The M&Ms Tournament of Champions

From back in August. Another example of the shit I come up with to keep my mind occupied…

Back in July, I started walking to get some exercise when I found out I could download Google Fit on my phone and keep track of the steps I took. I made a discovery:
I barely move all day.

No shocker there. My job requires me to sit and watch monitors all day. So, I started walking around my apartment building’s parking lot when I got home from work. I soon found out it doesn’t take long to do the amount of activity Google and the American Heart Association have determined to be a healthy amount of activity. I go by Heart Points, which are one point per minute of activity in which I take one hundred steps or more. That’s not much. In fact, I did that rate back in high school marching band. I often play the old fight song in my head because the tempo was 120 beats per minute.

I decided to walk in the Metro Parks today. I had the day off and nothing else to do until my kid’s band camp let out, and the walk around the parking lot was getting boring.  The park also has a nice paved all-purpose trail for bikes and walkers. Tons of trees for shade, and plenty of animals. I saw deer, which is not unusual in the suburbs, but one of them was a six-point buck. He just watched me walk by, and I imagined he was Herne the Hunter, blessing me and my travels in nature…

And that’s how we get to the M&Ms™. Awareness of my surroundings isn’t very difficult, so my imagination takes over.

Right after receiving Herne’s blessing, a social media post bubbles up from my subconscious. The poster described their method of eating M&Ms™. The poster would dump the bag on the table, take two pieces, and hit them together, repeating the process until one of the candies cracked. The poster would eat the cracked candy, and the other would go on to fight another round. The poster would continue with these confectionery gladiatorial battles until there was only one M&M™ left. The sole survivor was declared the champion of the bag and then promptly consumed by the poster.

I’m not one to judge people for their snaking quirks. Hell, I line up my chocolate chip cookies in order of chips, from least to greatest, before devouring, so, I find the poster’s method of consumption via candy combat quite brilliant.

But I disagree. The final survivor is NOT the Champion of the Bag. That candy was just lucky enough to be chosen near the end of the trials and outlast the remaining competitors. The toughest candy in the bag could have been chosen first but was worn down by wave after wave of challengers, finally succumbing, opening the door for some poser candy to go on to glory.

And that sucks.

During the remainder of my walk, I believe I came up with an alternative candy competition format that takes past successes and wear-and-tear into account. I even thought of a variation in the tradition of The Tri-Wizard Tournament, for those who prefer team combat sports.

Start by dumping the M&M™ bag on the table. What the hell, that’s as good of a start as any. Why reinvent the wheel?

Pair the candies into brackets. If there happens to be an odd candy left over, go ahead and eat it. We have a long way to go, and you’re going to need your energy. There is no room for stragglers in the gladiator arena.

For each bracket, have the candies duel, smashing them together until one cracks. Again, why reinvent the wheel? You can eat the loser after each duel or save them for the end of the first round and gobble a handful of the vanquished. I never did understand anyone who could eat M&Ms just one at a time.

After the first bracket is complete, and the losers consumed, you pair up the winners and repeat the process for the second bracket. Then, the third bracket. And the fourth. You get the idea. Depending on how big of a bag of M&Ms™ you purchased, the tournament could take a while. Don’t skimp on the step where the losers are eaten, you need your strength. The devouring of the vanquished also serves as motivation for the remaining combatants in a sick, twisted kind of way. Do not get upset by this. The candies are in it for the glory, and they knew this day would come.

For the Tri-Wizard variation, sort the candies by color after the call to battle of dumping the bag on the table. Hold a tournament for each color group, the winner moving on to represent their hue in the final bracket.

Be careful with the green candies. Just to play it safe, see if David Lee Roth is available to conduct the green tournament. And be ready to run. Google it.

With either variation, you will eventually have one M&M™ left. The Sweet Sole Survivor. The King of the Candy Hill. The Champion of the Chocolate Wars. Hold this confectionery conqueror high to receive the adulation of the crowd. When the cheers cease, listen as the candy addresses the masses, asking, “Are you not entertained?”

Pop the Champion of the bag into your mouth and enjoy the sweet taste of victory.

I certainly was, little buddy. I certainly was.


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