All the peeps fit to eat! Easter always brings out the peeps, those teeth-corroding marshmallow balls of sugar, and there's a ton of peep news to go with it. A Google News search for "peeps" will dump hundreds of stories in your lap, just from the last week or so. That's way more than usual though not quite as many as the 700 million peeps we were collectively supposed to have eaten this Easter season.
The Washington Post has said that the average person eats 2.3 peeps each spring without explaining the math.
There are peep fanatics out there maintaining websites featuring everything from Peep erotica (which has nothing to do with the old "peep show"), to an inventive online movie called "Lord of the Peeps." And yes, there's an official site (and it's pretty obnoxious): MarshmallowPeeps.com.
Near as we can tell for all the fascination with Peeps, their association with Easter must have something to do with eggs, rebirth, spring season renewal (see above).
But what IS certain is the flood of peep stories in the papers. We figure that's partly because peeps are a well-known cultural icon, and partly because they've been around for nearly 60 years, but we're guessing mostly there's a lot of peep people sending out lots of press releases, making it easy for lazy food and lifestyle reporters to bang out an Easter article.
Peeps are sometimes jokingly described as "indestructible." In 1999, scientists at Emory University performed experiments to measure the stress and heat tolerance of peeps. What happens when peeps are placed in a vacuum, in a hot tub, in liquid nitrogen, electrocuted, etc? You can see the unholy results at PeepResearch.org, but warning: The scientists claimed that the eyes of the little peepsters "wouldn't dissolve in anything." Furthermore, peeps are insoluble in acetone, water, sulfuric acid, and sodium hydroxide. And you ate some?
But just be glad we live in an age when such performing such perversions on innocent peeps isn't enough to get you banned from society.
American University's LEONARD STEINHORN, a professor of communications, thinks peeps mania speaks to the diversity of American culture. "Fifty years ago, people who did experiments on peeps would have been shunned," he said.
Editor's note: He gets paid to make that observation. That ALSO tells you a lot about how far we've come in 50 years.
Because nobody can eat more than just one, peeps bring out the creative and the silly in a lot of us.
The Seattle Times has an annual contest of peeps used in photos. They call it a Peeptacular and the photos really are spectacular.
The St Paul Pioneer Press was the first newspaper to hold an annual peeps diorama contest and receives hundreds of entries every year. The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers followed suit. In 2014, the Post received over 11-hundred entries.
For what it's worth, Sacramento, CA, hosted an annual peep eating contest, the Peep Off, the Saturday after Easter for the sole reason that, by then, $30 will buy about 10-thousand peeps. Last one was in 2009, however, several radio stations have appropriated the contest since then.
One year (2003) the winner downed 103 peeps in 30 minutes. His name: DENNIS GROSS. Appropriate.
Happy Easter...no go make your dentist appointment.