I blogged a link yesterday to a summary of some of the reviews of the sugarless gummy bears. But last night I went to the original sources of the comments on Amazon.
The summary had me laughing out loud. The actual original comments caused actual tears and physical pain. I read at least half of the 45 pages of them.
My favourite was the date with the German girl:
I’m pretty sure Andrea (I’ll call her) agreed to have dinner at my apartment only because I always spoke to her using nothing but my two-years-of-high-school German. Her English was perfect. Probably better than mine. But the fact that I could only ask her directions to the Autobahn or inquire about the health of her non-existent Tante Amelia, seemed to make me appealing to her in a sweet and non-threatening way.
My intentions, however, were considerably less child-like. Which is why the shopping that night was done at one of those upscale groceries with an international flair. Moules Marinieres is as much of a panty-peeler as anything I can cook, and isn’t that hard to pull off. But still, I was busy tracking the recipe in my head when I found myself in the sweets aisle. And that, to my great chagrin, is why I didn’t immediately notice the difference between Haribo Normal Gummi Bears (which are designed for human enjoyment) and Haribo Sugarless Gummi Bears (which are designed for use in maximum security prisons as a way to punish uncooperative inmates).
I shan’t make that mistake again. (notice you can’t spell SHAN’T without SHAT.)
Prior to Andrea’s arrival, I sat in my living room, creating a playlist of make-out music and nervously binging on the Gummi Bears I had placed in a decorative bowl because I am fancy.
The doorbell rang, and within minutes we were standing in the kitchen, drinking beers and both of us probably worrying that we were about to exhaust my ability to communicate in her native tongue. But soon that would be the least of my worries. In the middle of trying to ask Andrea if she likes to dance to young people’s music, I felt a flutter in my midsection, accompanied by a guttural pronouncement so loud it threatened to drown out my own voice.
Maybe it was because I was mentally refreshing my language lessons, but it suddenly struck me how much pre-diarrheal grumblings sound like German words.
“ENTSCHULDIGUNG!” was the next thing uttered by my rapidly clenching stomach. Appropriately, Andrea looked up in response.
“Sind Sie Kaffee machen?” she asked.
Am I making coffee?
I thought I must have mistranslated her at first, then finally I realized that yes, the loud, ominous gurgling coming from my gut could easily be mistaken for the percolating of some bachelor’s crappy coffeemaker.
It’s remarkable how quickly one knows that one is about to have a traumatic pottymaking experience. Maybe that’s the body’s way of buying you the precious seconds you need. I was already calculating the number of steps to the bathroom, speculating on whether I would have time to lift the lid to the toilet, when my own voice cried out loudly in my head.
She’s going to hear EVERYTHING!
Thanks to an acoustical idiosyncrasy in my building, the hallway outside the bathroom works as an amplifier pointed straight at my living room-slash-kitchen. So that somehow even the gentlest tinkle sounds like I’m pouring lemonade out of a bucket.
With only half an idea of what I was doing, I grabbed Andrea’s hand and pulled her roughly down onto my sofa. I must have looked like a madman as I booted up my iTunes playlist, plugged in the gigantic new headphones I had just bought to keep me looking young and hip, and clamped them down over her ears. (the sweat forming on my brow and upper lip couldn’t have helped.) In response to her nervous expression, I kept shouting “You’ll love this! You’ll love this!”
I spun her around so that she was looking out the window. My “plan” was that she’d be so distracted by the modest 4th floor view, that it would allow me to pull my pants off while I sprinted down the hall, silently singing the praises of the noise-reducing quality of my new headphones. (this story will be reprinted in its entirety as a 5 star review on the Sony Beats Audio Amazon page.)
As I slammed the bathroom door shut, already half naked, it occurred to me that I had not been shouting “You’ll love this!” at Andrea. I don’t even know how to say that in German. In my desperation I had been saying “Ich Leibe Dich!” Repeatedly professing my love for her in a shaky and frantic voice. But maybe that was a good thing, because as I threw myself at the toilet, I figured the best I could hope for is that she would be so creeped-out that she would sneak out of the apartment, blissfully unaware of the carnage taking place in the next room.
What can I say about the ensuing white-knuckle bowel movement that hasn’t been expressed in other reviews on this page? I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the adjective “Kafkaesque” used anywhere else.
By the end of Act One of this private little torture-porn movie, I was confessing to every unsolved crime in history. Praying I would stumble upon the one that would satisfy my invisible captors.
Quickly I realized that I had more than Andrea’s sense of sound to worry about. Were she to get even the faintest whiff of the weapons-grade sluice that my anus was angrily shouting into the porcelain, I would have to change my name and move to another city.
And so I flushed. And flushed. And flushed and flushed.
And then I flushed and nothing happened.
I have never looked down into a broken toilet with more horror in my entire life. And I once stopped up George Clooney’s crapper! (a true story for another time.)
I reached for the plunger, but my hand froze and my heart seized when I saw it on the floor, broken in two and covered in what looked like teeth marks. Apparently I had used the wooden handle to keep from biting my tongue off and had chewed clean through it. When did that happen? It seems my mind had already started the process of repressing this entire event.
Amid the feverish, fruitless dance I did across my tiny bathroom floor, it dawned on me that it had been more than a minute since my last soul-wrenching anal tantrum. Dear Lord, is it over? I asked, quite possibly aloud.
I may have been light-headed and delusional, but I began to imagine a non-ignominious resolution to this ordeal. I just needed to get her the hell out of here. If Andrea hadn’t fled the building, vomiting in terror, then I supposed I could pull up my trousers and make a cavalier exit. As long as I could get her off premises and as far away from this post-apocalyptic commode as humanly possible. Assuming that the Diarrhistas had retreated to the hills temporarily, maybe I could even whisk Andrea away to a candlelight dinner at Bernardo’s. How impulsive!
My first few steps back toward the living room were tentative. And not just because my sphincter felt raw and tattered. It was a slow approach to the Moment of Truth, especially when I saw her figure still planted on my sofa. I knew any look on Andrea’s face other than her mouth agape would constitute a miraculous victory. And when she smiled at me, the wash of relief that engulfed me was more glorious than any throes of ecstasy I might have wished for at the beginning of the night.
And then I saw it.
The decorative bowl sitting in her lap. Down to just the last few sugarless Gummi bears.
“Du hast Haribo!” she said to me. Accompanied by a satisfied smile. A big, beaming Hansel and Gretel smile, that slightly turned down in one corner at the sound we both suddenly heard. A low rumble from deep within her GI tract that sounded like Gefahrrrrr.
The German word for Danger.
Her eyes shot past mine and refocused on the bathroom door just down the hall behind me.
Just re-reading this and my eyes are wet again. Some others:
“Does she have a GI bleed? A necrotic bowel?” he asked.
As soon as we hit the ER doors I was off like a Kenyan on methamphetamine for the bathroom. I tried to use a hallway bathroom, but it was occupied. My only other option was the bathroom right outside the nurses station. I mean, it was RIGHT outside the nurses station. The door was a mere five feet from their desks. All those pretty, young, nurses. With no other option, I ran back, trying to keep my cheeks clinched. Little staccato bursts of sulfuric farts punctuated each yard as I raced for the finish line hoping that I could keep my chocolate starfish clenched tight enough to stem the tide.
I ripped the door open and somehow managed to drop my pants without undoing my belt. What erupted sounded like a steamroller driving through a bubble wrap factory. I knew it was audible from the nurses station and I had nearly knocked a pretty blonde out of her chair during my mad dash. As the sense of relief from the pressure washed over me, so did the smell. It smelled like someone took a bag of dirty diapers, filled it with rotting body parts, and let it sit in the sun for two weeks.
I sat there, petrified, but also doubled over with the sort of cramps that make one pray for death.
“Tonya? What is that SMELL?!” came a voice from outside the door. I knew there was no escaping with my dignity intact. I sent a text to my partner from the bathroom telling her I was sick and to let me know when she was ready to leave. When she replied I dashed from the bathroom back to the ambulance.
That was from a female ambulance officer.
Next time I am scheduled for a colonoscopy, I plan to eat sugar free gummi bears instead of drinking that nasty magnesium citrate. The bears are delicious and the cleansing effect is the same!
He shuffled his way to my office shouting my name (probably to get the code) but I had hidden myself under my desk. “Unbelievable!” was the only thing he could say when I heard what sounded like a live cat being dropped in a bubbling stew pot while shooting a tommy gun. I looked under my desk to see soiled trousers drop on the floor of my office, as he defiled my shredder bin.
I started to feel bad for him and stood up, but was immediately knocked back down by a putrefied stench of an exploding blue whale that had laid in the sun for weeks. My gag reflex was vaporized and I spun yarn like Linda Blair and Pazuzu’s love child. Most of it covered my boss’s pants and legs, as he bore down like a power squatter moments before prolapsing. His eyes were open, but he couldn’t see anything but pain.
The quality of the writing is superb.
I begin to punch in the four digit code to open the gate… “4, 7″….. suddenly my stomach makes a noise that could only be described as an elephant with a trumpet playing into a megaphone….. then a shift of my insides that hit harder then anything I’d ever felt even during the two times I had GIVEN BIRTH…. WHEN SOMETHING WAS LITERALLY SHIFTING INSIDE OF ME!
I did not punch in the last two digits. All I could do…. all that my instincts and training had taught me to do…. I threw on my lights and sirens and put my car in reverse as I was already beginning to accelerate with my foot. I swear I nearly exceeded 30mph in reverse just to make it to the main road immediately. I had 2.7miles to make it to the nearest public restroom. Lights and sirens on I traveled at 80mph as I heaved through traffic and pulled into that ENMARK Station nearby. When I went running from my car and into the station I took no notice of the fully packed pumping area or the 15 or so people inside. I was too busy trying to squeeze my butt cheeks together and still maintain running.
Fast forward through what I will call the S***-POCALYPSE and a good 40minutes of my life I will never forget, I am faced with walking through the crowd of people that had collected due to my very fast and dramatic entrance. Apparently the assumption was there was a criminal type in the bathroom who I was arresting.
That was a police officer.
I bought a bag because I’m trying to cut down on sugar. It seems Haribo has replaced the sucrose in a typical batch of Gummy Bears with colon-shredding rage. Just a couple of handfuls left me crying for my mommy on the bathroom floor (I am 43 years old).
The cute little tricksters look just like their benign counterparts, with the same cuddly ears, stubby arms and not-too-squishy, not-too-firm texture. The taste is the same too, and that’s how the little demons invade your innards. I ate a dozen or so and then went about my day, oblivious to the angry, brown fire hose that they were constructing in my colon.
The cramping started about an hour later, and soon enough I was as bloated as a balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When the rumbling started I sprinted down the hallway and made it to the bathroom just in time for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to stampede from my backside, laying waste to my home’s septic system AND my will to live. After three hours of pelvis-shaking misery, I was spongy, weak, and amazed that I had any bones left. I cursed Haribo with the little strength I could muster.
I’m amazed the FDA hasn’t banned them.
What is occurring in my body right now may only be explained with the final 20 minutes of the movie Independence Day. The sweet gummy bears that I thought I had chewed and swallowed have now resurrected inside my bowels with a vengeance. The only thing that I can imagine they are doing is s***ting inside my digestive tract. Decomposed zombie gummy bear s***. This can’t be all my s***. There’s no way. That’s not my s***. That’s s*** from a supernatural entity living inside me. Literally nothing I’ve eaten in a dozen years could possibly turn my ass into a to-scale model of Mt. St. Helens, violently spewing what smells like a public bus filled with homeless people with fresh perms, in Mexico City at such a cyclic rate, that I’m worried the war veteran below me thinks he’s storming Normandy again.
Shame on everyone who handled these bears before they made it to me. Shame on Amazon for making theses available for purchase. Shame on the guy in the warehouse who packaged this for shipment. Shame on the UPS guy for bringing this to my door. You all knew. I know you knew, and you knew I’d know. And you still let me do this to myself. Shame on you!
My last hope now is that the force of gas propelling from my anus may be strong enough to disturb Satan himself in hell. And that he is so angered by this that he sends an entire fleet of brave minions to come up through the toilet and put me out of my misery.
Is it wrong that these reviews made me want to try some? In fact some of the reviews are from exactly that – people who thought they couldn’t be that bad, and had to find out.
Seriously give up now whatever you are doing, and spend the rest of the day reading the 47 pages of reviews. It will cheer you up no end.