There should be a Reese's Ball.
I am not a crackpot.
TO: The Hershey Corporation ATTN: Reese's Division FROM: Action Cookbook, Concerned Fan and Food Personality RE: Reese's Ball Proposal
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter on a matter of utmost importance for the future—both the future of your fine company, and the future of humanity as a whole.
First, however, let me stress what a tremendous appreciator I am of your work. Top-notch stuff, really. Big fan. You’ve been a part of my life since I was a child, and have consistently been one of the more trustworthy and reliable institutions I have cause to interact with. You produce a wonderful line of products, and for that I am deeply grateful. I have relied on you to carry me through the good times and the bad, and unlike my favorite sports teams, political and cultural leaders, or democracy itself, you have yet to let me down. I hold the whole Reese’s team—all the way from the chocolate factory floor up to Ms. Witherspoon herself—in the highest esteem.
It is because I hold you in such high esteem, however, that I feel compelled to compose this letter today. I believe that you have missed a crucial opportunity. I believe that you are not living up to your fullest potential, and in doing so you are preventing society from living up to its fullest potential.
Allow me to explain.
While I have a very dear place in my heart for the original, classic Reese’s Cup—a fine product, one you should be proud to produce—I believe it to be an uncontroversial statement that it is not your best work, and I think that you know this.
Obviously, there’s no way you can abandon the original shape—dance with the one who brung you, and whatnot—but the diversity of Reese’s shapes you now produce tells me that you’re aware of its relative shortcomings. You’ve expanded into larger cups, cups with modified fillings, cups with modified exteriors—but even more so than that, you now produce a wide variety of highly-popular seasonal shapes.
You produce tree-shaped candies for Christmas, and heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day. You have ovoid ones for Easter, and both gourd- and ghost-shaped ones for Halloween. I have also intermittently experienced football-shaped ones in the fall and early winter, and those delightful confections allowed me to live out my lifelong dream of eating a football whole.
It is my personal opinion—and thus objective scientific fact—that each of these seasonal shapes is inherently superior to the original scalloped-and-tapered disc shape, owing to their higher ratio of peanut butter to chocolate.
One night recently, after retiring to my study to enjoy a snifter of brandy and some Halloween candy I’d stolen from my children, I decided in a moment of passing fancy to undertake some mathematical calculations on the matter.
I came to a stunning realization:
The success of a Reese’s shape is a matter of geometric constant.
The heart is superior to the Christmas tree, and the pumpkin superior to both. The egg and the football—which I suspect may indeed be the same shape, though I would not dare suggest this in public, as I believe the seasonal presentation differentiates the two in one’s imagination—are the finest you have to offer, nearly-perfect bullnosed ovals of your signature candy.
(The white chocolate ghosts are a perfectly fine oddity, but I do not think it is fair to include them in this ranking; they serve their purpose, which is to be quietly eaten in shameful and unacknowledged quantities in the days after Halloween, after I’ve conveniently “overestimated” the number of trick-or-treaters on our quiet street. But I digress.)
The truth of the matter is simple, mathematically sound, and immutable: the shapes increase in quality the more spheroid they become.
Now, I understand that there were likely limitations in the shapes that could practically be produced in 1928, when the first cup was developed by molding the candies inside of a spent WWI artillery shell. We are in the 21st century now, however, and just as George Lucas discovered in creating his widely-beloved Star Wars prequels, 21st-century technology can allow us to finally realize the breadth of a creative vision once constrained by practical bounds.
To wit: you need to produce a completely spherical Reese’s. A Reese’s orb, or ball. I will leave the naming to you; the form is my concern.
This will be the most perfect candy you have ever produced, the culmination of nearly a century of striving toward this as-yet unrealized goal, and it’s quite possible that its creation will repair the many divisions in our fractured society.
I anticipate that you may have questions, of course, so I’ve deigned to pre-emptively answer a few.
What kind of sphere are we talking here?
A perfect sphere.
Okay, but how big?
The size of a small onion. Larger than a mandarin orange, but smaller than a navel orange. Approximately the same size as a lacrosse ball, or a common bath bomb.
What advantages would this bath-bomb-sized candy have over the many other shapes?
It would have the optimal ratio of peanut butter to chocolate, and would be just large enough to serve as a moderately-unhealthy meal when consumed on an airplane, behind the wheel of a car, or at one’s desk late at night. It would be comfortable to hold, with the pleasing heft of a paperweight, but it would be easily thrown as well. This would allow you to make inroads with it as a baseball-game concession, as sure-armed vendors could quickly deliver dozens to distant fans in the time it might take to deliver a single bag of peanuts or Crackers Jack.
But baseball is locked out right now.
This is true, but that also presents an opportunity to ramp up production quickly, as I believe dormant baseball-making machinery could be used to create the initial shipments of balls.
Would there be any other scenarios in which throwing the balls might be an advantage?
Absolutely. I think they would be an ideal form of conflict de-escalation. For example, let’s say that you have an ongoing feud with Eric at work, and you have the urge to throw something at him. This is natural impulse, but also a problematic one. If you were to throw a baseball at Eric, you would likely injure him, invite retaliation, and probably be fired as a result.
If you were to throw a Reese’s Ball at him, however? You would have adequately expressed your anger, but Eric would not be significantly injured in the process, and he would no doubt be happy to have unexpectedly received a delicious snack. You have catharsis, he has candy, and the once-simmering row is ended without having to resort to fisticuffs or involve Human Resources.
Wouldn’t they roll off the store shelves?
That depends on the store. In nicer stores, they could be carefully stacked in pyramids, as one might see with a stack of juicy apples. (The stores would stop carrying apples in this scenario, as they would be rendered obsolete.)
Otherwise, they could be sold in packages of three in cans, like tennis balls.
What would we do with the tennis balls?
We would give them to dogs, who sadly cannot enjoy Reese’s products safely.
People make emotional associations with the holiday shapes, though. Why would they just want an orb?
Do you realize that none of the so-called “holiday” shapes explicitly acknowledge their associated holiday? The trees make no mention of Christmas on their packaging, nor the eggs of Easter. We rely on society’s pre-existing beliefs and reflexive assumptions to make the calendar connections, and there is no shape more versatile for projecting assumptions on than the simple sphere.
In winter, it might be seen a snowball, snow globe, or Christmas tree ornament. In summer, it could be a beach ball. At St. Patrick’s Day, a potato; on Independence Day, a cannonball. On Earth Day, the spheroid snack might serve a synecdoche for our fragile blue marble itself.
The possibilities are infinite.
Do you have any concerns that people might mistake the ball for an actual bath bomb, and accidentally attempt to submerge it in a hot bath?
People would only do this by accident once. Every subsequent time would be on purpose.
Would there be any potential for celebrity endorsements?
Yes. I have already scripted a 90-second Super Bowl commercial starring a digitally-de-aged version of the actor Tim Robbins, reenacting the moment at which I made this proposal to you.
Here is a concept image:
Oh, I see it now.
I will not take up any more of your time today, as that is time that could be spent retooling your operations in order to bring this geometrically-perfect, universally-seasonal and likely-world-peace-forging candy to market as quickly as possible. I hope that you have taken this proposal in the seriousness with which it has been delivered, and I look forward to many happy years of consuming this delicious sphere.
With Warmest Regards,
P.S. I would also consider a Reese’s Torus.
—Scott Hines (@actioncookbook)