A rainbow of petrified goo is spreading up Market Street, as defiant gum-chewers expand the canvas for their sticky folk art along one of Charleston’s main tourism corridors.
It all started several years ago when people began plastering wads of used chewing gum on three utility poles at the entrance to the City Market. The fad stuck. Soon, the “gum poles” were adorned with hundreds of lumpy clumps.
Looking to spruce up the area, the city had these monuments to mastication steamed and scraped to bare wood last year. Officials even tacked up little signs warning gum-stickers of $1,000 fines for defacing public property.
The result: People left their sticky nuggets all over other poles in the area.
These gumball artisans grew more creative in the process. Consider the state’s initials formed in chewing gum about 9 feet up one pole. Or look at the multicolored smiley face fashioned from other lip-smacking treats.