A catastrophic M&M moment . . .

21 Apr

Today I was privileged to spend several hours in (and out of) the chemotherapy unit of Wilford Hall Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas (I had good reason to be there, but that’s fodder for a future posting). At mid-morning I left the hospital for a sumptuous breakfast at Burger King, a sausage-biscuit with strawberry jam and a senior coffee (yes, I’m a senior, and I want my discount, damn it!).

After breakfast I stopped to browse at the base Thrift Shop (it’s open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), and I picked up, at modest cost, a candy dispenser featuring the little yellow M&M fellow—at least I believe it’s a fellow, but one can’t really tell with an M&M, regardless of its color. He’s made of plastic and was probably made in China (everything else is). He’s wearing what appears to be teddy-bear-toed house slippers and sitting in a recliner which has a handle on one side, a handle which, in a real-life chair, would serve to recline the chair and raise the footrest. However this handle, when pushed down, raises the little guy’s legs and flips up a door in the chair’s front to release the candy. There is a small door at the top of the chair back through which the candy can be loaded.

This was the first M&M dispenser I had ever seen, but I learned later that M&M dispensers are ubiquitous—they are molded in several different configurations, some of which have become valuable items and are eagerly sought by avid collector’s—whether mine has any value beyond my cost remains to be seen.

Before returning to the hospital I made a second side trip to the base Commissary to pick up (and pay for, of course) two large  family-size packages of peanut butter M&Ms. I planned to clean the little fellow up, fill the chair with candy, and introduce him to the workers and patients in the chemotherapy unit.

I took him into the small restroom adjacent to the chemotherapy unit waiting-area, sat him on the sink and administered a thorough cleaning, or at least as thorough as I could by using tap water, hand-soap and paper towels. With the cleaning and drying complete, I opened a package of M&Ms, opened the filler door and began to load the candy, and a catastrophic M&M moment ensued. When I lifted the dispenser, I tilted it to facilitate loading and I inadvertently pushed the little handle down. Before I could stop the loading process the little guy unloaded the chair—his teddy-bear-toed house-slippered feet flew up, the door in the chair front flew open and a host of M&Ms flew out—a dozen or so jumped into the sink, and the rest chose the floor and scampered for the corners. A few slyly slipped under the door of the privacy stall, and several others congregated beneath the urinal.

I probably merit a Guinness Book of Records entry “for retrieving wayward M&Ms from the floor of a restroom adjacent to a chemotherapy waiting area in a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas at eleven AM, Central Standard Time, on Tuesday, 21 April 2009,” a record which is unlikely to be challenged and should stand forever.

I was desperately trying to round up all the little candies before another restroom user entered, and I was successful. When the door opened to admit an elderly man, they had all been corralled and flushed (ha, ha, take that!) and I was back at the sink, holding the dispenser up to the light in an effort to discover what had caused the malfunction. The elderly gentleman entered, stopped dead in his tracks, watched for a long moment, returned my cheerful “Good morning” with a sadly negative shake of his head and then placed himself at the urinal. When I left, several minutes later after thoroughly scrubbing my hands, he was still in place—and could possibly still be there.

I decided that, given its propensity to malfunction, it would be unwise to place the unpredictable M&M dispenser in the chemotherapy unit. Instead, I gave the unopened bag and the remainder of the opened bag to a nurse, to be dispensed in some fashion other than the one I precipitated in the restroom.

Okay, that’s my catastrophic M&M moment—I suspect that there are viewers who have had their own significant moments with M&Ms, and perhaps they would share them with us. I welcome the discussion of any such moments (or lack thereof) in response to this posting.


Posted by on April 21, 2009 in Humor, Uncategorized


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6 responses to “A catastrophic M&M moment . . .

  1. Cindy

    April 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Too, too funny! What a great storyteller the King of Texas is…and I write this not because we’re related but because it’s the truth. Keep the stories comin’!

    • thekingoftexas

      January 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      I’m trying, I’m trying—I’ll keep ’em coming if you’ll keep on commenting!

  2. Sue Cummings

    May 4, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Well, I couldn’t possibly top that funny story but I did get a craving for M&M’s one time and while pulling the bag open with both hands it ripped and M&M’s spilled out all over the parking lot. I used the 5 second rule and ate a few of them to satisfy my craving!

    • thekingoftexas

      May 5, 2009 at 1:40 am

      The little scalawags do seem to try to get away, don’t they? I love the commercial where the two M&Ms are running away from the cashier on the belt at the market and one falls and gets scanned.

      I really hate to waste an M&M, regardless of its flavor and center composition, but the 5-second rule in the men’s restroom was definitely not one of my options.

      Thanks for sharing your M&M moment with us—the hazards of retrieving wayward M&Ms in a busy parking lot compare favorably with those I encountered in the restroom. There must be many more such moments—perhaps others will share them with us.

  3. Cindy

    July 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Very funny story!!!

    • thekingoftexas

      July 18, 2011 at 8:06 am

      I am honest enough to admit that sometimes—not all the time but sometimes—I exaggerate a bit in telling my stories. The M&M tale is not an exaggeration—it happened just that way. My holding the little fellow up to the light and him kicking up the footstool to expel the contents of the recliner is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done—not the dumbest but definitely among the dumbest. Thanks for visiting and thanks for the comment.


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