Ask Ceil – Walking and Chewing Bubblegum

Dear Ceil,

Which is better for you, walking or running?

Doing Cardio in Cali

Dear Cardio,

A long, long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and oil wasn’t being refined for anything, people used to walk in order to get from one place to another. If we wanted to get there faster, we’d run. We had these legs, with feet on the bottom, and they were pretty sturdy and could take us from place to place.

Now, I don’t want to sound like your grandmother or your healthcare professional. Believe you me, after the week I just spent wringing out my liver, de-cake-ifying my house and creating new recipes for pudding shots, I can tell you that I’m nobody’s role model.

But today I got in my van and drove to a store that is six blocks away from my house. And I don’t know when I became the person who drives to a mall that’s 1.3 miles away so that I can walk around inside for exercise.

I keep waiting for irony to show up at my house so it can ride shotgun. But it never does.

Maybe it’s because walking used to be an activity that you would do in whatever clothing you had on. I personally walked every day of my elementary-school-going career to a bus stop several blocks away (hey, before you balk, my legs were really short when I was small) wearing very uncomfortable shoes and a green polyester jumper. And most of the time, my school-mandated knee-socks would fall down or get bunched up in the heel of my shoe, requiring me to stop every several steps to adjust them. (Indeed, I used to take rubber bands and fold them under the top of the sock, allowing me a speedier pace, if also cutting off most of the circulation to my feet.)

There’s no way to make that look cool or athletic.

But now we have walking shoes: special shoes just for walking, which makes you wonder what we should be wearing the rest of the time. (TV shoes? Driving shoes? Poetry reading shoes?) There is also gear, like the pedometer, compression shorts (I almost clicked on this to find out why you’d want your shorts to compress you, but I really didn’t have the courage–but you can just do it), athletic socks, and athletic sleeves. (Sleeves for walking? Yes.)

If you want, you can get an iPod and transcend to utter coolness and health. And if you have your iPhone with you, you can get a little work done while you’re walking. You should know, though, that several states considered “Distracted Walking laws” this year. This was following a particularly hilarious video of the mall-texter falling in a fountain (she was probably trying to get a little exercise in). Of course you’ve seen the video, but here it is again because whoever she is, she deserves way more than 15 minutes of fame. I gave you the video with two camera angles, because that’s the kind of great chick I am.

So getting back to your question: what’s better, walking or running? May I suggest that you try hashing instead. You’ll be much happier, if perhaps a measure less healthy.

Dear Ceil,

Why do people put used chewing gum under tables and chairs?

Grossed out in Grosse Pointe

Dear Grossed Out,

Sometimes foreign intelligence agencies go into other countries and use social methods to control the way a group of people feel about their society. They do careful research and try to swing the tide of public opinion in a favorable direction. This makes overall political efforts much easier. Sometimes they stir up insurrection, making it less comfortable for an existing governmental authority to remain in power.

Outside forces have infiltrated the United States, and are attempting to turn us against each other. We are being brainwashed into believing that our fellow Americans are rude, disgusting, inconsiderate jerks…just the type of people who would stick gum under tables and chairs.

Considering that people are basically chewing on an adhesive with the consistency of caulk, you have to wonder if they’re trying to also convince us that we’re stupid. It may very well be that this same group of people has also infiltrated our cable networks, and that they control television programming. It. All. Makes. Sense. Now.

Of course, there is one other possibility. If this is happening to you a lot, look around and count the 10-year-olds. They may be cute, but they’re not known for their manners and common sense.

Wait. Perhaps ten-year-olds have infiltrated the cable networks? It. All. Makes. Sense. Now.

(Further supporting my foreign-meddling theory, Singapore has already smartened up with a gum-chewing ban. Way to go, Singapore! And in case you’re wondering, yes, there’s a Facebook page for Gum Under the Table )

Ceil Kessler has been writing since she was a small child, at first in kindergarten with crayons, moving to pencils in first grade, and pens shortly thereafter. She was introduced to the computer later in life, and immediately stopped writing and began to surf the internet. Years later, she realized that you could also write stuff on a computer, and that’s where we are today.

She now consults on business intelligence software, markets and publishes the magazine “Business Perks”, runs the Laurel Highlands Vegetarian Society, and heads a team in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s “Walk for a Cure” on September 17th. To join or donate to Team Kessler, go to the Teams page and find Team Kessler in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

If you have questions for Ceil, please send them along to, or you can use the Ask Ceil-o-matic form.

Follow her on Twitter at @ceilck. It. All. Makes. Sense. There.


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