Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Remarkable Achievement In Candy Technology

Mars, Incorporated has completely revolutionized the way we celebrate birthdays. You may not realize it yet. I hadn't until earlier today.

I was waiting in line at my local drugstore, patiently waiting to purchase 24 rolls of generic-brand toilet paper, when I scanned the candy selection by the cash register. My eyes were immediately drawn to the M&M's -- specifically, a sky-blue bag of M&M's, which I'd never seen before. It contained Birthday Cake M&M's.

That's right: Birthday Cake M&M's. I had to take a deep breath, exhale and compose myself. I was truly in awe. The brilliant scientists at Mars, Incorporated isolated the essence of a birthday cake -- the frosting, the filling, the lettering -- and crammed it into a piece of candy the size of a dime. I never thought I'd live to see the day.

It is eerily similar to the scene in Back to the Future Part II in which the 2015 version of Lorraine McFly hydrates a miniature Pizza Hut pizza into a full-sized pie, only in reverse.

I have not encountered a more remarkable breakthrough in junk food since 7-Eleven introduced the sugar-free Slurpee.

I can only assume that in a few years birthday cakes will become a relic of the past, because we now have a much cheaper, smaller alternative. Carvel, Friendly's, Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery...I'm not sure how they can survive this. Why would I spend $20, $30, $40 on a normal-sized birthday cake when I can plunk down 79 cents on a bag filled with M&M's that taste exactly the same?

Furthermore, a bag of M&M's is easier to transport, a fact that should not be discounted. Have you ever had to carry a box containing a birthday cake from a store to a party? It is such a hassle that it almost makes the party not even worth it. Carrying a cake is like carrying a rare and fragile statue. You have to cradle it with both of your arms, treating it with extra-special care to ensure you don't drop it. If the cake should happen to slip from your grasp and fall to the ground, it's ruined. The birthday is ruined.

Conversely, a bag of Birthday Cake M&M's slides neatly into your pocket. All you have to do is pull it out during the birthday party, when the time is right. You could toss the bag of M&M's onto the table after everyone sings "Happy Birthday." You could even insert a candle into the bag, if you like.

"Dig in, birthday boy! You can have the first M&M, since it's your special day."

"What's this?"

"Birthday cake!"

"These are M&M's. I wanted cake."

"That is cake. Just give it a try."

"I don't believe you. How can you be so cheap on my birthday? I...wait a second. This is good. This is really good. This tastes exactly like...birthday cake. How did they do that?"

"I knew you'd enjoy it. C'mon everybody, I brought enough bags for everyone!"

Realistically, Birthday Cake M&M's may not be enough to feed all of the guests at a big birthday party. I admit that. However, there is another enticing option: Kellogg's Birthday Cake and Confetti Cupcake Pop-Tarts. If you buy enough boxes, you can easily serve 80 to 100 people.