Remember back when everybody was bragging about their Mother's Day swag, and I told you how Hick and The Pony brought me some PEEPS from Goodwill in Jefferson City? Yeah. It's coming back to you, isn't it? That flash of jealousy you first had, thinking, "Nobody ever buys ME Goodwill PEEPS five weeks after Easter!"
So...they brought me the PEEPS on May 10. I set them aside. No need to devour them all at once, what with me thinking I'd never see another PEEP until the day after Halloween. They were chick PEEPS, purple. I thought about having some the next night, but wanted to let them linger for a while in my dark basement lair. Not to age them. Just so I could think how I had some PEEPS stashed away. And most people don't.
A week went by. I thought about having a couple as I watched TV. But that was not a special enough occasion to waste my PEEPS. Finally, on Wednesday, during the Survivor finale of two hours, followed by the reunion special, I deemed the night PEEPworthy. After all, there are only two Survivor finales per year. I'd been watching Survivor since we were still in 3rd Quarter at school. And now this was the last week of school. Very special. A couple of milestones. No need to break out the champagne. I had PEEPS.
I sent The Pony from his couch into my office to grab one of my two boxes of PEEPS. He put them on the TV tray that acts as a table beside my blue recliner, the one with my Bubba cup of ice water, and the TV remote, and a box of Puffs With Lotion, and assorted junk that is primarily in the way. Just in time for the final tribal council, to get from four contestants to the final three, I cracked open the cellophane on my box of PEEPS. Like a marble rye, like a Cuban cigar, like a Mackinaw peach, like a chocolate babka...PEEPS were on hand as the gold standard of treats. I was psyched to delve into my delicacy.
AHH...I took the first bite...ARGH!
SOMETHING WAS TERRIBLY WRONG WITH MY PEEP!
There was an off taste. Being the adventurous sort, and not quite believing there's such a thing as a bad PEEP, I took another bite. And another. In fact, I consumed two purple chick PEEPS. And I couldn't eat another bite. Don't think Val is a lightweight. This would be like Kobayashi eating half a Nathan's hot dog. But I had to stop. The flavor was not good. And then it hit me. Why my PEEPS were not the sugary sweet treat of which I had dreamed.
I HAD HICKORY-SMOKED PEEPS!
That's right. And it wasn't the mystery flavor, either. I suspect that my sweet, sweet PEEPS had been in a house fire. Who gives perfectly good PEEPS to Goodwill, right? I asked The Pony to try one. He refused. He acted like the date of a guy with a horse face, big teeth, and flared nostrils shaking her head at a bite of pie.
"I wanted to know if it's the PEEPS, or just me. Something is wrong with them. They taste like smoke."
"Aww...I'm sorry. We thought you'd like them."
"They were the best gift ever. I LOVE PEEPS! But these must have been in a fire. Or in a house with a wood stove for heating. They taste like they're hickory-smoked. It's not a good flavor on a PEEP. I still like my gift. But I can't eat them."
I set the little container with the remaining three chick PEEPS aside. The next night, as Genius, The Pony and I watched "The Starving Games" on the big screen TV, I must have nodded off.
"MOM! You wanted us to watch this with you. Now you're SLEEPING! We heard you snore! Wake up! Eat a PEEP!"
"I was just resting my eyes for a minute. I know what happened. There's no need to eat a PEEP. I'll stay awake."
"MOM! You were asleep again! Eat a PEEP!"
"I'll give it one more try. But the flavor is not good. Here, Genius. Try one. Why? You act just like The Pony. Smell it. Why? Here. I'll try one more. Hey! That smoky flavor is gone. Maybe they aired out."
Not really. If you take them completely out of the package and let them sit overnight, they mostly lose that smoky flavor. I'm sure this is really tempting those of you who profess not to love PEEPS. I'd better shut up before you all go out looking for the PEEPS meant for me.
Here is a picture of the Goodwill PEEPS that were marked 59 cents, but which Hick proudly declared he got for 50 cents.
Yeah. Kind of creepy, eh? Looks like I was a one-eyed purple PEEP eater. And come to think of it, I've never seen PEEPS in quite this arrangement before. Maybe they're knock-off PEEPS.
One thing's for sure. After 24 hours out in the open, they taste almost okay.