Wednesday, 11 April 2007

2 chew or not 2 chew

Ever thought much about chewing?
Well I hadn’t, though over the last hour I think I’ve spent a little too much time thinking about it, it can become so easy to be fixated on something can’t it?
I’m currently sitting here eating some roast chicken flavoured chips and slurping on a Fanta, one of life’s little indulgencies I must say.
Now I know some things goes exceptional well with other things out there. Peanut butter and jam (jelly) sandwiches are one. Apple pie and ice cream another. I also know that some people have some truly bizarre combinations they enjoy. I’ve driven more then my fair share of girlfriends’ crazy with my need to always have cheese with chicken Kiev, orange juice with peanut butter crumpets, milk with vegemite toast. You must always have a freckle with a ripe raspberry and you must always eat chicken chips with Fanta (or some other orange coloured soft drink that, when you read the label, has almost entirely nothing to do with oranges….I suspect the same will apply to the ripe raspberries and chicken chips now that I think about it).
So I’m sitting here, eating my chips and slurping my drink and having a whale of a time. I do what I suspect everyone does, rifle through the pack in search of that perfect chip, then flipping it in my open maw like some dude of a chip ad, happily crunching on it until its nothing more then a white paste with an orange hue. Chips are probably the only thing on the planet that you truly must chew properly before swallowing, as a half masticated crinkle cut will cause severe lacerations to the esophageus on the way down! Even the smallest chip can do some serious damage if swallowed too early!
It’s also fun to chomp away on something so hard and yet so brittle, feeling its form shatter satisfactorily under the impact of your molars.
I just love the power and imagery behind the motion of chewing a chip. Sentences are entirely inaccurate to describe the joy; you really can only rely on the power of single words like. Crush. Pound. Mash. Pulverize. Smash.

And now, an experiment! I want you to go get some chips (they don’t have to be chicken flavoured), I’ll wait till your back.
Ready to go? Good!
Now open the pack and pick out the best handful of chips you can find.
Ready? Go ahead and pop them in your mouth and chomp away, making sure you give them a good going over.
Swallow and repeat a few times. Having fun?
Now this time, grab some big chips and start chewing 1…2…3…now STOP!
Hear that? Listen to the silence. Its fucking unnerving I tell you, just how much noise you make while eating chips. I only noticed this because as I was munching away and thought I heard someone creeping around outside my window.
I sat here, in front of my computer, working on a story that just wasn’t doing what it should (i.e.-be good), with a mouthful of half chewed chips listening intently for a follow up noise.
As they say, the silence was deafening.
After a while I went back to chewing my chips and I just couldn’t get over how much noise I was making.
Now obviously chewing chips in themselves makes a lot of noise. I’m sure we all, as kids, had endless fun chewing them with open mouths to annoy siblings or priests (a long story), but I never realized just how deafening eating chips could be.
I wonder if anyone has ever got ear damage from eating too many chips?
I remember reading somewhere that our lower jaw is actually a bone form our ear, one that slowly grew forward as we were forming. Steadily this bone moved forward in those first few months, until both halves join at the front and created a solid bone. This means the lower jaw is almost directly attached to the ear.
This of course is rubbish, I mean it may be part of the ear at some stage but our lower jaws are detached, only connecting to our skulls where the hinge is at the back. This has always confused me as how could it be part of the ear when it’s a completely separated piece of bone?
Picture this please- think of a moron sitting cross-legged on the floor next to a coffee table with a laptop sitting on it. Next to the laptop is a half drunk can of Fanta while on the floor, next to the moron is an open bag of roast chicken potato chips. Now have the moron placing his hands against the side of his head and making the most over-exaggerated chewing motions with his face with the occasional ‘oh’ and ‘ahh’.
You’ve just pictured what I’ve been doing for the last few minutes!
I did notice in my own ape-ish way of self discovery that your bottom jaw does actually take a right angled turn at the back, then heads all the way up to attach to the skull, almost directly next to the ear. Thinking about that for a second I also realised that the ear is not really attached to the skull but more grows on it like an elephant ear fern on a tree-attached, but not really part of.
The ear is now obviously the only place where our lower jaw could have come from as there’s nowhere else on the head that you’d really get such an odd attachment coming out of.
I’m starting too also wonder what kind of odd chemical reaction I’m suffering from, thanks to the mixture of ‘little to do with’ roast chicken chips and ‘engineered’ orange Fanta. Perhaps it’s making me a little strange, but then if you ask anyone who knows me…probably not!
So there you have it…not exactly a scientific exploration on the chewing mechanisms of Homo sapiens but an excuse to run away from something else that was frustrating the hell out of me.
Ok, let’s put it this way, my drinks almost gone, the chips are half eaten, and I’m no closer to fixing my story then I was before is started this…oh, the woes of a writer with a short attention span!
Hey…I just found a bag of Snickers…ever noticed how…ohh, never mind, I think I’ll just watch some TV!

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