Goat: A four-legged animal with hoofs that holds an endless fascination for me, Relentless. That's our working definition. And just in case you have never seen a goat in your life, please refer to the picture above (minus the obvious smirk).
One thing I learnt (that's not the only thing I learnt o) in secondary school was that there were certain differences between ruminants and non-ruminants. Of particular note is the fact that ruminants ruminate, i.e. they chew the cud and non-ruminants don't. A goat is a ruminant, therefore, it 'chews the cud.' It also has 4 stomachs: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.
What on earth is the cud? It's the undigested food that the goat regurgitates and chews again. For the purpose of this blog post, that is all you need to know. Just in case all this goat talk has stirred a desire to explore the cud-chewing process, you can read more here.
So, why is any of this important?
Well, I am glad you asked. You see, those four parts of the stomach I mentioned, are actually the shaki (tripe) that some of us use to cook vegetable soup. And other things. But that's not my point.
My gripe is with the chewing of the cud.
Now, we human beings are not goats. We do not have four stomachs (please don't disclose it if you discover you have four. I would like to believe we all have just one stomach). I know some people act like goats sometimes, but in the spirit of forgiveness, let us treat them like human beings and not goats.
What I don't understand is why human beings keep chewing the same piece of gum for up to 24 hours (and even beyond). It is just like chewing the cud.
Let me illustrate.
Sometime in the early hours of the morning (generally, anytime before 12 noon), your co-worker/friend/relative/spouse/child starts chewing a piece of gum.
Nothing wrong with that, right?
Now, it is 3pm. He or she is still chewing the same piece of gum.
No wahala. Shebi, it's just a few hours later?
But, it is now pitch dark outside. Translation: Night don come.
Our friend is still chewing the exact same piece of gum. He/she has carefully stuck it on a piece of paper and retrieved it at specific times of the day, or worse still stuck it on the back of his/her hand, and re-chewed it.
To the casual observer (i.e. me) who randomly sees this person at these odd times of the day, the person has been chewing almost non-stop for hours. Just like a goat, sitting down and chewing with the same glassy-eyed stare.
But de one wey dey vex me pass (see I can't even say it without jumping to pidgin) na de pesin wey go dey chew the same piece of gum the next day! Haba! 24-hour gum? Tufia! Did the chewing gum factory in your town go out of business?
Look, please respect yourself and start afresh the next day. New day, new gum. That's the rule.
- The End -
How long do you think a single piece of gum should be chewed? One day? 2 days? A week? Oya, let's hear it.