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50 Peeps. 60 Minutes

Peeps are small marshmallow candies, sold in the United States, which are shaped into baby chickens, rabbits, and other animals. (Wikipedia). It'd be easy to eat heaps of Peeps because they're just fluffy marshmallows, right? Apparently not. This guy tries to eat 50 of them in an hour. Sugar overload!!!


Walk by my side a while, as I relate to you my sad, painful story. After reading my article on microwaving Peeps, one of my beloved regular readers managed to turn the table of torture straight on me. "Seriously, those peeps are almost as bad as black licorice. But it's funn seeing some try to eat a bunch at once. There's your next article. I'll bet you that you can't eat 50 all in an hour."


This reader is a pure evil bastard.

Few can accuse me of being anything other than "hard core" when it comes to various challenges, but most of those involve alcohol. Still, a challenge is a challenge, and a backdown is always admitting defeat. So here I am, on my day off for Good Friday, facing a challenge to eat FIFTY PEEPS in one hour. The justification? Let's just say my benefactor, my sponsor, my challenger, and I agreed upon certain terms of a not-immediately-financial nature, the prospects of which imparted the impetus to undertake the endeavor.

I had a day to consider and plan. I was cocky. Fifty Peeps? It didn't necessarily look like a lot. And I can have a pretty hefty appetite when I'm in the right mood. I've been trying to cut lately, but come on...he bet me!

Let's run through some math, first:

50 Peeps in 1 hour.
60 minutes x 60 seconds = 3,600 seconds in an hour.
3,600 / 50 = 72
I must average a Peep every 72 seconds. Sounds easy, right?

The packaging says a serving size is 5 Peeps, which is sheer lunacy. Regardless, these 5 peeps have 36 grams of sugar. Therefore, 50 Peeps have 360 grams of sugar. That is a lot of sugar.

Peeps are sold here in packages of 15 (three rows of five). I had to buy 3 packages plus use the leftovers from my microwaving peeps article. They cost 88 cents each, so total cost for the three packs was $2.64 before tax. Cheap. Cheep. Hah.

I undertook it with a nonchalant attitude but started to get a little nervous towards the actual time I had planned to do them. They were cheap enough that I wanted to try before Easter, so that I could have this article up for you all to read. You're welcome! To kill time in the last half hour before I started, I made a little crappy counter program in Flash to help me keep track of how I was doing at a glance. I figured I probaly wouldn't be up to simple math soon. How right I was.

The first peep was easy. The second peep was easy. That's all there is to this? I downed four or five in the first 72 seconds. So what went wrong? Man, do these things add up. It's not the mass - they're mostly air. No, Peeps have a lot of other dastardly self-defense tactics.

First, obviously, they're just sugar. Eating that much sugar is just never pleasant, but in the past few months I had basically gotten over my sweet tooth. I rarely put sugar in my coffee, I hardly ever eat any sort of candy. I think I just gave myself diabetes with these dang Peeps.

Second, the texture. There's gelatin in Peeps, and they're all super fluffy. Eating one is okay, but while eating 50 I discovered that they turn rather slimy and sticky and foamy pretty quickly. The texture alone makes you gag after 5, let alone 40.

For variety, before I undertook this quest, I picked up a pack of traditional yellow, a pack of mischevous pink, and a pack of solemn blue. Add to that, of course, 5 yellows I had left over. That's Fabulous Fifty right there. Here I'm tearing into a set of blues. It became simpler to pick up a whole row of five at once and chow through them, rather than go one at a time. I hit a wall at 15 and slowed way down, so it was good that I ate a lot quickly which compensated for my extreme slowdown later.

Before I continue, let me tell you a little bit about the world of competitive eating. I did a little bit of research on the "sport" this morning, to see if I could find any tips. This alternates from between a surprisingly serious dedication and a flippant, gross chow-fest. But the IFOCE stands through it all, introducing a surprising amount of regulation and authority to eating contests.

Here's some wisdom from the internet:

"The IFOCE is against at-home training of any kind. The IFOCE strongly discourages younger individuals from eating for speed or quantity under any circumstances. The IFOCE urges all interested parties to become involved in sanctioned events -- do not try speed eating home." IFOCE(whoops, too bad!)

"6. Meditate before each match to prepare for the battle of nerves ahead. 10. The IFOCE discourages the so-called "Roman" method of eating - making yourself vomit after the meal - and some contests expressly forbid it. Nevertheless, some top players will purge themselves after a contest, if only to keep their sodium levels down. Make up your own mind." Fox News

"The blue whale is the largest animal on Earth. A newborn calf weighs three tons and drinks 100 gallons of its mother's fat-rich milk per day, gaining as much as eight pounds an hour. During summer feeding seasons, the adult blue whale eats 8,000 pounds of shrimplike krill per day to maintain its 70-ton weight. Amateur." ESPN

"'Fifty hot dogs in 12 minutes?' Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. 'That's not sport. That's stupidity.'"ESPN

There's some strategy I suppose I could impart to you. I had a glass of milk, then a glass of cold water at first, to keep things flowing. Then I switched to drinking straight hot water, because it seemed to help clear my palate a little better. The negative psychology of putting more sugar into your mouth when it's still full of foamy sugar aftertaste is almost overpowering. Also, taking small bites rather than big chomps helped, because it cut down on them foaming up so much as you tried to chew them.

You read this far, you might as well read the rest of it!

After the halfway point, even though it was "all down hill" from there, I started wondering if I could finish. I was barely keeping up with one a minute, and while that was still a little ahead of the 72 seconds, it was getting steadily worse. Three quarters of the way through was really, really tough, but after that I started to perhaps see the light at the end of the sugar tunnel.

There you see me at 30 peeps (look at the small orange blocks, not the big "17" - that just cycles through a 72 second count.

Throughout this, my stomach didn't hurt much. It certainly wasn't thanking me, but it wasn't rejecting anything either. The problem was just in getting them down. Every single bite after the halfway mark triggered a gag reflex. So gross. You think that crap they eat on Fear Factor is gross? Well, okay, yeah it is, but Peep #49 ain't no shrimp scampi either, my friend.

You know how if you eat a big meal with a lot of ham, or a giant hamburger or something, you get the "meat sweats"? Well apparently it's possible to get the sugar sweats too. I felt warm, was lightheaded, and seriously annoyed that there was absolutely no sugar high. I suppose it was countered by the misery.

Forty Peeps are In My Stomach. Actually by the end I think they were starting to back up in my esophagus, because I've been burping for the past two hours and bits of Peep keep coming up. Do you know how friggin' gross that is? No you don't, because no one in their right mind would eat 50 stupid Peeps!

At this point, I had to start alternating between taking a minute to rest and then scarfing some more down as soon as I could get the gag reflex back under control. It was laborious and made me nervous. Again, I was still on schedule for my hour deadline but it was really, really cutting it close. I kept checking the clock on the wall, the clock on my computer, and the timer on the flash file, hoping that somehow I had misread the time and there was still plenty left. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

My warm reception of the last five peeps. Have you ever seen a man flip off a quintet of Peeps? Well now you have. Tell your grandchildren. Peep 46 was a kick in the face to get through, just because it was the "first of the last"....47 didn't really give me any more trouble than the other in the last twenty minutes. Tick-tock. 48 wore on me hard; all it did was try not to get swallowed. I tried to choke it down but it kept hopping back up. The stupid things are so slippery and spongy! And 49 was no better. Tick-tock. By this point in time it's literally the last two minutes of the hour. Thankfully I set it back up for video mode while eating the early 40s, because I have here, set to music, the video of me eating PEEP NUMBER FIFTY.


Peep 50 was actually easier to eat than every Peep number 25 through 49. Why? Because I knew it was the last freakin' Peep I would be eating for a very, very long time. The others I had to slave through, pitifully nibbling on them in despair. The final Peep, my worthy adversary, the King Peep, however, I despatched with honor and swiftness. I never thought I'd be so proud to eat a wad of puffed sugar.

The Aftermath. I destroyed those things. Man oh man. Like I said before, I've been burping straight for two hours. It goes like this: "BURP - ughghhhhh....sorry" then my eyes either roll back a little or my head falls forward. It would be funny if it weren't happening to me. There must be some frightful chemical reactions going on in my stomach right now. No barfing, but I was nauseous for the entire last half hour of the trial.

But in my loyal and faithful dedication to entertaining you (yes you!) the reader (yes you!)

My tongue was dark purple, my fingers were sticky and covered in sugar, my stomach threatened rebellion, and still isn't very pleased with me. I think somehow there's Peep flesh in my sinus cavities. There's probably blue sugar in my lungs. But I know this:

Do please have a safe and joyous Easter. And please don't try to do this. It's really, really stupid.

Ugh, I gotta stomach's starting to make weird gurgling and creaking noises.

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