We all know the lyrics to the song “Gaston” in Beauty and the Beast:
When I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs
Ev’ry morning to help me get large
And now that I’m grown I eat five dozen eggs
So I’m roughly the size of a barge!
This morning when I was brushing my teeth I decided I needed to figure out just how many eggs that was. As someone that sticks to “eggs whites only, please” when I order omelettes, and who has a family history of high cholesterol, I shudder to think what his LDL levels are. So I opened Notepad and Calculator (thank you, trusty comes-with-Windows-programs!) and got to work.
I realized quickly this wasn’t going to be an exact number: Gaston’s age is nowhere to be found. It’s never stated in the movie, and he isn’t even in the original fairy tale. Belle’s suitor was added to as part of a French version of the story in 1946, and there is no indication of his age. So from the get-go, any number I come up with is going to be an estimate, bummer. That won’t stop me, though!
So how old is Gaston? I’m going to put him at about thirty. In his quest to find a wife, we’re never given any indication that he’s been married before; for a catch like Gaston, I can’t imagine he can be much older than that while still remaining a bachelor. He seems to have had a decent amount of life experience so far, but when you look at it, these experiences seem limited to hunting and drinking. Perhaps he’s a younger brother, or at the very least, his father is still alive and he hasn’t had the responsibilities of running an estate. I would say that thirty might be a bit high, but he just looks older than his early-twenties, which is where I would place someone who has left school and hasn’t needed to do anything but take on superficial pursuits.
Okay, so, we’ll say he’s thirty. Now we just have to figure out at which point he’s “grown” and transitions from four to five dozen eggs per day. On this one, I debated between thirteen and eighteen. In eighteenth century France, the Catholic church still had a stronghold and Gaston probably went through the ritualistic confirmation at adolescence instead of infancy. That being said, while he was grown in the eyes of the church, I feel like he may not have been “grown” enough in terms of brawn to grab that extra carton of eggs every day. Let’s go with “grown” being eighteen.
Assuming that for the first two years of his life he wasn’t eating many “real” foods, much less eggs, the numbers are as follows:
- 0 – 2 years = 0 eggs/day
- 2 – 18 years = 48 eggs/day
- 18 – 30 years = 60 eggs/day
Taking into account leap years, I’ll add four February 29ths to his childhood, and another three of them to adulthood.
- 48 eggs/day x 365 days x 16 years = 280,320 + (48 x 4) = 280,512
- 60 eggs/day x 365 days x 12 years = 262,800 + (48 x 3) = 262, 980
Total eggs: 543, 492
Even with some estimates, that’s still a ton of eggs. Gaston, no wonder you’re roughly the size of a barge!