It’s the Little Things…

I just bought some M & Ms, which I don’t think I’ve done since I was… Well, I don’t ever remember buying myself a bag of M & Ms, but I assume I have before. I mean, a small bag of M & Ms for myself, not some giant bag I throw into a bowl for a party and never look at again, except when I mindlessly stick my hand in it later and insert the M & Ms into my mouth without looking at them or remembering I did it. On those rare occasions, I could be throwing a handful of chocolate-covered ants into my mouth and wouldn’t really notice.

No, I’m saying that I bought my OWN bag, and slowly ate them, and really looked at them before I put them in my mouth. And what I want to say is, as tasty as they were (and they were), they were alarming.

What’s with the colors? And why don’t more people talk about this? They are the brightest, brashest purples and greens and blues and yellows I’ve ever seen a food item be. Food isn’t those colors. The only thing that’s any of those colors and edible is… M & Ms. Why is this? It felt like I was eating tasty Fisher Price toys, or very yummy legos.

And I could get used to this–I like bright colors a lot, and chocolate even more. But it seems so unnatural. That part’s obvious, but it got me wondering if I could somehow connect crass-looking, overly colored American candies to American culture. Yeah, that’s where I’m going with this…

I also want to be  sure everyone knows that M & Ms are actually a rip-off of Smarties, which is a Canadian, I mean originally English candy. A member of the Mars family saw some English solders eating Smarties (apparently ‘melts in your mouth, not in your hands’ was a helpful war tool) and proceeded to lift the idea. I ate Smarties in Canada when I was a kid and missed them when I couldn’t find them in the U.S. years later.

Come to think of it, Smarties were obnoxious colors too. So I guess that blows my “crass America” concept. Well, insofar as being able to use candy as the symbol, anyway.

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