Readers, this post began as a simple, straightforward salute to the gummy bear. My plan was to wax poetic on the many fine qualities of this often-overlooked fruit-flavored chewy treat, e.g.,
Moreover, and more to the point, the humble gummy bear also recently saved my ass. I hadn't planned on eating anything during last month's Portland Marathon, which was fine until it wasn't. Somewhere around mile 18 or so, I started losing steam. So when I saw volunteers offering paper cups full of gummy bears, I eagerly grabbed them. (The cups, not the volunteers.)
Long story short: I felt like a new man, and finished the race strong. Thank you, my tiny, colorful saviors, I thought as I ran. I shall not forget this.
And I didn't. Hence this post.
But! As I sat down to write, I did a bit of research. And I stumbled across this:
No, that is not the World's Smallest Man. That is a normal-sized man eating the World's Largest Gummy Bear. Or possibly just nibbling its ear.
The point is: Holy smokes! Look at the size of that thing!
And that is how a post about tiny gummy bears became a post about the World's Largest.
How large, exactly? According to the description on Vat19.com, where I found it, the World's Largest Gummy Bear weighs about five pounds, is "equal to" 1,400 regular-sized gummy bears, and contains 6,120 calories.
The website also notes that the World's Largest Gummy Bear is "hand-made in the USA." Presumably "carved by gummi artisans who work exclusively in the medium of gummi."
How many flavors is the World's Largest Gummy Bear available in? At least 10, including Orange, Grape, and "Astro." (Made with real astro!)
How deep and abiding is the World's Largest Gummy Bear's love? So deep and abiding that it has inspired great poetry:
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the World's Largest Gummy Bear. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was only one.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the World's Largest Gummy Bear,
“You promised me, World's Largest Gummy Bear, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The World's Largest Gummy Bear replied, “My precious child, when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
The origin of that poem is the matter of some dispute. What is not in dispute is the power and the awesomeness of the World's Largest Gummy Bear.
Normal-size gummy bears: I respect and value your contributions, and always will. But on my next long run, I'll be carrying the World's Largest Gummy Bear.
Or will the World's Largest Gummy Bear be carrying me?