the cheapest thing on the shelf, do not buy it. Do not be fooled by the happy-go-lucky color scheme of white, pink, purple and light baby blues. This product is not for you. And it will melt your face. You will feel like a fool for purchasing $1.10 gum and expecting something better, when you know you should have just gone with the Orbit gum because even though it's expensive, it's dependable.
Dependability, I realize, goes a long, long way.
This post comes in the wake of my finding out that my latest attempt to go out of state has been thwarted once more--this is the third in trip in a row that I had Surprise! to cancel. I was displeased.
That's when I decided to treat myself to some new gum.
Woo doesn't like surprises, either. Generally, she doesn't like anything outside of her routine. I think that's why she gets angry when the weather is anything but sunny and has to exist in it.
She also likes her normal routine of sleeping 18+ hours a day.
Yesterday, however, that routine was sharply ruined by our neighbors down the street.
Apparently, they've gotten a hold of their very own mini-arsenal of fireworks and a Saturday morning was the perfect time for them to set them off.
Woo did not approve.
She ran up and down the stairs, while I was weeding, and proceeded to burrow herself away in small places, kind of like a foot-soldier hiding in the trenches, whilst the faraway CRACKS! and BOOMS! went off in the distance.
I felt bad for her, so I stopped weeding and took her back inside, but she still kept doing the whole "I'm going to stay so quiet so I can listen for the scary booms outside," thing which, unfortunately for her, means not breathing--no, I'm not joking. She holds her breath. Even Woo knows that her respiratory system is not the quietest in the world. And she has to listen to make sure she's aware of the evil outside.
I try to distract her, so that she remembers to breathe. I try to interact with her to allow her to feel safe. It was all to no avail.
I have video documentation, because unlike a caring and sympathetic companion to my dog, I like to enhance her alienation and film it: