Dear friends, if you are reading this post, it means I have died. Or I have consumed a giant video game controller-shaped gummy and lived — arguably a worse fate.
Let me tell you how I feel right now: My hands are twitchy. My lips are tingling. My mouth seems to have grown a lawn-like layer of fuzz. My stomach feels like the aftermath of a backstreet brawl between several uncooked steaks. My eyelids are heavy, but I dread what will happen if I let myself fall asleep. I cannot stop fucking burping.
I ate the Maud Borup Valentine’s blue raspberry “gummy remote.” I ate the whole thing in one sitting. It was the same size as a real video game controller (and somehow heavier), but it’s gone now. Soon, I will be too.
I wish I could say I did it for a good reason, but nope, I did it for the same reason anyone does anything these days: content. It began, as these things often do, with a Slack DM of a tweet of a picture that probably came from a different social network.
“Gotta eat the entire thing,” Gizmodo’s Shoshana Wodinsky said to me Friday. She was joking. Still, we could not help but wonder what would happen if one of us consumed The Gummy.
“I hope it’s like a gusher,” I said. In hindsight, I’m glad it was not.
We also speculated about how much cat hair it could absorb before becoming inedible. However, I would like to state, for the record, that Shoshana was the first one to explicitly volunteer to eat it.
“OK, I’ve made a decision,” she wrote. “I’ll eat the entire gummy controller if I can do it for content. I have an unhealthy love for gummy candy anyway.”
I say this because our conversation eventually spilled over into Kotaku main Slack, where Shoshana denied saying she’d eat The Gummy, and everybody else ruthlessly tried to bully me into ordering and eating It. I was outraged, so of course, I gave in immediately.
How, after all, could I deny The Gummy’s mystique — its sensual allure?
“These have been around for years,” said Kotaku’s elder snackspert, Michael Fahey. “I have always wondered why it was a Valentine’s Day thing, though.”
“Well, you get candy and flowers for women, obviously,” I replied. “But what do you get men?”
We decided that one of us would have to bite the bullet by biting The Gummy. We would “do it for the gamers,” I suggested.
“Gummies rise up,” Kotaku’s Ethan Gach said in response.
“Gummers?” asked Shoshana.
“Hardcore gummers,” said Ethan.
Ultimately, I agreed to order The Gummy under the condition that Shoshana, who started this, also ordered one. We would both eat them and report our findings. Or at least one of us would if the other died. That, after all, is what truly hardcore gummers do: They die of asphyxiation.
I tried to locate a local Maud Borup Valentine’s blue raspberry “gummy remote,” but the only nearby place that carried them, Target, didn’t have any in stock. So I ordered a re-branded, differently flavored gummy controller from Walmart because, instead of creating meaningful jobs or maintaining society, capitalism inherently gives rise to work that is redundant, and ten companies own the entire food industry. So next time you feel down about the fact that your job isn’t changing the world, just think about that! And feel worse!
What happened next defied any notion of plausibility: I went into the next room and told my partner about my gummy scheme. I figured she’d at least get a kick out of it. Wordlessly, she stood up and walked into our bedroom. Then she reached into a drawer and produced The Gummy. Not the red Walmart version — no, this was the real thing. I gawped incredulously, fumbling for words. She told me that she came across it at a grocery store three weeks prior, long before the recent tweet about The Gummy or Kotaku’s Slack conversation ever happened.
“My first thought was, ‘Are you serious? Who would make this?’” she told Kotaku as part of a rigorous fact-finding interview conducted afterward. “My second thought was, ‘Actually, that’s kind of funny.’ My third thought was, ‘I’m gonna buy this, for Nathan.’”
I found it very sweet, even though my partner clearly intended to kill me. She claims she didn’t think I would eat it, but I don’t believe her.
Still, Shoshana and I made a death pact, so we had to wait until her Gummy arrived. Today, we ate them.
The first immediately notable thing about The Gummy is its weight. It has heft. It is at least as heavy as an Xbox controller, and the Xbox controller is no joke. But then The Gummy’s scent assaults you, and everything else about it becomes a distant concern. Milliseconds after I popped open the plastic, my entire kitchen smelled like a package of raspberries was left under the sink with all my cleaning chemicals for millions of years, and evolution ran its course.
Both Shoshana and I put our Gummies on plates. Then, we tried to remove them from the plates. That was a mistake.
“EEEEEEEEEUUUUUUGGGHH, what is that noise?” asked Shoshana in a DM. “It’s like, have you ever fallen asleep on someone or, like, have you ever ridden a bus during the summer and someone sitting next to you falls asleep on your shoulder? Or like, your arse gets stuck to the seat?”
“And it’s all sweaty and terrible?” I replied.
“It’s that sound,” said Shoshana. “Why is it oily?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “But RIP to my fingers, which will never smell any other way again.”
As I type this, my fingers still smell like chemical-infused blue raspberry. Even after I washed them! My cat, once fond of receiving pets, now avoids my touch out of disgust.
The Gummy’s shape, size, odor, consistency, and tendency to cling to surfaces for dear life all suggested that it did not want to be eaten, and it would fight you if you tried. Still, we set out to accomplish something that would likely do irreparable harm to our bodies, and god darn it, we were going to do it.
My eating strategy was simple: I would cram as much of The Gummy into my mouth as humanly possible and then take a bite. This proved to be excruciatingly difficult and also legitimately terrifying. It was like biting into a steak — a tough steak. This is not something you generally like to discover midway through a bite that’s taken up every bit of available real estate in your mouth. In the end, I managed to separate a mere portion of the controller from the greater mass, equating to a single grip sans analogue stick. It was so sticky that it tore a piece of hair out of my head along the way. I felt like I was going to choke. My jaw began to ache after only a few chews. The sweetness was overwhelming.
I will not lie to you, dear reader: After gulping down that bite and feeling it ping off the walls of my throat like in timeless Robin Williams classic Flubber, I wavered. I considered leaving the remainder of The Gummy uneaten.
“You took an oath,” Shoshana reminded me, clearly employing the classic “If I have to die, I’m taking you with me” strategy. It worked. Bite by bite, chew by chew, horrendous jaw popping sound by horrendous jaw popping sound, I ate the rest of The Gummy. Afterward, I began to feel sick. I did the maths, and given that one controller constituted eight servings, I had consumed 216 grams of sugar. I tried to take notes about how I was feeling, and they came out looking like emo song lyrics:
back, neck, and arm muscles ache
want to sleep
afraid I won’t wake
The discomfort hit in phases. I felt bad, but every ten or so minutes, it took on a new, different form. My bloodstream and stomach both felt like they were boiling. My mouth tried to go numb. The world took on a hazy, dreamlike quality. Shoshana suggested that we might both be going into shock.
“I think maybe those gummies were cursed,” she said. “Not in a nutritional way, but with some kind of vengeful spirit.”
Here is an artist’s rendition of the spirit:
For now, I’m still alive. However, my hands and breath still smell like The Gummy. I fear I may never scrub them clean of this blue-hued odor. Thus, I think it’s only fitting that I end on a quote from Macbeth, a play I now understand much more intimately:
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this [Maud Borup Valentine’s blue raspberry ‘gummy remote’] clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one [blue raspberry].”
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