Jul. 4, 2005: Here’s Something to Chew On: Wrigley is Moving to Georgia

Score another one for the State of Georgia. The Wrigley chewing gum folks have announced they are closing one of their plants in Chicago – as soon as the snow melts enough so that they can find it – and transferring many of the jobs to Gainesville. Employees were asked not to giggle and high-five each other.

According to Wrigley spokesman, Spiro Ment, the company is making the move because they don’t want to be in the same state with a goofy dipstick like Dick Durbin, the senator who compared the United States to Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany and Cambodia’s Pol Pot (or Pol Pan, I can’t remember.) According to Ment, “This guy Durbin is crazy as a bedbug. We would rather be some place where a classy guy like Johnny Isakson is senator and doesn’t say stupid stuff and embarrass everybody. Our studies show that when people are embarrassed, they don’t chew gum.”

The Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, which tried without success in the last session of the General Assembly to have economic development activities kept secret in the likely case that a prospective company might change its mind and move to downtown Toledo, claimed to have no knowledge of Wrigley’s decision to relocate some of its facilities to Gainesville. When pressed further, department officials claimed to have no knowledge of Gainesville. Said a department spokesperson, “Our economic development plans are so secret that even we don’t know what we are doing.”

Ment said that there were several factors that led to Wrigley’s decision to move to Gainesville, beyond getting away from a goofy dipstick like Dick Durbin. One is Gainesville’s proximity to a nice lake. “A lot of people make a big deal about Chicago being on the shores of Lake Michigan,” said Ment. “Pooh. Lake Michigan is colder than a well digger’s you-know-what, and it’s full of things that nobody can recognize. Lake Lanier is a lot prettier than Lake Michigan, the people are much friendlier, and you can see the majestic mountains of North Georgia. We don’t have mountains in Illinois. Every time one gets started, the wind blows it down.”

Another key reason cited for the relocation is that Georgia is the home of the Sweet Vidalia Onion. “All we’ve got in Illinois is wheat, wheat and more wheat,” said Ment. “Wheat doesn’t taste near as good as a Sweet Vidalia Onion, plus it sticks to the roof of your mouth. All that our employees can think about right now is chomping into a big ol’ Vidalia onion, washing it down with a pitcher full of sweet tea and topping the whole thing off with a fresh stick of Juicy Fruit gum. Mmm! Life doesn’t get any better than that!”

While applauding Wrigley’s decision to come to Georgia, some state officials are expressing concern that the company’s actions may lead to other, less desirable groups coming into the state and lowering the quality of life here. For example, it is rumored that the entire city of Boston is contemplating a move to Hahira. “There is no question that this would greatly benefit the citizens of Boston, but it sure wouldn’t do much for Hahira,” said one official. “Then there is always the risk that Ted Kennedy would come with them. He’d probably get drunk and drive some woman into Booger Barlow’s fishpond out off State Route 122, and let her drown while he saved his own sorry hide. We don’t want that big fat tub of lard anywhere around our women.”

Meanwhile back in Gainesville, an effort is underway to minimize the culture shock for Wrigley employees relocating to the area. “We must be very patient and understanding,” said one local. “After all, these are people who have never had a baseball team worth a toot, a summer without two feet of snow or a United States Senator that didn’t act like a goofy dipstick. Suddenly being exposed to the Atlanta Braves, warm sunshine and a classy senator like Johnny Isakson will take some getting used to.” Wrigley employees had no comment. They were too busy giggling and high-fiving each other.