Gary Smith, a gingerbread man from Candyville Alberta lost his home after the bank foreclosed on his mortgage. Having been let go from his job at the gum drop factory after 30 years of service he was no longer able to keep up with the payments. Depressed, he began using opioids and candy cane alcohol to cope with his feelings of inadequacy. He also had difficulty making love to his wife due to his depression and lack of genitals.

For the last 30 years Gary had a regular routine. He would wake up at 5:30 am and snuggle with his wife for 15 minutes before getting out of bed at 5:45. Once he was up he would make breakfast; a bowl of oatmeal with a splash of milk and some brown sugar sprinkled on top. After breakfast he would collect the morning newspaper, give his wife a kiss, and then head to work. After work was done he would head home and typically arrived home around 6pm. He would then make his wife dinner, rub her back, and then go to sleep. This was Gary Smith’s life for 30 years.

Gary heard whispered rumors that gum drop factories were closing in other parts of the country but Gary was a hard worker and was told by his boss that he was a valued employee. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, mounting pressure from lobbyists was effectively hampering the gum drop industry as gum drops main ingredients are sugar, glucose, and modified corn starch all of which were presented by the media as having direct links to diabetes, obesity and other serious health issues. What never made the news was that gum drops were also used as one of the main construction materials in gingerbread housing, which provided affordable homes for gingerbread families across the nation. As companies transitioned away from sugar based ingredients towards more sustainable and health conscious materials such as gluconope and sucrolite, revenues plummeted and Gary was forced to take a pay decrease. Gary’s boss attributed this to the fact that while revenues were record breaking, they were also lower than expected.

winter house gingerbread 1
Gary Smith’s home in Candyville Alberta.

Gary had always supported the gum drop industry as it had provided him with a way to house and feed his family. He believed that taking the pay decrease meant that there was still a future for him at the factory and that while his compensation was reduced, his position within the company was still secure. Two months before his 30 year anniversary with the company Gary was told that his position was no longer economically viable and he received his notice of termination, effective immediately. Not knowing how to tell his wife that he was no longer employed, Gary continued his daily routine of waking up at 5:30 am, snuggling with his wife until 5:45, making his breakfast, collecting the newspaper, kissing his wife and heading to work. But now there was no job for him to go to. Instead, Gary would go to the local bar and filled his days with drinking. He would return home at the usual time, make his wife dinner, rub her back, and go to sleep.

Gary applied for other positions but his resume received little response. When he made it past the application stage and secured an interview he was often disregarded due to the fact that he was a gingerbread man with stubby feet and fingerless hands. He was told by several interviewers that he simply didn’t meet the desired qualifications for the positions he was applying for. Gary was finding it harder and harder to continue lying to his wife about their increasingly desperate financial situation. To make matters worse, Gary was suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and was beginning to dry out. His gingerbread skin became hard and was cracking in places that used to be smooth. After seeing his family doctor, Gary was told that due to his current lifestyle his condition was terminal. Time was running out.

Gary wandered the desolate streets of Candyville that once thrived with activity. He observed the many buildings where stores once stood. In most cases a “for lease” sign now hung in place of an “open” sign. Unable to make the payments on his home caused the bank to foreclose and Gary was dealt another blow when he discovered his wife had been eaten by a fox. Alone and with no hope remaining, Gary began to run. It was in that moment that Gary discovered his natural ability to run quickly. He decided to test his running ability and outran a childless elderly couple who tried to kidnap him. He then ran all the way to a farm to see if he could outrun animals. A hungry cow, a hungry horse, and a family of pigs tried to eat him, yet Gary outran them all.

However, the one thing that Gary could never outrun was time. He died as he lived, with a smile on his face, unable to change the expression he was decorated with.

What do you think?

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