This past January I wanted to test what, if any, impact a diet of gummy worms might have on the human body. Before starting, I set aside a few ground rules: First, drinking water was acceptable. (My attempts to blend gummies into liquid using a food processor were unsuccessful.) Second, for the sake of variety, I allowed myself to add condiments to the gummies, such as sugar, ketchup, relish and soy sauce.
The following is my day-to-day account of the experiment:
Day One: I start my day by going to ten different supermarkets and candy shops to stock up. Later at home, my girlfriend questions what possible point an experiment like this could have. We do not speak again for the rest of the day.
Day Two: The rush of gummy has kept me up through the night. I spend most of it in the kitchen, arranging the worms by size and color. To smooth things over with the girlfriend, I write “You'll always be my Number One worm” in gummies on the kitchen floor. She leaves the next morning.
Day Three: I spend the day alone. I have not put on any weight so far, most likely because the sores on my lips and gums have made it too painful to eat anything today.
Day Five: My ointments and canker sore medication help heal my mouth, as does my decision to swallow the gummy worms whole. I am tempted to go out and purchase some Swedish Fish for a little variety. Instead, I slash my car and bike tires to make sure I don’t compromise my experiment.
Day Seven: One week has passed. The positives: I’ve lost weight, all these color saturated meals are giving my rods and cones great exercise, and I got out of a clearly unsupportive, toxic relationship with my girlfriend. Negatives: I’m not sleeping well, my skin is inflamed, and I’m starting to hallucinate that gummy worms are coming out of the faucets.
Day Ten: My mother arrives to drop off fresh groceries. She’s repelled by what she says is “the overwhelming stench of gummy” and leaves shortly after. In a moment of weakness, I cave and enjoy a kale salad. Realizing my error, I quickly stick my finger down my throat and vomit it all out. I am satisfied that this does not constitute cheating.
Day Fifteen: I’ve continued to lose weight, which is surprising because I haven’t had a bowel movement in three days. Headaches have become frequent and it hurts to walk. I have decided to fast for the next few days. For the fast, I plan to steep my gummies in boiling water and drink it so as to not undergo severe gummy withdrawal.
Day Nineteen: Lately I find it difficult to remain lucid. I think I have been sleepwalking. I woke up this morning to find my bedside bag of gummies emptied with no memory of having eaten it. Shortly later, a trail of potting soil led me to my garden, where I discovered I had buried the gummy worms into the dirt of various plants.
Day Twenty: For reasons I can’t quite parse, my friends and family have avoided me lately. Fortunately, I have become deeply engrossed in the biography of Hans Reigel.
Day Twenty-Three: I wake up today filled with excitement. I have received an email from the Haribo Company, who somehow got wind of my experiment. In honor of my efforts, they are coming tomorrow to give me an eighty-pound, two-meter long worm of solid gummy. They are adamant they’ll support my findings, positive or negative.
Day Twenty-Four: Today did not go well. I discovered my family had used the Haribo offering as a ruse to enter my apartment and stage an intervention. They have removed the gummy worms from my apartment and got all local candy shops and supermarkets to promise not to sell to me.
Day Twenty-Seven: After a day of fasting and a failed attempt to drive across state lines on slashed tires, I am reinvigorated. Hans Reigel appeared before me in a dream to teach me how to make my own gummy worms. I spend most of the day buying supplies individually from different supermarkets so as not to arouse suspicion. By nightfall, I have my own gummy worms.
Day Thirty: By now, I have transcended my corporeal form and become one with the gummy. I strip nude and paint my body in thick stripes of blue, red and green. I slide along the floor, refusing to use these vestigial, primate appendages, which is for the better as my joints are all swollen and useless anyways. I writhe along with my gummy brethren on the floor of my apartment, swapping fluids, secreting and excreting, entering and being entered, forging a symbiotic union of pure flavor.