Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hello Suckers!

Now that I’ve got your attention, and possibly offended you a wee bit, let me explain.
I’ve been ruthlessly experimenting on myself. Along with devoting an hour a day to writing, I’ve been trying to sort out what snackies are the best for concentrating.

Coffee has its place of course, and in the dead of the gloriously crisp Canadian winter, screaming hot tea. Earl Grey with sugar. I’m not sure what it is, but I can’t see to get tea hot enough. Oh, the water boils furiously in the kettle. I insist on a proper rolling boil and occasionally it spills over when I’m not fast enough to catch it, but it’s plus 30C now not minus 30C and hot tea is out of the question.

I need chew toys.

Something in my mouth helps me to think. I smoked for 10 years. One of the big attractions of this was having the object to suck on. It’s relaxing. It helped me focus. It was wonderful.

Toothpicks replaced cigarettes. Even though I’d stopped smoking before I got my driver’s license I found that a toothpick resting comfortably out one side of my mouth kept me sharp behind the wheel.

I used them at the office, too. Some days I had many stories to write and wanted to do them all at once. A protruding chew toy helped me to home in on one story at a time.
I know it’s not the least bit attractive, irrespective of what my more supportive friends say, but it’s me and it works and I can’t bring myself to care.

Lately during the writing hour I’ve chewed on licorice cigars, grape-flavored licorice twists, actual licorice-flavored licorice bits, walnettos (That name cracks me up to this day. Dear Dog I miss Laugh-In.) caramels, and suckers. That’s what we called ‘em here, anyway. They’re essentially a variety of lollipop.

I can pop one in my mouth and work it as I work on my manuscript. It lasts about a half-hour and the emptied stick is good for light chewing afterward.
It’s bigger than a toothpick, which I have at my desk for emergency think sessions, and they’ve got a bit of flavor to them.

As much as I liked all my chews toys, the suckers are the best. I may have to keep a bucket of them to get me through my manuscript.


Samantha said...

I am scared of suckers. I am afraid they will rot my teeth. I just chew sugar free gum.

Dawn said...

I can see you in a movie, Leah, the hard bitten journalist chewing on a toothpick as you thump out your articles on a manual typewriter - who by the end of the story metamorphoses into - ah, you'll have to see the movie!

Leah J. Utas said...

Hi Samantha - Good for you. I was never fond of sugar-free gum.

Oh my goodness, Dawn. I must know how the movie ends!

Rebecca said...

Leah, I know you don't really need to worry as much as some of us about your weight, but, in case you were...in the diabetic section of the pharmacy you should be able to find Sorbee Lollipops. I am using them as I try to quit smoking and they don't taste like diet at all, they do taste like real lollies. I like the satisfying crunch though, but then I chew ice too.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hey Rebecca, if the lollies help you quit smoking --Yay!
Maybe I'll check them out. I'm always interested in new chew toys.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Human Chew Toys, what a great idea!

I think someone could make a fortune selling them as a novelty--a little raw-hidey thing with virtually no calories, some sort of non-nauseating flavor and just the right resistence that you could gnaw on one for a day or two without going through the whole thing. Sort of like beef jerky to the twentieth power. Only in cute little three dimensional shapes and sweet flavors as well as savory. I'd buy one!

Leah J. Utas said...

Beef jerky to the 20th power. Good one, Crabby.