I chew on non-food items. All the damn time. Seriously, I don't even notice when I'm doing it anymore. Here is a list of things I love to chew on:
1) cheap plastic pens (especially the tops)
2) water bottles
4) silly putty
5) the rubbery casing that surrounds my fancier pens
6) paper clips
7) finger nails
8) rubber bands
I know you're thinking that chewing on something like a paper clip could be painful and dangerous, but don't worry - I am a professional. I have methods to avoid the pain and only experience the pure joy that comes from this bizarre oral fixation. The worst thing about this addiction is probably the embarrassment I feel at work when someone wants to borrow one of my pens. Literally all of my pens have been so chewed up that it looks like a wild animal attacked them. They don't even look like pens. Anyway, here is how the scene goes down:
Co-worker: Hey Ashley, can I borrow a pen real quick?
Me: (panicking, sweating, and glancing nervously at the cylindrical plastic graveyard that is my pen holder) Um ... um ... sure.
That's when I take way too long to choose a pen for them. I attempt to find the least disgusting one, but they're all pretty much horrific. Not to mention that when they ask me, I'm usually in the process of further destroying one of my pens and have the mangled top of it hanging out of my mouth. So, I can usually see the immediate regret in their eyes as they are faced with that sight.
Me: (handing them a heap of plastic and praying it isn't a freshly chewed one with saliva stuck to it) Here you go!
Co-worker: (examining the pen as if I had just handed them a dead rat) Uh, thanks.
They write as quickly as possible, trying to not touch the pen with any unnecessary fingers, and then practically throw it back at me while wiping their hands on their pants. Then they usually scurry off to the bathroom to wash off the shame. I am left totally mortified.
But does this stop me? Do I then make any and all efforts to stop this awful behavior?
No. No I do not. It feels too good. And in my head, I say things like ...
"Hey it's ok, at least you're not a raging alcoholic. At least you're not a crack addict. So you like chewing on things - so what? Babies chew on things all the time and no one says anything to them! Maybe I'm some rare breed of human that actually continues teething through their entire adult life! People should think about THAT before they judge me. Yeah. Yeah, I feel better. Ok, I need a pen. Now."
Speaking of babies, oh my god do they have the most amazing-looking things to chew on! I am so jealous when I see a baby happily chewing on a squishy plastic teething ring, especially the water-filled ones. Why don't they make things like that for adults? I need a company to come out with some adult-appropriate chewing item that won't destroy my teeth any further.
Again, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: gum.
Gum and I get along pretty well, actually, but the texture just isn't solid enough for me. Plus, the flavors can be overwhelming. If they made a gum that was 10 times more solid and was plastic or rubber flavored, I would be all over it, believe me. But they don't. This is why Willy Wonka needs to be real. Surely a man who can fit an entire 3 course dinner into a piece of gum could create these things for me. I'd even offer to babysit the Oompa Loompas for him while he was hard at work. Well, unless they did that let's-surround-this-chick-and-sing-about-her-personality-flaws thing. Then I would probably freak the fuck out and bolt.
By the way, I have been chewing on a pen top the entire time I've been typing this. I actually need to get some new pens because these are the same ones I've been chewing for a couple months now. There's nothing quite like the feel of brand new pen plastic when you take that first bite. Mmmmmm. Oh, I should probably make it clear that I don't get any sexual pleasure out of doing these things. I realize it might sound like I do. You're probably reading this like, "Damn, Rick sure does have it easy if all it takes to turn Ashley on is showing her a new pack of Bics," but honestly, it's not like that.
On a side note, my brother has a thing for chewing ice, and whenever my mom catches him doing it she gives him a lecture about how he's going to ruin his teeth. When I see this interaction, I think 2 things:
1) JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE! CHEWING IS FUN AND ADDICTIVE! LET HIM BE FREE!
2) When she finds out what I chew on, she's going to disown me.
So there you have it. If all the previous blog posts didn't quite convince you that I'm 100% a weirdo, this should do it.