Meet Olivia Payne and her friend Mo, an expert gum cracker. Olivia, who proposed this tone, is a full-time mom, worker bee and part-time student. Ms. Payne also volunteers at cultural events (through Pittsburgh Cares).
When I asked Olivia why she wanted a gum cracking tone, she said it was fun to think about evocative and nostalgic sounds from childhood. “But the idea for this specific tone came to me when I heard women cracking gum at church! And I also really like the way Mo pops her gum.”
How do you crack gum? Ask an expert.
Mo says, “Basically you just force air into the gum by using either your tongue or your teeth to move it and then you bite down on the tiny little air pockets. It creates a sound that only people under age 16 really appreciate–adults don’t tend to like it, especially in public settings. There was a whole Oprah episode where they were talking about manners, and gum cracking was at the top of her list. I think it’s interesting that something so minute can create such strong reactions.”
Here’s Olivia’s Gum Cracking Tone. Thanks to Olivia and Mo for this distinct and (if it’s done right) annoying submission to the archive.