Our eyewitness, my son, came back from church with some amazing news. “Did you know that Bassett’s Jelly Babies proclaim the Gospel?” What? “It’s true. The manufacturing family that makes them was Christian, and decided to differentiate the Jelly Babies so that they can be used to speak about the Gospel. The black ones have a heart on them; this represents sin in the human heart. Green ones are crying, showing how God weeps for those who don’t know him. The red ones have a ‘B’ on them, for Christ’s blood, shed for the world. The pink ones are babies, showing us as God’s children. Yellow ones wear a necklace, representing the treasure of Heaven. And the orange ones have a travelling pouch, a bumbag, showing that we need to be ready for Jesus’ return.”
Cue a range of reactions:
Me: That’s amazing! Do other people know about this? We must go and buy some Jelly Babies and check this out for ourselves.
Husband: Are you sure? I don’t remember Jelly Babies being different from each other.
Parents-in-law: No, they’re not, I’m sure we would have noticed. Sounds like an urban myth.
Son: They are! I’ve seen it!
And over lunch, an ongoing discussion about whether this is in fact true, and if it is, whether it means what our son had told us it means. Attempts to suggest that this is a bit of a waste of time, as we can at least answer the first question very easily (by going and buying some Jelly Babies) in effect dismissed in the pleasure of the discussion.
After lunch, son and I go and buy two bags. On our return, we are greeted by husband, keen to tell us that his researches show that yes, Jelly Babies are now differentiated, but this has only been the case since 1989, when the company was taken over – so his memory of Jelly Babies as uniform is correct.
We extract three sets of Jelly Babies (husband has now outgrown childish sweets), and daughter, son and I solemnly lick off the floury coating and examine them. They are a bit blurry. The moulding is far from sharp. Exactly what the differences are is a bit debatable. But yes, they are certainly different from each other. Having been told what to look for, we can discern the heart, the hand raised to wipe tears, the ‘B’, the baby’s bonnet, the necklace and the bumbag. For some of us, this makes us think of Jesus. For others, we see the remarketing of a favourite sweet through attempts to make them a bit more interesting.
For all of us, they taste delicious.