You Know, It’s Hard Out Here for a PEEP®

Michael Nagrant / 03.09.06

peep floating

I like to bite their heads off first.

When my nose gets near the sweet tang of artificial yellow sugar crystals, my Ozzy Osbourne instinct takes over, and it’s lights out for the PEEPS®. It’s cruel I know, but like Ted Nugent points out in his practical cooking tome, Kill It and Grill It, when there’s an overpopulation, animals face an even crueler fate of starvation.

Consider the facts:

First manufactured in the 1920’s by the Rodda candy company, and handmade by squeezing marshmallow through a pastry tube, it took twenty seven hours to manufacturer one PEEP® in 1953. This was about the time the Just Born corporation took over the process and automated and mass marketed the adorable chick with the brown dotted eyes. Now Just Born hatches a PEEP® every six minutes.

Approximately one billion Peeps® will be produced this year, enough to circle the earth twice.

It takes approximately 9,000 vertical PEEPS® to equal the height of Taipei 101 in Taiwan, and approximately 8,000 vertical PEEPS® to equal the height of the Sears Tower in Chicago.

Since it’s just cruel to let PEEPS® languish on the shelf hardening like bacon clogged arteries, you gotta do something.

It would take far too much effort to build a PEEPS® skyscraper. There aren’t any existing blue prints, and since the manufacturer only gives approximations, it sure would be embarrassing to get to the top of the skyscraper and find out you’re a few PEEPS® short.

You could always donate your extra PEEPS® to science, or to the candy porn industry. Google it and you’ll find that some earnest “food scientists” have subjected unsuspecting PEEPS® to stress tests, injecting them with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, liquid nitrogen, and pummeling them with a sledgehammer. The scary thing is that much like the fabled cockroach, or a Twinkie, PEEPS® are survivors. Floating them on a vat of acid does little to compromise their fluffy sugar coated bodies. It may be that the gelatin and Carnauba wax coating preserves the soft underbelly of the hearty peep.

Did I mention candy porn? There is also an industry of folks who take pictures of PEEPS® in compromising positions and write Harlequin inspired tomes.

Rest assured, my love for PEEPS® is a healthy one. The peep, for me, is an unmistakable and ubiquitous reminder of childhood. I spotted my first crinkly cellophane swaddled box at my friend Pete’s when I was seven. Pete’s parents worked a lot and compensated for their presence through commerce. Pete and his brother, Mike, were the first kids on the block with cable television and the first kids with a computer. Thankfully Pete’s folks didn’t believe in babysitters either. When we weren’t overdosing on the Justice League of America cartoons, we spent hours in front of a Texas Instruments TI99/4A that looked like a typewriter on Slimfast. Pete, Mike, and I would spend hours popping PEEPS® in our mouth and playing Hunt the Wumpus, a text based game along the lines of the more famous Zork. Trying not to overwhelm 8 bit assembly code, we’d type phrases like “take sword from stone”, “fight bad guy with sword”, and finally when we were bored and wanted to satisfy our juvenile predilection for violence and cussing, “kill self” or “go to hell.” Inevitably, the programmer anticipated this possibility, and programmed an unsatisfying response such as “you can not do that” or “don’t use that kind of language”. Inevitably, we grew tired of Wumpus, because every few minutes, you had to flip the tape over. This was before disk drives. We moved on from Wumpus to Super Mario, and finally to Sonic the hedgehog, but the one constant that always remained, the ample supply of PEEPS®.

My childhood is no different than most, rumor has it that Ellen Degeneres and Emeril Lagasse are big fans. I was not able to reach Emeril for comment. In the spirit of full journalistic integrity, I didn’t really try. My guess is he serves them up with a lot of “gaahlic”.

For the record, I prefer them lonely and unadulterated. If you get them alone, it’s much less stressful for the rest of the brood when you take that first bite.

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