gum usesIn honor of the Iowa teen who made her prom dress out of Wrigley gum wrappers, WalletPop rounded up a pack of budget-stretching alternative uses for gum. We also couldn't resist tying the sticky stuff to Earth Day on April 22. It's a reusable resource that doesn't have to be destined for the bottom of your shoe.

Memory Builder: Who needs Ginkgo Biloba when you have a stick of Big Red? People who chew gum during memory tests score higher than those who don't, according to PurpleSlinky.com.

Glue Substitute: Can't make it to Office Depot? You can rejoin broken ceramic flower pots or doggie bowls with well-chewed gum, says Readers Digest. You can also use a tiny piece to fasten papers instead of staples. Make sure to let it dry. And be prepared to explain why your corporate memo smells like Juicy Fruit.



Glass Fixer:
Gum can be used as faux putty for a loose window pane or to hold your glasses together. The latter is nerd in extremis, so don't forget to get your specs repaired the right way.

Tummy Tamer: Readers Digest says a stick of spearmint will provide gastrointestinal relief. The spearmint oils ease gas. The chewing produces acid-neutralizing saliva. Heartburn be gone!

Auto Repair: Plug your leaky radiator with gum until you can reach a mechanic.

Key Picker-upper: It's been shown in movies and maybe on "MacGyver" too: The hero drops his keys, wallet or top secret document through a grate and uses a hanger or wooden stick with gum attached to the tip to lift the item back up. It actually works.

Gum Art: Jamie Marraccini, a gum artist for 21 years, has created 30 works from more than 35,000 pieces of gum, according to his website. He says in his "artist's statement" that the art reflects the fun of chewing. As for your gum masterpiece, let your Trident-tickled imagination run wild.

Bait? Bubble gum, especially Bazooka, supposedly attracts catfish. Just put it on the hook and wait for a bite. Spearmint chewing gum reportedly lures crabs. It has to be partially chewed with some of the flavor remaining when you place it on a crab line.

We can't make this stuff up, but maybe the Internet did. These tips actually appear on the Web. In the interest of consumer protection, WalletPop checked it out with one of our fishing experts. "That's new to me," Clark Evans, the manager of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle in Rehoboth Beach, Del., told us. OK, so maybe gum can't do everything.


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