Chew On This: Rechargeable Gum

by | Apr 1, 2009 07:00 AM ET

Don't toss that gum, recharge it!

belknap, istockphoto

I'll never forget the image of Gene Wilder as he threw one of cinema's greatest tantrums at the climax of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Only after little Charlie Bucket hands over his Everlasting Gobstopper does Wonka relent, revealing that the entire candy factory tour was merely a test. Oh, spoiler alert.

Wonka might throw another tantrum today if he heard about startup company ReBubble's new product: rechargeable chewing gum. Like the Everlasting Gobstopper, this is a candy you can enjoy over and over again without ever having to buy another piece. You can bet Wrigley isn't happy about this -- I hear the company is preparing Big League Chew for a throwdown.

The secret lies in ReBubble's ReCHEWvenation Chamber (patent pending). It looks like a cross between a coffin and that big machine the Ugnaughts put Han Solo in when Darth Vader ordered him to be frozen in carbonite. The chamber uses a special recharging station to restore gum to its unchewed state. After it finishes charging, the gum should have the same taste and texture as it did fresh from the package. Packages of ReBubble Gum come with three pieces. ReBubble representatives say they plan to offer the gum in five flavors upon release, although currently the only flavor available reportedly tastes like grape with a hint of ozone.

ReBubble plans to offer two different versions of the ReCHEWvenation Chamber. The first plugs into a standard power socket (120 volts only -- apologies to Europe). This unit can recharge an entire pack's worth of gum in just under three hours. The second unit can accommodate only a single stick of gum and connects to a computer via a USB cable. Hopefully you'll have a second piece of gum on hand -- the USB station requires eight full hours of charging.

There are rumors that chewing partially-charged sticks of ReBubble Gum can cause problems. I've heard of issues ranging from complete flavor failure to spontaneous combustion. I don't even want to think about what would happen if you swallowed it -- it might really stay in your stomach for seven years. ReBubble representatives could not be reached for comment, but a press release states that the company is taking every precaution to prevent catastrophic gum failure.

Ok – enough of this April Fool's Day stuff. Now head back to HowStuffWorks.com for some real content.

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