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M prove Darwin was right

I received this message on the blog, but it obviously fits no known topic. The author is something of a mystery: "R. Crutch," no city, no e-mail. But I felt it necessary to share with you. RE

From R. Crutch:

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them breaks and splinters. That is the "loser," and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3x5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes."

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this "grant money." I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.

There can be only one.

- - - - -

Ebert: I am crushed. Helpful reader Christopher J. Vogt writes me that he found this identical essay, signed by Emil Huston of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, which was posted in 1996 at:

http://listserv.unl.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9612&L=sciart-l&O=D&P=66

What follows is a fascinating discussion based on Darwinian principles, including this extrapolation by John Megahan of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology in Ann Arbor: "If this process were to continue for the next thousand years eventually we would create a M&M that would be impervious to the human bite. When the M&M reaches a point at which it starts cracking enamel selection pressure would cause the M&M to approach an optimal hardness. Not so hard as to hurt yet not too wimpy. However, our desire for the M&M could cause human teeth toget stronger!"

Ann Arbor gives me an ideal opening to quote Bob Auler, the sage of Urbana, who tells me 15% of the Michigan football team has been arrested this year. As a loyal Ilinois supporter, he send along the following Q and As, which regretfully I cannot use in the Answer Man:

____________
A lady in Ann Arbor calls 911: 'Someone's just broken into my house, and I think he's going to rob me!'
Police officer: 'Maam, we're really busy at the moment.
Just get the guy's jersey number and we'll get back to you.'
_________
Q: Four Michigan players are in a car. Who is driving?
A: The police
__________
Q: Why didn't Michigan have a huddle?
A: It is a probation violation to associate with known felons.
__________
The University of Michigan team has adopted an Honor System:
'Yes, your Honor; No, your Honor'.
__________
The Wolverines are hoping for an undefeated season this year....
11 Arrests, 0 convictions.
__________
Q: How did the Wolverines ace their poly sci class?
A: Gave speeches on their Miranda rights
----------------
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. It's been a pleasure. Thank you. Drive safely.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

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