The rest of the world may think that the Gumshoe Detectives of yore got their moniker from their rubber-soled shoes. But the mothers of the world know differently. We know that those private eye types got gum all over the bottom of their shoes when visiting the gritty underbelly of the city, then tracked said gum into the house when they got home, thus completely exasperating their mothers who in turn called then Gumshoe Detectives.
This reminds of a certain someone who also exasperates his mother because of his penchant for ill-placed gum. This certain someone we’ll call Gumbutt. And on our recent plane trip to California, Gumbutt…er…Sonny was chewing some bright blue peppermint-y gum on takeoff because that’s more manly than sucking on lollipops to even out his ears. But soon enough, lovely Southwest people began offering us an amazing array of snacks, so he slipped his worn out gum into an old wet wipe he found in his seatback pocket. (Relax, relax. It wasn’t a random wet wipe left by the previous passenger. Sonny, voted “the most likely to HAVE sticky hands for no reason” travels with his own container of wet wipes because he was also voted “the most likely to HATE having sticky hands.” The wet wipe was his from earlier in the trip.)
Now, pretty much the first rule of wet wipes is: you don’t talk about wet wipes. Or maybe I’m getting that confused with Fight Club. Regardless, everyone knows you only use wet wipes to wipe stuff OFF. Never, EVER put stuff IN wet wipes. Because they are wet and made out of material that’s really slithery. So whatever you put in them will just slither out. Eventually. Everyone knows this; so no one should be doing this, except for the star of today’s show, who tucked his chewed gum into the wet wipe, then randomly tucked the wet wipe behind him on the seat, right about where the belt buckle comes out of the seat proper. Don’t ask. Who knows. This clearly is not going to be Sonny’s finest hour.
However, I was not sitting next to Sonny when all the wet wipe/gum stowing machinations went down, otherwise I would have politely (yes, politely, we were on an airplane) cautioned against that course of action. So I was completely mystified when I glanced across the aisle at the end of the trip to see Sonny standing up getting ready to de-plane, with a bunch of weird blue strings hanging from the front of his shorts. It was almost like someone had silly-stringed his zipper area mid-flight.
Sonny seemed completely stumped by the appearance of the blue string too. So while we’re both puzzling over the Mystery of the Blue String duhn, duhn, duuuuuuhn Sonny puts his travel backpack on his seat, then rests back on top of it to wait his turn. When he finally precedes me down the aisle, discreetly picking blue strings off the front of his shorts with a wet wipe, I notice more blue strings festooned on the seat of his shorts and hanging from his backpack and even hanging from the HAT hanging from the backpack.
So yes. Yes. That’s why we now call him Gumbutt. Variations might include: Gumbutt Front, Gumbutt Back, also, Gum Backpack and Gum Hat-hanging-from-the-backpack.