Words I Realized: Tylogen


tylogen [tahy-loh-juh’n], n, plural tylogen – a chewing gum stain so old that it resembles black tar and has essentially become a permanent part of the surface to which it is stuck

You know what I’m talking about.  That deep-rooted blotch of very old, dried gum that has now become an everlasting fixture on the nasty-ass chairs in the back of the library.  Here’s a question that keeps me up at night:  Do different brands of gum go on to produce different forms of tylogen?  Shut up, it’s a good question.  To become tylogen, a glob of gum that’s been smooshed onto a surface has to hold its own against the forces of nature for quite a while.  Depending on where the gum is placed (e.g. the sidewalk, the tile floor of a middle school hallway, that nasty-ass chair, etc.), people will sit on it, step on it (possibly transporting it unknowingly to another location), pick at it, or worse.  Survival in that kind of hostile environment requires tenacity and perseverance.  I just don’t see Trident making it through that shitstorm and leaving behind robust tylogen.  It’s kind of a flimsy, helpless, pathetic gum, know what I mean?

After spitting out his Bubblicious on a square of sidewalk already covered with an abundance of tylogen, Geoffrey reflected solemnly on the life cycle of chewing gum.  He then proceeded to listen to the song “Circle of Life” by Sir Elton John from the acclaimed Disney motion picture, The Lion King.

Wait, tylogen?? I don’t get it… Can you explain?


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