We're academics, right? Some consider us know-it-alls, so confident in our areas of expertise that we feel authorized to issue pronouncements on just about everything--including the proper way to consume M&M's.
I separate them by color and then eat the smallest color group first, but my esteemed colleague from the math department told me today that I'm doing it backward.
"You have to eat the largest color group first and save the smallest for last," he says, "because the groups with fewer M&M's are more scarce and therefore more valuable."
"No, I have to eat the smallest group first and leave the biggest group for last," I insist, but when he asks why I deflect attention to the other side of the table, where a historian is eating animal crackers without first separating them into species.
"I don't even know what species some of these are supposed to be," he says, which is a valid complaint--in fact, I'm not sure why animal crackers are called crackers when they're clearly butter cookies.
But back to the point: when eating animal crackers, I have to separate them by species and then eat the broken ones first, the ones missing legs or heads or chunks of torso.
"To put them out of their misery," says the mathematician with a smile. Yes! Of course! We may disagree on the proper way to eat M&M's, but we're in total agreement on the necessity of eating the maimed animal crackers first.
Meanwhile, our colleague from the counseling center sits at the other side of the table looking blank, as if she might be surreptitiously taking notes for a study on Consumption Compulsions of College Professor. But what does she know? She hasn't even sorted her animal crackers!