Dear 'Does Anyone Here Have Gum?' Guy,
A tad presumptuous, aren't we?
Let's imagine someone in the room does have gum. It's possible. In fact, in a room of more than a dozen, baker's or non-baker's, it's downright likely. Now, at what point did we get from, 'someone here may have gum' to 'I'd like that person to volunteer that they have gum with the intention of them offering it to me and then feeling like they need to offer it to everyone else in the room because it will be awkward if they don't'?
And yeah, that's exactly where you're taking this, 'does anyone here have gum' guy.
I mean, can you imagine this scenario:
'Does anyone here have gum?'
'Yeah, I do.'
The two look at each other, waiting. Until...
'Okay, cool, I was just curious.'
You'd get all upset, 'does anyone here have gum' guy. Suddenly, everyone else here is inconveniencing you. How could you be forced to live with the fact that you've ran out (if you ever did have any gum... but we'll give you the benefit of the doubt) and will now have nothing to stick under your chair or toss onto the ground in ten minutes once it loses its flavor?
And I know, I know, if you had gum you'd gladly offer it to anyone here. Great. Yet, it'd be equally presumptuous for me to expect you to. Did you consider that there are those of us who don't feel like asking everyone else in the room for gum when we don't have any?
No, you didn't.
Also, if you ever get gum disease, don't chime in at a party, 'Does anyone here have gum disease?'... we won't want to hear that question, either.
Anti-Mooching Gum Association