Here's what the chains looked like:
(photo courtesy of bizzarreland.buzznet.com)
There are some more pictures of the chains here, if you're interested.
I meant to do a little demo of how you make the links, but I discovered that almost no one sells gum in paper wrappers anymore. Sticks of gum come in tinfoil only these days, and most gum is packaged in smaller, fatter sticks, or those little punch-out pellet packs, like prescription medication. Here is a source for the old-fashioned wrappers, together with a tutorial on making the links, in case this is your kind of handicraft.
I actually remember some of the "finer points" of making these chains, like which brands made the best links, which way to face the links when putting them together, and so on. Not that I'm ever going to need this knowledge again . . . . Yet another example of how the semi-useless stuff is so easy to remember, and stuff I really need to know is sometimes so easy to forget.
Anyway, believe it or not, this chain smelled divine, like all the flavors of gum mixed together. Wrigley's Spearmint and Juicy Fruit were the basic flavors, but there were also flavors like sour apple and mixed berry that were big scores when I could get them. They smelled a whole new sort of delicious. Gum was kind of a big deal in my life for a while, just for the wrappers.
Eventually I lost interest in the chain, but I could never quite bear to part with it. It became one of those sentimental heirlooms that kids leave behind at their parents' house when they move out. While I was at college, my mother, for reasons she could never quite explain, decided to glue the chain together in a circular pattern. Perhaps she grew tired of seeing it draped around my old room, over the curtain rods and across the tops of the pictures. So the chain turned into a big mat, equally useless but easier to store.
Not knowing what else to do with it, I had it framed a few years ago. It actually looks kind of cool hung on the wall. You might never know what it was, if you weren't part of the fad.