If you're looking for a blog with meaningful content on the important issues of the day, you've come to the wrong place. This is the shallows, my friend. Nothing but shallowness as far as the eye can see. Let someone else make sense of things. I like it here.
- I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
IN A WORLD FILLED WITH COMPLEX POLITICAL ISSUES, SOCIAL INEQUALITY, AND FINANCIAL UNCERTAINTY, I CONSIDER IT MY GIFT TO YOU, MY READER, TO OFFER THIS SHALLOW LITTLE HAVEN, WHERE NOTHING IS TOO SHALLOW, TOO INSIGNIFICANT, OR TOO RIDICULOUS TO JUSTIFY OUR ATTENTION. IN OTHER WORDS, IF IT'S NOT IMPORTANT....SO WHAT? NEITHER WAS MARILYN MONROE'S BRA SIZE. AND THAT STILL SELLS MAGAZINES, DOESN'T IT?
Friday, April 6, 2012
EASTER: JUST ANOTHER PEEP SHOW
Growing up, I was not a fan of Easter. It had a lot to do with the fact that I was raised Pentecostal, which meant that my family spent a lot of time in church, even when it wasn't Easter. On Easter Sunday, the resentment I felt over being forced to sit for a good three hours or more in a crowded pew singing hymns and listening to a sermon underscored by the threat of hellfire and damnation was compounded by the discomfort of wearing "Easter clothes." We're talking new dress with itchy polyester ruffles, white tights, a pair of patent leather Mary Janes, and a hat. Usually an ugly one, chosen by my mother, who, like most Pentecostals, was not imbued with a strong sense (or even interest) in fashion. If it was "cute", flower-laden, and cheap, it got the Easter nod. I was forced to wear it.
The only real salvation, for me anyway, was the Easter basket that was always waiting for me when we returned home from church. Chocolate Easter bunnies and malted milk balls may not have made up completely for the pain of enduring those hours in church, but they were definitely a welcome diversion. Which brings us to...Peeps.
You know 'em. Chances are, you've scarfed down a few at some point in your life. And as Easter "treats" go, they're probably one of the most polarizing contributions to the genre. For those of us who are not particularly fond of marshmallow, they're a harsh reminder of all that is wrong with the commercial aspect of Easter. Bright yellow (or sometimes pink, blue, green, or purple), Peeps are to Easter what green beer is to St. Paddy's Day. Sure, they're cute and festive-looking, but that doesn't mean we should be encouraged to ingest them. Underdone lamb with mint sauce is one thing. Squishy, artificially colored marshmallow shaped like baby chickens is quite another, thank you very much for asking.
Still, despite my dislike of Peeps, I've always found it annoying when people proclaim their hatred of something without really knowing anything about what it is that they claim to hate. Of course, as far as Peeps are concerned, it comes down to a matter of taste. Even so, it's still a good thing to know your enemy. And so what do we know about Peeps? Well, according to our friends at Wikipedia, Peeps are manufactured by the Just Born company, which is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and which was founded in 1953 by a Russian immigrant called Sam Born. Seems that, on coming to Bethlehem, Born purchased the Rodda Candy Company, which gave him access to Rodda's marshmallow chick line. Up until that time, the chicks had been painstakingly created by hand, but Born did away with that time-consuming process and began mass producing the little chicks, adding other animal shapes along the way, including, not surprisingly, bunnies. A classic Easter treat was born. But it didn't stop there. In 2009, the company introduced Peeps lip balm, which comes in four different flavors---grape, vanilla, strawberry and (yuk) cotton candy. Before that, in 1999, scientists at Emory University (with apparently a lot of time on their hands) decided to test the "indestructibility" of Peeps. The marshmallow confections were subjected to all manner of brutality. They were doused in boiling water, submerged in liquid nitrogen, and enveloped in clouds of cigarette smoke. What was the verdict? The scientists announced that "the eyes of the confectionery wouldn't dissolve in anything". Not only that, but according to the scientists, Peeps eyes are insoluble in acetone, water, diluted sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide.
And so what are we to make of all this? Well, aside from the fact that Peeps can withstand fire, acid, and hot water, it really all comes down to the fact with which we started this post. Peeps are an Easter classic. One that you either love or hate. But as for me, well, I'll be munching on a chocolate bunny this Sunday.