Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, February 06, 2021

I don’t chew gum.

So why is there a picture of Dentyne gum in this post? Simple: Dentyne’s marketers reached out to me for some blog-vertising action (just one of a recent spate of requests to come this way). They sent on two “bottles” worth of the gum, so I guess I’m obliged.

That’s one thing: “Bottles”. Dentyne refers to these plastic containers as bottles, even in ads. And yet, with their wide-mouth lids, they’re clearly more like jars. Maybe “jar of gum” sounds like an odd packaging description, but “bottle of gum” doesn’t sound much better.

Such packaging isn’t new in the gum/candy game. It’s been around for years now, obviously geared toward car-cupholder placement. But once again, I’m not a good fit: I don’t own a car. And even if I liked gum, I don’t know about having a jar (yeah, I said it) taking up valuable space inside my everyday man-bag.

So is there anything I like about this freebie? Just one thing: That wild artwork on the container’s outer wrapping. It’s a commissioned design by Anthony Yankovic, part of a series of color-themed designs for Dentyne’s flavors. Those intricate line-drawings are mesmerizing. I particularly dig that psychedelic triple-eyed owl, the centerpiece of this mini-mural.

As it happens, Yankovic and I share a bit of a connection: He currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida — the same town I made my home in for 15 years. In fact, as near as I can figure, Yankovic moved to the ‘Burgh just about the same time I moved out, some four years ago. Small world.

In any case, after this review, I’m left with a couple of 60-piece counts of sugarless peppermint gum in a cool-looking container. Nice to look at, but ultimately, I’ll have to give them away, fanciful art and all.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/06/2021 05:55 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Creative, Florida Livin', Food
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Once upon a time, the announcement of a new telephone area code was a big deal, especially in a major city like New York.

Now? Ho-hum. Between number overlays and location-independent cellphones, those first three digits don’t mean an awful lot anymore. Sure, a metropolitan-based telephone prefix certainly retains some luster, especially the iconic (212). But it’s a fading currency. The cultural impact of telephony protocol touches us less and less, it seems.

So the rollout of the new outer-borough (929) code later this year won’t change much. Other than giving rappers a new callout-combo for geo-rhyming. Or making bridge-and-tunnelers that much more self-conscious when slipping their phone numbers to new acquaintances.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/06/2021 03:10 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Pop Culture, Tech
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Ponder the inequities of existence, condensed into my Chinese-food dinner last night:

My fortune cookie had not one, but three fortunes tucked inside it. Meanwhile, the empty fortune cookie remains bereft of any paper-slip of wisdom (plus lucky numbers on the back!).

Then again, my triplicate-bearing treat was quickly gobbled up by yours truly. The EFC, though split in half, lives on. Plus, the restaurant where I was dining was almost completely empty. So lots of see-sawing on the apportionment scale for a Friday night.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/06/2021 12:36 PM
Category: Comedy, Food
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