I have to be honest with all of you.
Every time I get a package with something that I’ve ordered off the Internet, it usually comes packed in a huge fluffy blanket of white, stryofoam packing peanuts. They are squishy and soft to the touch, with an almost heaven-like consistency that often makes me think of what Cool Whip might have been if it had been frozen solid, divided up into little pieces and then used for packing items for long-term mailing processes. They are intriguing, mysterious…
…and I am feeling the urge to eat them right this minute.
I don’t know what it is — this human desire to eat stuff that we know very well we shouldn’t be eating. For over the course of my entire life I have held objects in my hand and thought to myself, “I wonder what would happen if I ate that? I wonder how it would taste? I wonder I wonder I wonder.”
From pennies to thumb tacks to Elmer’s glue… From cat food to pink fiberglass insulation to a piece of velcro. I have held in my hand a variety of objects that range from the stuff you fill up bean bags with to crumpled up pieces of note paper that contain secret messages from me to my friends — and I have had the urge to eat them all at once.
But today, it’s all about the styrofoam packing peanuts.
What makes styrofoam packing peanuts an intriguing and mysterious eating concept is the fact that I think if the world were to implode in a glorious nuclear explosion — that besides the cockroaches, only styrofoam packing peanuts would survive. And that makes me wonder — what would happen to those same very resilient packing peanuts if I were to eat them? And besides that nagging question, packing peanuts simply look like a food. In addition to reminding me of those old Lorna Doone S-shaped cookies that you used to dunk in coffee, a handful of them remind me of taffy and those orange taffy peanut chewy-things called Circus Peanuts.
What is this world’s fascination with making un-digestible food look appetizing?
Some of you will disagree. You will complain about the sound that packing peanuts make when you rub them between your fingers. You will site the smells and the crackling cacophonic sounds they make when you jump into a barrel of them. You will tell me I am crazy and you will make fun of me because I’m so forthcoming about my desire to eat them.
Well, you know what? I used to have a wall up around me (emotionally and figuratively, of course) when it came to being honest about my desire to try and eat a styrofoam packing peanut, but I’ve broken down these walls. I’m being completely honest and I’m being completely ME. And if you can’t accept me for who I am and my urge to eat styrofoam packing peanuts, then all I can say (in a very Shakespearean way) is begone!
People who eat pennies are stupid. I mean, it’s obvious what’s going to happen. Your body isn’t going to be able to digest a damn penny, okay? Same goes for shards of glass or thumbtacks or pieces of errant plastic or even little lego pieces. I’m past that. I’ve moved on. Matured. But when it comes to these damn packing peanuts they call out to me like they know what I’m thinking. They’re all “Pauly, don’t you want to try just one of us?”” and I’m all “No thanks Mr. Packing Peanut, I think you’ll just give me a stomach ache” and they’re all “Oh, c’mon — what’s the worst that could happen?” and I’m all “I could get sick” and they’re all “Sicker than when you got food poisoning from Pizza Hut?” and I’m all “How did you know about that?” and they’re all “We’re packing peanuts, Pauly — we know all.”
I think I’m going to have to do it. Just try it once. I mean, a tiny little tidbit. I’ll break off a corner and just taste it at first and if it doesn’t taste like poison or anything, I’ll chew on it a little bit and if I’m still feeling okay and I’m not woozy or dizzy or I lose my equilibrium, then I’ll go the whole way and swallow a huge single styrofoam packing peanut.
I’m feeling the urge. I have to do it. What about you?
I have some pink ones you might like to try.