Walking and Chewing Gum

Many times I have been walking and chewing gum. I never thought of it as unique. I rarely think about the multitasking. When one walks, and happens to be chewing gum, the likelihood is that the walking continues after discarding of the gum. It would be unique if a person stopped walking when he spits out the gum.

The Congressperson smiled, and proudly proclaimed, as if planting a family flag on a distant Pacific atoll, that he could walk and chew gum at the same time. A cliché that has its imprint on every pedestrian walkway. You may not realize that walking and chewing gum at the same time has significant consequences not just for the walker and gum chewer, but for all citizens. Our Congressperson used the cliché to tell us that he can impeach, and yet be capable of legislating important issues, such as climate change, educational budgets, infrastructure, water and air protection and health care. He can legislate even while engaging in an impeachment inquiry, that is, walk and chew gum at the same time.

As he made that declaration, I noticed dozens of gum wads on the street nearby. Some were small, and others larger, but clearly all discarded gum.

Walking and chewing gum. Which is legislation and which is the impeachment inquiry? That is the question! For the moment let us assume that walking is the impeachment inquiry, and the work of the legislator is the gum. We know for certain that at some indeterminate time the gum always gets tossed. What does that mean for substantial national issues affecting each of us every day?

Now should the impeachment inquiry be the gum, then does that mean that the inquiry gets tossed? A lawless and ruthless President continues his misdeeds, but we will breath clean air, drink clean water, and have free hearing aids and glasses.

In fact, no one is capable of interminable walking and chewing gum at the same time.

I forgot, sometimes I swallow the gum.

Tom Golden, 2019.



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