Oh No! It's food obsessions again!

Philip.Belben at pgen.com Philip.Belben at pgen.com
Wed Nov 15 12:51:59 EST 2000

Jacob, quoting Ven, quoting me:

>>> I've never really been a paper chewer.  Pen tops, yes.  Little bits of
>>> plastic insulation stripped from electric wires, definitely (and
>>> especially if I used my teeth as wire strippers).  The edge of a
>>> disposable plastic cup (usually when I've finished the contents)
>>> occasionally.
>>Oh, wow!  I thought I was the only plastic-chewer in the world!  There are
>>still books in the library in the town where I grew up that have little
>>quarter-circles of plastic gone from the corners of the protective covers,
>>because I pulled them off and chewed them!  Insulation off wires is also
>>good, and so are buttons.  I don't like bits of plastic cup so much, though,
>>they tend to be too sharp. :-)

Yes! Library book covers!  Not just the plastic sheet on the dust jacket
meta-covers, but those thicker plastic covers that go on paperbacks, heat-sealed
around the edge.  These will generally shed a long thin plastic string from the
heat-sealed edge, which is very satisfying to chew!

But cups, I agree bits of cup are too sharp.  It's just the rim I chew, still
attached to the cup.

> I chew plastic, too.  Usually pen tops.  It's easy to bite off the dangly
> bit and chew it flat.  I used to be worse, but have been more constrained

Yes.  In the good old days, you could draw a vacuum in the pen top and attach it
thereby to tongue or lips.  Now most pen-tops don't do this because they're
ventilated to prevent babies choking on them, so I too am reduced to bending and
breaking off the pocket clip and chewing that...

> lately.  Paper is still open season.  Paper is nice because you don't have
> to spit it out.  Once it is chewed up enough, you can just swallow it.  I've
> also become something of a loose thread disposal when we cross-stitch.

Eek!  No, I find paper too mushy to be really satisfying to chew.  And thread...
No, not for me, I think.

And Sally:

> My gums still cringe at the memory of pen-plugs. Easy to bite out of the
> pen, but then the top would sometimes skid across the gums - ouch! I chewed

You mean the bit that went in the other end of the barrel of cheap pens like the
Bic?  Yes, that fits neatly over a canine tooth - very satisfying.  And just the
right texture, too.

> paper (the thick, spongy sort) and rubbers (think you call them erasers) -

No, but our American friends probably do :-)

> the light yellowish square sort. I used to chew cotton handkerchiefs and
> collars too... then wondered why I got a "sucky" baby daughter who would sit
> behind me on the baby seat of my bike and suck a dinner-late-sized wet patch
> into my shirt or skirt.


> I also chewed grass stems, choumoulia stems and various other oddities. It's
> not such a rare habit, it seems! So why is it never mentioned in
> baby-rearing books?

Sally, you're talking about this in the past tense!  Is this something only
young children are supposed to do?

My excuse must therefore be that I still have seven of my milk teeth.  I don't
think there's any likelihood of their being replaced by adult teeth after all
these years...


> Whats-her-face in Tale of Time City at one point thinks how much more
> satisgfying it would be to chew her pen while doing homework than to have a
> "bodiless" pen and have to chew a seaweed stick, or something, instead. Does
> that sentence mean what it's supposed to?

Yes it does, and I'd quite forgotten!  Vivian obviously chews pencils (as I do,
but I prefer pens - pencils splinter too much, and the paint flakes off, and I
don't much like the woody taste anyway.)

Finally, Robyn, on pixie sticks:

>>On the other hand, I think plastic tubes are more common than paper ones over
> No no no no! The ones in the plastic are nothing like real pixie sticks.

Please explain!  I am now totally confused again...



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