I Ate All the Gummy Bears


So sue me. There were only like twelve in the package anyway. And here's how authentic they were: the box said "Gummy Bears" not "Gummi."

My brother is like, "Where are all the Gummy Bears? That big box in the kitchen?"

The box wasn't all that big. It said: "Catherine's Finest." Catherine? And "Kettle Fresh." Kettle? I didn't intend to eat them all. OK, the box was pretty big. Could've packed a smoked salmon. But when I opened it there was this plastic bag inside that had, like I said, maybe twelve Gummys. Well, fourteen. Thirty-six. Eighty-one. I ripped open the bag with my incisors.

While I popped the Gummys I read the back of the box. "We at Catherine's Finest Believe......(yes, nine ellipses)...Constructive Income Opportunities Encourage Teens to:

Say NO to Gangs!

Say NO to Drugs!

Say NO to Crime!

and Stay in School!

God Bless America (no exclamation point).

I bought them from this girl about my age who rang the doorbell. "We'll gladly accept gratuities," she said. She had mauve-colored freckles across her nose. Then she told me, "Yesterday a bee stung me right here." She pointed to an unfreckled place underneath her left eye.

"How much?" I asked.

"Everything is the same price," she said. "Three dollars." She waved her hand like Miss America over boxes of peanut brittle, chocolate turtles, saltwater taffy, malted milk balls (gross), and a "kiddy pak" containing crayons and loose coloring book pages (lame). "Gratuities are gladly accepted."

I really wanted the saltwater taffy. I got a five from Mom's purse. I really wanted the saltwater taffy. But the taffy would catch me some grief.

"Ew," my brother would go. "Who got these?"

So I got the Gummys. A crowd pleaser. They sat there on the kitchen counter from 3:31 to 4:16. Long enough. For fake Gummys they were very fresh-tasting. Chewy. The greens were lime-y; the reds cherry-y. The clear ones were what? Pineapple-y? Afterward they sat inside me like a big gluey fist.

"Where are all the Gummy Bears?" my brother yelled.

Idea! I'll put a finger down my throat. Voila! A pretty multi-colored lump of corn syrup, sugar, gelatin.

My brother again: "Where are all the Gummy Bears?"

Me: "Come see!"

Ellen Parker edits FRiGG.