Monday, April 6, 2009

Do Peeps Give You the Creeps?

If you're ever totally clueless as to what time of the year it is, just take a stroll through your local grocery store. There is always some kind of themed candy being hawked invariably in the direct path to the nearest check-out line. So came the realization that Easter is just around the corner, after a little run-in with some Peeps last night in grocery store.

Am I the only one that is totally freaked out by Peeps? Is there a more disturbing candy than a Peep? I contend that there is not. How lazy was the artist that decided a baby chicken's body should 1) be made of marshmallow, and 2) be comprised of nothing but a large brown eye and a huge swooping ass. Top that off with a neon yellow sugary coating and yeah – I'm thinking baby chick. What did the Just Born manufacturing company say on the morning that the creative team rolled in with the first Peep?

"Whoa, folks. The resemblance to an actual baby chick here is uncanny. The Cadbury Egg will be a thing of the past, let's jam this cash cow into the nearest Easter basket, STAT!"

Apparently they were onto something though because people seem to love Peeps. Don't ask me why, because I think they are totally nasty. The only candy that could beat them in a Gross-Off would be the pastel orange Circus Peanut, which is another marshmallow goody that has the texture and consistency of a Pink Pet eraser.

I hear people talk about eating their Peeps in various stages of decay. Some like to leave them out for two weeks before biting into them, others wait way longer – knowing their perseverance will pay off when biting into the Peep will actually produce a crunching sound. Um, it's marshmallow…it's not meant to make crunching sounds unless it became part of a Smores, OK?

Then you have your recreational Peeps users. These are the people that were always told to stop playing with their food when they were younger. According to Wikipedia, blowing up Peeps for fun is a regular pastime. Behold the marvels of "Peep Jousting" (as described under Alternative Uses on the Peeps page as per Wikipedia):

The messy and largely self-entertaining game, "Peep Jousting" is played with a microwave. One takes two Peeps, and licks the right-hand side of each until sticky. A toothpick is thereby adhered to each Peep, pointing forward like a jousting lance. The Peeps are then set in a microwave, squared off against one another, and heated up. As they expand, the toothpick lances thrust toward each opponent, and the winner is the one that does not pop and deflate. There have been many confirmed deaths of peeps. Ties (both fatal and harmless) are common. Both usually are eaten after the competition, however, regardless who the victor was, calling into question the nature of "winning" in such a circumstance. This folkloric tradition has been noted by the Washington Post. Rumors of Peeps' purported indestructibility have evolved into a veritable myth that has come to define the product's place in the lore of pop-culture ephemera. In an effort to establish this legend as fact or fiction, scientists at Emory University performed experiments on batches of Peeps to see whether they could be dissolved. They concluded that the candy is indeed difficult to destroy, according to CNN reports.

The talk of Peeps being indestructible brings to mind the similar cases made about Twinkies. Isn't it strange to anyone else that both of these soft, yellow substances appear to have an infinite lifespan? Do you really want to put something like this in your body? I can picture it now…I swallow a Peep and there it is in my stomach planning its revenge. It will stand up and take note of its new environs with that gigantic brown eye and start walking back up my esophagus until it reaches the larynx upon which it will choke me. I'll take the Cadbury Egg, thanks.

Unfortunately, just because you run into a few boxes of Peeps in the grocery store it doesn't necessarily mean Easter is coming up. Just Born expanded upon its initial creation to include Peeps for all seasons. From the scary ghosts of Halloween, to the jolly snowmen of Christmas, to the smitten teddy bears of Valentine’s Day – there is a sugarcoated swooping ass for every occasion. Aren’t we the lucky ones?

* This blog was originally published on my MySpace profile on March 21, 2007