Gum or crack. Some choices make themselves.

I have a substance abuse problem. I'm a hard-core sugarfree gum addict and mints aficionada. Hershey markets these mixed fruity sours that've got me hooked:

So, you see these and think, what, refreshing? Low-cal treat. Puckers. I see these and think prison.

See, these were, with gum, usually pocketed in my black apron when I worked in the prison kitchen. Giving gum to my coworker male inmates was verboten, because, chewed, it could be used to plug up cell keyholes, gunk up a locking system. I did have fun tempting or teasing with it though.

The sours, though, those I could and did share, long as certain eyes weren't prying. I'd slip a couple into a homie's palm, aware that it was tiny treat outside the grim and structured norm and regulations. It may seem like a small gesture but it's frequently the little things that take on significance and meaning on the inside.

I'll always think prison whenever I suck on Ice Breakers Sours. There's a novel ad campaign pitch that wouldn't fly far.

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