Chewing gum, that is. Am I the only person in the world who does this? I've done it as long as I can remember, in part because my mother the nurse used to say: "That's a bunch of malarkey that it stays in your stomach for seven years, it just goes right through you." My mother used to like to use the word "malarkey" a lot.
I've never quite understood why other people find swallowing gum quite so disgusting.
Then again, my niece and nephews don't understand why I find swallowing fish eyeballs so disgusting.
However, I will admit that my swallowing gum - usually as soon as there is the tiniest hint of loss of flavor, that is, after about two minutes - is a reflection of some kind of, er, oral peculiarity on my part and having to do with a distinct lack of self-control.
On a completely different note, it turns out that my friend and former employee R., who moved to Finland last month with his girlfriend, is going to be a pappa. This is the kind of news that makes me swoon. I'm a real sucker for babies, for people having babies, for pregnant ladies, for people just thinking of having babies. I'm all excitement, empathy and envy rolled into a tight little ball smiling so hard it could break in two with the least provocation.
The Swedish verb for the day is, of course att svälja. It means, of course, to swallow.
- by Francis S.