Grab Onto Your Seats…

Reading Amazon reviews is often time well spent. They’re informative, not as contrived as the ones on Yelp, and conversations tend not to devolve into how Obama is singlehandedly destroying the country. Still, there’s definitely room for taking the threads down a stranger path. Case in point: the viral phenomenon of sugar-free gummy bear reviews.

There are gummy candy brands other than Haribo, and their sugar-free versions may
or may not excite the imaginations of bent Amazonites the way “Satan’s Diarrhea Hate Bears” seem to have done. I’ll have found out by the time you read this; you’re on your own there.

And yeah, you read that bit in quotes correctly. Lemme ‘splain.

Sugar-free candies like this are sweetened with sugar alcohols like Lycasin (which contains maltitol). While this is often a work- around for diabetics, other people see it as a green light to eat quantities of sweets larger than their own heads. Unfortunately, because these sweeteners don’t break down well, ingesting even a smallish dose can potentially cause a laxative effect.

Rather than this being a deterrent, it’s ignored or actively courted by the masochistic, the constipated, the greedy, and the vengeful (Send a few cratefuls to Congress! Pack some in your cheating husband’s lunch!). Mixed among these are the reviews written by

those much fuller of shit than their lurid tales suggest.

When was the last time sugar-free candy elicited ecstatic prose mixed with (sometimes authentic) cries of pain? The near-giddy descriptions of intestinal Judgment Day just

keep flowing in this part of Amazon. There is poetry to be found in post-digestive feelings of violation and comparisons
to military-grade ordnance. “The Brown Wedding,” a review written by a masterful wisenheimer named James O. Thach, describes the repercussions of a certain jewel-like dessert on the Stark family. (Yes, those Starks.) J. Chilton of Atlanta posted a takeoff on “Let it Go” for his alleged review, which was amusing but would’ve also worked well with the song’s original title. Such offerings aren’t exactly useful to other consumers in the strictest sense, but are great for a dose of scatological humor.

One thing I found interesting was that the bigger the packages got, the more reviews there were for the product. The 8-oz. pack only has 15, while the 1-lb. bag has 177 and the 5-pounder (WTF!) has 832. That sounds about right as a gauge for where Western society’s and/or ‘Murica’s values lie: it’s the exact same stuff in each bag, you really don’t want to eat more than a few at a time—but the larger ones have MOAR! Call me cynical, but we’ve got a long ways to go toward shucking off the “bigger = better” mindset.

I’ll take these good people’s word for it that overindulging in sugar-free gummy bears tends to result in rollicking assplosions. There are some things you’re content to just hear about rather than experience firsthand, and that one’s right up there—or down there, as the case may be.

Mona Treme sees a lot of evidence that [insert deity’s name here] has a sense of humor, and not just in the mirror.