Writing Out Loud: FORGET THE FAVA BEANS AND CHIANTI

By George Stahl

******Warning! Reading this any further may cause nausea, dizziness, and an overall uneasy feeling. Reader discretion is highly advised. Having said that, you know you want to really read it now!*****

Move over Hannibal Lecter, Walking Dead Zombies and that lady coroner who eats victims’ brains to determine cause of death. There’s a new breed of cannibals in town. They do not come to you with blood dripping from their lips, crazy glazed eyes, or making the sound of a cat slurping a bowl of milk. They are cute, sometimes cuddly, and melt in your mouth not in your hand kind of characters. Some even have interchangeable parts.

The first of these cannibalistic creatures are those giant heads with feet and hands. They appeared way back in 1949 when a toy that was just a box with some parts in it came along. The surprise was that the parts in the box were hands, eyes, ears, a hat, and a mouth with huge lips. The idea was that a child would ask their mom for a potato and they’d start making a doll using the parts, pinning them to the potato to form a face. By 1964, Hasbro had gotten the picture that pushing these things into a potato caused the vegetable to rot, and smell, and become all gooy and gross. So, they included a potato shaped body in the box, and Mr. Potato Head was born. But it was not good for the Mister to be alone, so, Hasbro threw a Mrs. Potato Head into the mix.

Everything skated along just fine, until…one day Mr. Potato heard a crunching noise coming from a hall closet. When he opened the door, he clinched in horror. There was the Mrs. holding a bag of Lay’s Potato Chips, one plastic hand in the bag, and the other had a chip in it, just about to enter those oversized, white lips. Mr. Potato gasped, and turned his head. He could not watch as she devoured the chips one after the other. She snarled, growled and thoroughly enjoyed munching spud shaving after spud shaving. Eventually, even he succumbs to her enticements, and reaches for a piece of his fallen, fried and salty fellow potato. ‘Crunch!’ That aired as a commercial for Lay’s Potato Chips during the 2014 Super Bowl game, and according to resources I cannot reveal, the Potato Heads attended many sessions of therapy and counseling after that. Mr. Potato Head came away from the commercial with a certain degree of PTSD and is gradually recovering.

Unfortunately, it has been reported that Mrs. Potato Head has had several relapses and has been reaching for a Lay’s fix intermittingly through the day. Afterall, it’s as they say, “You can’t eat just one.”
There have been very few other instances where cannibalism has played a part in the lives of products like Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Perhaps the most disturbing to date, though, has to be the latest M&M commercial. Although it is not a graphic depiction of what the six little candies have done, and it does not compare to a Texas Chain Saw Massacre, it is on the same level as Hannibal Lecter having a Census taker for dinner. Forget the fava beans and Chianti.

Recently, an ad ran on televisions depicting the lovable Green, Yellow, Red, Blue, Orange, and Brown M&M characters as cannibals! Yes folks, those lovable, hard shell, chocolate bites, of pleasure that melt in your mouth and not in your hands are, indeed, cannibals.

A human introduces the newest Spokes Candy for the Mars Corporation, and the M&M group, as Hazelnut Spread. When the curtain opens to revel the new M&M, there is a table center stage, and on the table is the disturbing sight of disembodied white hands and feet, characteristic of all of the M&M’s appearing on television. The commercial ends with the six colorful candies standing off stage. The human woman looks angry as she asks them, “You ate the new Spokes Candy?” There is a short pause and Yellow steps up and simply says, as if there is nothing unusual about the consuming of a fellow M&M, “Not all of him.” All six are standing and looking like the human is making way too much of what they did. Some of them even continue to lick the chocolate evidence from around their mouths as the camera pans them, reminiscent of the attitude shown by Hannibal Lecter while describing his crimes.

The commercial can be found on the internet and YouTube, but strangely enough, it is not running on television as it had in the beginning of summer. It’s almost like, even though M&M characters have been seen eating the small version from the bags, they have never eaten one of their own, the talking, walking, and wisecracking version.

Could it be that MARS has hit a sore spot with this one? Those likable pieces of candy, chocolate, and peanuts have taken on a new persona. There be monsters in MARS Land. Now that these harmless, three feet tall, anthropomorphized sugar beings realize that even if they eat each other, “they melt in their mouths and not in their hands,” there’s no telling where, how or when they will stop. “I wonder what those Skittles taste like?” Red might ask.

As disgusting as the Potato Heads may be, they don’t hold a knife and fork to those M&M’s. These guys are proving to be more than just curious, they are moving into the world of true horror.

Anti-social, sociopathic candy. Not you grandfather’s Tootsie Roll! And we thought candy could only give us cavities and diabetes. Parents beware this Halloween. The M&Ms are not your friends.